Neem Leaves: 12 Benefits of Adding it Into Your Daily Routine
Introduction to neem
Neem is scientifically known as Azadirachta indica and belongs to the mahogany family. The tree is native to Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan. It grows in tropical and semitropical regions. It also grows on islands in southern Iran. Its seeds are used to extract oil. The tree is drought resistant and grows in all types of soils.

Importance in Ayurveda
In the Charaka Samhita, which is the main text of Ayurveda, the neem tree is described as “sarva roga nivarini” meaning “that which cures all diseases” and “aristha” or “reliever of disease.” Medicinal preparations are sourced from its bark, root, leaves, gum, fruit, seed kernels, and seed oil. They have been shown to have anti-pyretic, antiinflammatory, anti-ulcer, antiseptic, and antiviral properties.

Varied uses of neem leaves
Neem leaves are used to treat the lesions of chickenpox. Neem leaf paste is applied directly to the skin or the patient is bathed in water soaked in neem leaves. Neem leaves are also used to treat pain due to neuromuscular causes. In addition, they are used to store grains safely. Neem leaves, when boiled in water, can be used as a bird repellant, especially for sparrows. They are also used as fertilizer; neem leaves and twigs are added into flooded rice fields before transplantation to protect the plants from white ants and nematodes.

An interesting property of neem leaf extract is its spermicidal action. Research is ongoing about its potential use as a contraceptive.

Modern day use of neem leaves
Now-a-days, neem leaf extracts are used to manufacture beauty products and healthcare items such as soaps, shampoos, lotions, creams, tooth pastes, bath powders, and balms.

Here are 12 reasons why you should include neem leaves in your daily routine:
1. Tones skin: Neem leaves have the ability to tone the skin. They can clear acne, remove blackheads, and tighten pores. They also treat pigmentation and scars. It makes the skin glow and look healthy.

Boil approximately 50 leaves in two liters of water until the leaves become discolored and soft. The water will take on a greenish hue. Strain the water and keep aside. Dip a cotton ball in this water and wipe your face with it every night before bed.

Neem water prevents the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It diminishes age spots. A face pack made of crushed neem leaves and rose water can be used to get a smooth complexion and reduce oil production. After the pack dries, wash off with rose water.

2. Treats acne and blackheads: Neem water directly applied to the skin daily or various neem face packs can dry whiteheads, remove blackheads, and treat acne. Neem has been found to inhibit the growth of bacteria that cause acne such as Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus epidermis. It prevents the recurrence of blemishes and pimples.

An effective face pack is made by boiling chopped neem leaves (around 10) with orange peel in water. Make a paste of this mixture. Add yoghurt, honey, and soymilk to it. This pack should be applied thrice a week to treat acne. Other packs that can be used are neem and cucumber or neem and yoghurt that control sebum production of skin.

3. Conditions skin and hair: Frizzy hair can be treated using a hair pack made of neem leaves boiled in water and honey. This pack moisturizes and conditions hair. Traditionally, a paste of neem has been used to condition the scalp and hair. It prevents flaking, dryness, and irritation. Neem oil is composed of vitamin E and fatty acids that maintain the suppleness and elasticity of skin. Thus, skin remains youthful.

4. Promotes wound healing: The leaves and seeds of neem promote wound healing since they have anti-inflammatory activity and can reduce fevers and pain. They accelerate the healing of burns and cuts, ear pain, headaches and sprains.

5. Controls lice and dandruff: Neem leaves have antibacterial and antiseptic properties. Thus, they control the growth of lice and reduce dandruff. Apply a mixture of neem powder and water on the scalp and leave it on for an hour. Wash off with shampoo. The powdered form of the bark and roots of the neem tree have anti-bacterial properties.

6. Anti-inflammatory activity: Neem leaves have anti-inflammatory activity. Studies have shown that they inhibit the production of reactive oxygen species by Propionibacterium acnes and the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines called tumor necrosis factor-a (TNF-a) and interleukin-8 (IL-8).

7. Treats skin infections: Due to its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, neem treats skin infections such as eczema, psoriasis, scabies, and acne. It is commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine due to its detoxifying ability. Neem leaf tea is used to soak the feet in case of foot fungus infections.

8. Treats dry skin: A neem leaf face pack can banish dry skin. Make a mixture of grape seed oil and neem
leaf powder. Apply it on your face and leave it on for a few minutes. Wash off with cold water. Neem oil reduces itchiness, irritation, and redness of skin.

9. Treats enlarged pores: Neem acts as a good exfoliating factor. When used as a mask, they tighten pores and remove impurities from the skin. Make a mixture of neem leaves and orange peels and grind it to a pulp. Add a few drops of honey, soy milk, and yoghurt to this mixture.

Apply it on your face three times a week. This pack will reduce enlarged pores on the skin and constrict them. If you are only suffering from blackheads, it is a good idea to apply neem oil to those particular areas.

10. Treats malaria: Tea made from neem leaves is traditionally used to treat malaria.

11. Promotes hair growth: Neem leaves have the power to promote hair growth and strengthen hair. They also reduce hair thinning. Massage neem oil into the scalp and at the roots of hair for a thick head of hair.

12. Gastro protective factor: Neem prevents gastrointestinal disorders and promotes the healing of ulcers.

Author Bio:
Owen Dore is a blogger for Molegone who gives best remedies to remove unwanted moles. Get more information at loves to blog on skin care, beauty and health related blog. In her free time she researches on skin care
Neem Leaves: 12 Benefits of Adding it Into Your Daily Routine

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