New Delhi: If you live in India, chances are there is more than one neem tree around your house, in your locality. It could be in the middle of the road. Though felling of trees should not be supported anyway, people often refrain from cutting down trees like the neem tree or the Tulsi plant, because they have a religious significance. Another reason why these trees are not cut down is that they have medicinal properties, and have been used in traditional medicine for centuries.
Neem tree grows quickly and lives very long. Various parts of the neem tree or plant can be used in different ways, and for different health problems. Be it weak teeth, skin troubles like acne, or hair fall, the neem plant can help in treating and preventing them.
Neem for healthy skin
The fruit of the neem plant looks a lot like an olive. The seeds can contain as much as 50 per cent oil. Apart from being used as an insect repellent, it is also used in many skincare products like soaps, lotions, creams, etc.
According to studies, neem may have various benefits for the skin which include anti-ageing, wound healing, anti-bacterial properties. To use neem for your face, you can boil neem leaves in water, wait for it to cool down, and use the water to cleanse your face. Neem oil is also popularly used to treat acne, psoriasis, and to reduce signs of ageing.
Neem to reduce hair fall
Neem is used as a popular ingredient in hair oils, and shampoos. According to studies, neem boosts the production of elastin, which can help reduce hair fall and hair breakage. Head lice, a very common problem among children can also be cured by the use of neem shampoos.
Neem for healthy teeth
For centuries now, people have been using neem to brush teeth. Though most urban homes choose to use plastic bristle toothbrushes, a number of people still continue to chew on sticks of the plant to clean their teeth. Research suggests that applying neem gel or extract, or using a neem mouthwash can reduce plaque on teeth. Use of neem oil is recommended in case of tooth pain. Neem gel or oil can also reduce a form of gum disease, gingivitis, in some people.
Some precautions to take
- While neem boosts health and has many uses when it comes to treatment and prevention of certain health conditions and infections, there are certain precautions that one must take.
- Before using neem for skin problems, do a patch test on your hand or neck. If it burns, itches, or causes irritation, its use is not recommended.
- If you suffer from skin problems very frequently, it is recommended to speak to your dermatologist before you use neem as a home remedy.
- Ingesting neem can be toxic, make sure that the use of neem oil, gel, and any kind of extract is only external and not ingested or injected.