Did you know neem oil was banned in Australia for use with animals and yet it is a very useful product for both animals and humans?

Neem tree oil is commonly harvested from the neem tree (sometimes called an Indian lilac or by its technical name Azadirachta indica), found growing in India and other tropical regions. It is dark colored and smells like a fusion between garlic and peanuts. This healing tree oil is an important part of Ayurveda, an ancient Indian medicine practice. It can treat many skin and hair problems.

However when Hugo and I sold animal stock supplies many years ago we were only able to import neem oil as a vegetable oil due to government regulations. We knew it then as a natural ingredient used widely, in particular in India, for a number of applications. In fact when we visited India we noticed twigs from the neem tree outside the houses and which were used as toothbrushes. When were supplying it we had developed a product called Repel which, when painted on the face of horses and cattle, kept away the flies. Happily neem oil is now readily available for its anti-bacterial, analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties. In fact we use it as a spray around the house to deter spiders and it is very effective. Other uses:

Protects skin from aging: Since neem tree oil is rich in antioxidants applying it to your skin can protect it from environmental damage. The oil’s abundance of carotenoids can prevent free radicals from harming your skin. Neem tree oil is also rich in fatty acids and vitamins, which can improve your skin’s elasticity. This helps with smoothing fine lines and wrinkles.

Clears up spotty skin: Neem tree oil can reduce the redness and inflammation caused by acne and pimples. Neem tree oil eradicates the bacteria and the concentrated fatty acids prevent acne scars from forming. Similarly applying a face mask made with neem tree oil can help get rid of any skin impurities and can help tighten your pores.

Relieves eczema: Applying neem tree oil can help this disorder without having to take strong medication. The ample amounts of fatty acids and vitamin E in the oil penetrate the skin’s outer layer. This provides moisture and thereby restores the protective barrier of the skin, while the antiseptic properties protect the skin from infection.

Fights fungi: Fungal infections are more widespread than most people realize. Common ones include nail fungus, ringworm and athlete’s foot and can pester one to no end. Because neem tree oil is a powerful antifungal agent applying it to these infected areas can help eliminate these skin conditions quickly and naturally.

Remedies dryness: Neem tree oil is a natural skin conditioner and can help with dryness and keeping your skin moisturized. The plentiful vitamins and minerals repair any prolonged skin dryness and it’s a common ingredient in moisturizing products.

Treats head lice: Using neem tree oil is a safe alternative to the more toxic anti-lice shampoos. Applying neem tree oil won’t irritate or itch your scalp while effectively killing off nits and lice. Leave neem tree oil on your head and hair overnight, and comb out the lice with a lice comb the next morning.

Treats dandruff: Using neem tree oil shampoo or a dandruff shampoo with neem tree oil can prevent and get rid of dandruff. The oil protects your scalp skin, preventing skin from shedding and maintain your scalp’s PH level. The oil’s rich deposits of vitamins can strengthen your hair follicles roots too.