Neem tree is commonly found in India and is categorized as a medicinal plant due to its therapeutic properties. From centuries, Neem oil for eczema has been considered as a very good remedy, along with that, neem leaves have also been used for the treatment of eczema and dry skin as well as other skin issues including wound healing, acne and bug bites. Its’ usage maintains good health and due to this reason Ayurveda considers it as a medicinal herb ‘Sarva Roga Nivarini’.
Neem oil is pressed from the nuts and seeds of the Neem tree, native to the Indian subcontinent. Neem is used widely in the Ayurveda system of medicine, one of the world’s oldest holistic medical systems where it is considered sacred and a symbol of good health.
It’s not just the oil of Neem that is useful. Several parts of the Neem tree have been used in medicine throughout history for a variety of purposes. The earliest Sanskrit medical writings note the medicinal benefits of Neem’s seeds, oil, bark, roots and fruits. Neem in all its forms has had various uses, from creating beauty products, to treating a variety of skin ailments. People have used its twigs to clean their teeth and have ingested it in the form of tea to maintain general well-being.
Neem oil is well renowned for helping skin conditions, so it’s no wonder it has been used in natural skin care for thousands of years. Loaded with nutrients and rich lipids it is remarkably effective in helping to treat dry and irritated skin.
Eczema is a common inflammatory skin disorder which causes irritable, dry and itchy skin. Many people find the itchiness uncomfortable or in cases even unbearable. Eczema usually runs in families as it lies in our genes. Although having eczema is unavoidable, one thing that eczema suffers can aim to avoid is dryness, which will make the condition a lot worse.
Be sure to purchase an organic, 100 percent pure, cold-pressed neem oil. It will be cloudy and yellowish in color and will have an odor resembling mustard, garlic, or sulfur. When you’re not using it, store it in a cool, dark place.
Before putting neem oil on your face, do a patch test on your arm. If within 24 hours you don’t develop any signs of an allergic reaction — such as redness or swelling — it should be safe to use the oil on other areas of your body.
Because of the potency of neem oil, it’s a good idea to mix it with equal parts of a carrier oil — like jojoba, grapeseed, or coconut oil — when using it for larger areas of the face or body, or on sensitive skin.
The carrier oil can also subdue the odor of neem oil, or you can add a few drops of other oils like lavender to improve the smell. Once the oils are blended, use the combination as you would a moisturizer on the face and body.
If you find the oil combination to be too oily, you can mix a few drops of neem oil with aloe vera gel, which also will be soothing to irritated skin.
Neem oil can also be added to a warm bath to treat larger areas of the body.
Neem oil is loaded with tannins, flavonoid derivatives, and other rich lipids that are extremely helpful in calming dry and irritated skin. Even in the Siddha system of medicine (one of the oldest medicinal systems in India), neem oil and leaves were widely used for treating skin ailments (2). It not only clears infection and rejuvenates your skin but also beautifies it. Some of the benefits of neem oil are:
Neem oil is very useful in treating bacterial infection caused by Staphylococcus aureus, the same bacteria that causes eczema. A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology tested neem extracts on Staphylococcus aureus and Schistosoma mansoni worms (a type of parasitic worms). It found that neem extracts inhibited the growth of both the strains of bacteria (4).
Neem oil is useful in healing inflammation, which is often marked by redness, swelling, and pain. A study conducted on albino rats concluded that neem oil could relieve both chronic and acute inflammation. Neem oil also has low ulcerogenic potential (i.e., it doesn’t cause ulcers). This is why the study concluded that it is safe to use neem oil for treating inflammation (3).
Wound healing: Neem oil has been shown to speed wound healing. Many of its benefits work to speed healing, like its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. By moisturizing and restoring elasticity to the skin, neem allows the skin to heal faster.
Acne: As an antimicrobial, neem helps to reduce the bacteria levels on the skin that cause acne. Neem also soothes irritation and inflammation that can block pores.
Bug bites: Soothing irritation and inflammation makes neem great for treating bug bites. But try applying neem oil to the skin before heading outside. Neem has a bitter taste and garlic or sulfur smell that biting insects hate!
Neem has so many different applications, both topically and internally. In Ayurveda, the ancient Hindu study of medicine they calls neem Sarva Roga Nivarini, or “the healer of all ailments”. It’s no wonder considering it’s amazing ability to heal the skin, repel pests, treat parasitic infestations, all without any harsh side-effects.