(BeWellBuzz) For centuries, a miracle herb called neem has been used in eastern medicine for its considerable curative properties. It was applied to wounds as a potent disinfectant and the bark was chewed as an early form of breath freshener. Neem leaves were also used to make a bath soak for children with Chickenpox and neem bark was burned to create an insect repellent. The neem benefits were so widespread that it was nicknamed “ridder of all diseases”. A respected scholar and octogenarian, Jagdish Goel, even credited his long disease-free life to the wonders of neem oil. Following are several of the common medicinal uses for the wonder herb known as neem.
Neem is widely used in Ayurveda and a common ingredient in natural soaps, moisturizers, toothpastes and many other products. Neem soap can relieve the itching and redness that are associated with irritated skin. Neem soap can also help treat skin infections, fungus and parasites.
1. Strong Antiseptic.
The first and foremost widespread use of neem is, and has always been, as a potent antiseptic. You can make a warm neem poultice by crushing the neem leaves and adding organic turmeric powder for significantly reducing swelling and soothing wounds. This poultice will accelerate the natural healing of the affected area. Another antiseptic method, especially for itching, is to boil the neem leaves in water, then cool and crush them. The crushed and softened leaves can then be applied to skin lesions that have been caused by eczema, chickenpox or other similar skin problems. The neem leaves will serve to relieve the resultant itching, as well as preventing a host of infections.
2. Contraceptive Properties.
The contraceptive benefits of neem oil have been known by women worldwide for quite some time. Because neem oil is known as a strong organic spermicidal product, research is currently being conducted in an effort to isolate the components of neem oil, which is a derivative of the neem seed kernel, that seems to prevent fertilization by slowing down sperm mobility considerably. In addition, as a virtual morning after medication, neem oil can be applied to the uterus to prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg, thereby acting as an effective pregnancy preventative.
3. Insect Repellent.
One of the other longtime uses of neem oil that dates back centuries isn’t medicinal at all, but involves its use as a very effective homemade insect repellent that can be made from neem oil and then rubbed on the exposed skin. The pungent aroma of the neem oil acts as a repellent to small insects like mosquitoes.
4. Treats Head Lice
Neem oil effectively treats head lice when applied directly to the scalp. Head lice is a common problem among school age children, and mothers are always looking for an organic solution, so they can protect their little ones from stronger toxic remedies for infestations.
5. Burns and Sunburn Pain Relief
Burns are not only painful, but affect the ability of the skin to protect itself from infections. Neem contains an aspirin-like substance that can help reduce the pain, kill bacteria, and stimulate immune system which promotes healing and reduced scarring. TheraNeem Leaf & Aloe Gel is effective and fast absorbing.
6. Prevents Cavities and Heal Gum Diseases
Scientists, as well as cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies, are looking every day for new and better solutions to common medical problems and skin conditions. Neem just might be the “ridder of all diseases” of the future, not just the past. Of course, common sense should always be used with neem, as with any other herb; and you should always consult with your health practitioner before integrating anything new to your daily routine.