Cold Pressed Neem Oil
Neem oil is a naturally occurring pesticide found in seeds from the neem tree. It is yellow to brown, has a bitter taste, and a garlic/sulfur smell. While it doesn’t sound very attractive, neem oil can be very beneficial by providing an all-natural pesticide that controls both pests and diseases.
Loaded with nutrients, neem oil is also used in natural skin care products because it contains high levels of antioxidants that help protect the skin from environmental damage. Neem also helps fight free radical damage in the skin because it contains carotenoids, which provide high antioxidant compounds. As a result, cold-pressed neem oil and neem extracts are widely used in cosmetics such as soap, hair products, cosmetics, hand creams and pet shampoos.
Since neem is also especially high in important fatty acids and vitamin E and can quickly penetrate outer layers of skin, it is extremely effective in healing dry and damaged skin.
Combats Bed Bugs
The Environmental Protection Agency has reported that neem oil, when combined with with certain approved agents, can be safe and effective against bed bugs both at home and in commercial environments. Performance trials conducted show that neem oil helps control bed bug adults, nymphs and eggs.
Serves as a Natural Insecticide
Neem is considered a safe, naturally occurring insecticide. The Journal of Insect Sciencenotes that:
" … control programs using conventional insecticides to target anthropogenic mosquito habitats are very expensive because these habitats are widespread, particularly in cities of most African countries. Additionally, there are serious environmental concerns regarding large-scale application of most conventional insecticides. Clearly there is a need for alternative methods that are more effective, less expensive, and environmentally friendly. One such method would be the application of preparations made from parts of the neem tree, Azadirachta indica A. Jussieu (Sapindales: Meliaceae). "
Azadirachtin is the important ingredient in neem oil that can help prevent unwanted pests from destroying plants. While there are other ingredients in neem oil spray that show insecticidal properties, azadirachtin is responsible for 90 percent of the effect of neem oil insecticide.
EPA modeling of potential residues of neem oil following terrestrial treatments indicated that residues declined rapidly between applications and following the final application. Neem products do not provide absolute insect control; however, frequent applications can reduce pest populations dramatically by repelling them and inhibiting their larval development, growth, fertility, mating and egg laying, and deterring feeding.
How does it work? A solution of neem oil smothers insect pests and has antifungal properties as well. The oil coats the plant’s surface and prevents the germination of fungal spores. Neem oil can also be used as a safe, natural leaf polish, though some plants may be sensitive. It is always best to test first.
The American Orchid Society also reports that neem has been shown to ward off sand flies and mosquitoes, aiding in control of the spread of diseases such as malaria. It has been used to treat lice and scabies, and tea brewed from the leaf of the tree has been used for termite control. Neem, in the form of leaves, can be placed in the pockets of woolen clothing to fend off moths and added to stored grains and beans to help keep insects out.
Neem products are often used as a cattle-feed supplement to kill parasites. Because neem is relatively inexpensive, it’s even has been helpful to reduce post-harvest losses in developing countries.
The Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) states that neem oil is rich in essential fatty acids (EFAs), triglycerides, vitamin E and calcium.
Because of its EFAs and vitamin E, neem oil penetrates deep within the skin to heal the miniscule cracks brought on by severe dryness. Fatty acids present in the neem kernel oil are oleic acid (52.8 percent), linoleic acid (2.1 percent), palmitic acid (12.6 percent) and stearic acid (21.4 percent).
The fatty acids and vitamin E found in neem oil are easily absorbed into the skin without leaving the skin greasy. Once absorbed, these powerful properties work to rejuvenate the skin’s cells and restore elasticity. Benefit-rich vitamin E acts as a free radical scavenger, by hindering the oxidizing processes in the skin. It promotes soft and supple skin, helps in reducing old scars and promotes healing.
Neem also stimulates collagen production, good for aging skin. Indeed, if used regularly, neem may help smooth wrinkles and fine lines while helping to prevent the signs of aging. Neem oil may prove to be a natural remedy for eczema symptoms — including dry, red, itchy skin — and be very soothing, but it will not cure the root causes for eczema.
There are anti-inflammatory compounds known as nimbidin and nimbin that help relieve swelling and redness. another compound known as quercetin supports the body’s ability to respond to inflammation by inhibiting both the manufacture and release of histamine and other irritants.
KNUST also states that neem oil, when used as a soap, is antimicrobial and helps people suffering from skin diseases such as acne because it can help to soothe irritation and inflammation by removing bacteria from the surface of the skin; therefore, preventing more break-outs.
Neem oil has been used in traditional folk medicine and as a home remedy for acne because of the aspirin-like compound that helps rid the skin of bacteria. It also helps reduce redness and inflammation. The high fatty-acid content in neem oil is said to prevent and treat scars from acne and is non-comedogenic. The leaves are also an excellent exfoliant that can be used in a facial mask to pull out impurities and tighten pores.
Neem Oil Wrinkle Cream With Lavender
- ½ ounce of pure, organic neem oil
- 8 ounces of cold pressed Baobab Oil
- 4–5 drops pure lavender oil
Place ingredients in a cosmetic container or small cosmetic bottle. Mix or shake well. Make sure all ingredients are well blended. Apply, as a moisturizer, to your to skin liberally.
For skin problems, apply directly onto the skin two or three times a day.
Neem oil makes for a great natural mosquito repellent that is safe to use. As reported in the Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association, when 2 percent neem oil was mixed with coconut oil, then applied to the exposed body parts of human volunteers, it provided complete protection for approximately 12 hours from the bites of all anopheline species.
Neem Oil Foliar Spray Solution (from the American Orchid Society and suggested by growers)
- 1 teaspoon neem oil
- ½ teaspoon plant-safe liquid soap
- 1 quart warm water
Place in a plastic spray bottle and make sure to mix all ingredients well, shaking intermittently to ensure they remain well mixed.
Because the oil smothers insect pests, be sure to completely cover all plant surfaces for maximum effectiveness. Some sources indicate that the mixture begins to break down after eight hours, so a fresh batch should be used at every application.
The insect-controlling properties of neem lose effectiveness over time, especially in warmer temperatures, and may be washed off during watering or by rainfall, so repeat sprayings at weekly to biweekly intervals are needed to control successive generations of pests. In addition, it is useful to keep up manual removal of bugs as part of the control regime.
Neem is considered harmless to humans, animals, birds, beneficial insects and earthworms, and has been approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for use on food crops and bed bugs. Azadirachtin and other active ingredients in the neem seed have insecticidal properties that are effective against a broad spectrum of insects, many mites and nematodes, and even snails and fungi, and do not seem to generate resistance in the pests they affect.
Regarding plants, The American Orchid Association tell us that oil solutions should never be applied to plants during hot weather (85° F [29° C] or warmer) or in direct sunlight. To prevent burning of tissues, treated plants should be shaded until the application is dry. Avoid strong or excessive amounts of detergent or use of ammonia-based cleaners, as these may damage your plants.
Because neem oil does not mix with water, you will need to add an emulsifier such as a small amount of soap, detergent or shampoo. While you could use any liquid soap, it’s safest to use a proper insecticidal soap that will not hurt plants. Household soaps may burn or harm sensitive plants.
Store your neem oil in the refrigerator, or in an area that is cool and dark so that it will keep longer. It should keep for a year or two. Make sure you label it appropriately wherever you choose to store it. However, neem oil can solidify at low temperatures. You can simply place the container in warm water to get it back to a liquid form for use, but make sure it doesn’t get too warm, (85 degrees F/30 degrees C or lower), since heat destroys the azadirachtin (the most effective component).
DIY NEEM OIL RECIPES
NEEM OIL IN SHAMPOO:
Add Skin Gourmet's Cold Pressed Neem Oil to your daily hair care routine. To add neem oil to your shampoo, make sure you start with a simple, gentle shampoo. This could be a baby shampoo or a gentle natural shampoo. Try Skin Gourmet's Organic Baobab Shampoo with Wild Northern Honey.
Use 1-5 ml of Skin Gourmet's Cold Pressed Neem Oil for every 100 ml of shampoo. The amount of neem oil you use can be adjusted based on the intended use. For everyday use, a lower concentration of neem oil will suffice. If you are battling a skin disorder or dandruff, you will want to use a stronger concentration. Only mix a small batch of shampoo at a time, ideally only as much as you want to use – the mixture will not keep for long periods of time. The neem oil can be kept in a small bottle in your bathroom. In the shower, mix some oil and shampoo into your hand. Apply it to your hair, from roots to ends. If you wash your hair daily, only use a small amount of neem oil each time.
DEEP CONDITIONING NEEM TREATMENT:
For a deep conditioning treatment, massage Skin Gourmet's Cold Pressed Neem Oil directly onto your scalp and hair with your fingertips. Cover your hair with a hot towel (hot enough that it is tolerable) and leave on the hair for 20 minutes or so. This will allow the neem oil to penetrate the hair, leaving your hair more shiny, healthy and manageable.
NEEM OIL TREATMENT:
Skin Gourmet's Cold Pressed Neem Oil can be mixed with your favorite carrier oil, such as Skin Gourmet's Cold Pressed baobab, coconut, sesame or moringa oil. Use 2 to 5 ml of neem oil for every 100 ml of oil. The smell of neem oil can be quite strong, so add a few drops of an essential oil, like lavender or sandalwood, to mask the smell.
Mix all the ingredients together well and apply to your scalp and hair, massaging gently. Leave it on for an hour or overnight for a more intense treatment. Rinse thoroughly and wash with your favorite shampoo.
NEEM HAIR MASK:
Skin Gourmet's Cold Pressed Neem Oil is a great addition to any hair mask to add moisturizing properties and to help remedy a dry and itchy scalp. To make the mask, combine 3 tablespoons of Skin Gourmet's Cold Pressed Coconut oil (at room temperature), 1 tablespoonof Skin Gourmet's Wild Northern Honey, 3 tablespoons Skin Gourmet's Cold Pressed Neem Oil and 3 tablespoons Skin Gourmet's Cold Pressed Sesame Oil.
Using your fingers, apply the mask to dry hair from roots to ends and pile hair on top of your head. Drape a towel over your pillow to protect it, or put on a shower cap and leave the mixture on while you sleep. In the morning, wash your hair, making sure to wash thoroughly with shampoo. Repeat once a week for silky, shiny hair.
NEEM OIL DANDRUFF TREATMENT:
Skin Gourmet's Cold Pressed Neem Oil is especially effective in treating scalp infections while lemon peel aids in preventing them. Mix neem oil and lemon peel in a bowl and, using fingertips, massage onto scalp, concentrating on the roots. Continue massaging the mixture on your scalp for 10-15 minutes and leave on for another 30 minutes.
Rinse the mixture off thoroughly and shampoo with a gentle, shampoo like Skin Gourmet's Organic Baobab Black Soap with Wild Northern Honey. If the mixture is too strong for your skin, mix with a carrier oil, such as baobab, coconut or moringa oil.
NEEM FOR NATURAL HAIR:
Skin Gourmet's Cold Pressed Neem Oil can be used as a pre-shampoo treatment for natural hair. Mix 1-2 drops of neem oil with Skin Gourmet's Cold Pressed Coconut oil and massage onto your hair and scalp, leaving the mixture on overnight. Shampoo hair in the morning as usual. Neem oil can also be mixed with Skin Gourmet's Raw & Unrefined Shea Butter to help a dry, itchy scalp or add moisture to dry ends. Simply mix 1 teaspoon of neem oil with 3 tablespoons shea butter. Combining the two ingredients will leave hair feeling soft and shiny.