What is Neem Oil? Neem Oil comes from the neem plant Azadirachta Indica . It is harvested from the fruits of the neem plant. It is considered an evergreen plant, which basically means it has leaves regardless of the season. Believe it or not, the neem tree is part of the Mahogany family of trees. It was originally only found in the Indian region (From the Himalayas down to the start of the Indian Ocean). However, it has since been introduced to other regions of the world. Neem oil has good commercial value and is used in many products today including :-

Pure Neem Oil
Neem Soap
Neem Shampoo
Neem Conditioner
Neem Skin Cream
Neem Insect Repellent
Neem Insecticide

The three main areas of use are for cosmetic purposes, hair products, medicines and organic farming. Neem oil is also the most commercially viable to be had from the neem tree. What does Neem oil look like? Neem oil is blood red in color. It is also said to have a rather strong smell that has been described as a mix between garlic and peanuts. It is also very bitter to the taste. It also contains certain steroids. They are harvested via presses and it is said that the method of extraction can greatly affect the composition of the neem oil itself. It is unlikely that the neem oil harvested will be of the exact composition that is found to have before extraction.

The amount of neem oil to be had per fruit is average. Up to forty percent of the fruit can contain the oil itself. The most common method of extraction is via pressing (Crushing). Traditionally, neem oil is not used for cooking or consumption. It is mainly used for its medicinal benefits in a wide variety of products. Traditionally, neem oil was used mainly In cosmetics in Pakistan and India. It is a well known Ayurvedic medicine that was used to treat or cure many external (Skin etc) ailments. It is also best known for being an all natural pesticide. For this reason they are used extensively in organic farming and as a natural insect repellent. The garden insects that are affected by neem oil include :-

Mushroom Flies
Fungus Gnats
Cabbage Worms
Mealy Bug

This is not a definitive list but it should give you a good idea of the scope of insects it can repel in the wild. It generally has no effect on some beneficial insects like ladybugs and butterflies. Likewise, it is thought to have no effect on birds, animals and earthworms. In agriculture, it can be used to control mildew, fungus and black spot. At home, it can also be used to repel common household pests like the cockroach, mosquitoes, sand fly's as well as ants.

It contains Azadirachtin, which has been shown to be a prime ingredient against garden pests. Azadirachtin prevents the larvae of certain insects from completing tall their metamorphosis stages. As such, it has been seen to prevent the larvae of aphids and locusts from progressing beyond the larvae stage. When sprayed on to plants, it coats it with its naturally bitter taste which makes the plant unpalatable to many pests. The best part about neem oil is the fact that it is an all natural pesticide and insecticide. As such, it is the pesticide of choice for many organic farmers across the world. This is why it is popular with avid gardeners as well.

Ayurvedic medicine as long used neem oil as a natural treatment for a wide variety of diseases and ailments. They have been used for Malaria, tuberculosis and even fevers. Neem oil also has anti-fungal, antibacterial, antiseptic and insecticide properties. It works well with to treat certain skin disorders like dermatitis, eczema and acne due to its antibacterial properties in combination with its anti-inflammation properties as well. Under no circumstances should neem oil be ever consumed by children or pregnant women. Studies have shown that Azadirachtin can produce infertility in rats after they were being fed with neem leaves for over three months. However, this infertility is thought to be completely reversible as well. As a skin cream, hair tonic or an insecticide, neem oil is a natural choice for consumers.

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