Botanical Name: Azadirachta indica
Family Name: Meliaceae
Common Name: Neem or Indian Lilac
Part used: Seeds
Specific Gravity: 0.9087 - 0.9189 at 40o C
Optical Rotation: >170C
Refractive Index: 1.4617 - 1.4627 at 40o C
Blends Well With: Sandalwood, Cedar wood, Geranium
Uses: This oil is an effective antifungal, antiseptic, antiviral and antibacterial agent and was used in Indian folk-lore medicine for over thousands of years.
This oil is used as an insect repellent.
Countries where it's found
The Neem tree is said to be indigenous to the Indian subcontinent which means the countries of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
The Neem tree grows up to the height of around 15 to 20 metres and is well known to be a fast grower. It is a tropical evergreen tree which can resist the harsh conditions of high temperatures and dryness but does not survive frosty climates.
History of the Plant
The uses of the various parts of the Neem tree as medicines and insecticide has been recorded in the ancient Indian scriptures called the 'Vedas'. In the Indian subcontinent it has been used by local communities as a traditional medicine and insect repellent for over 2000 years.
The amount of essential oils extracted from the seed or the kernel of the Neem tree varies widely from 25 to 45 %. The methods by which the oils are extracted from the seeds also affect the purity or the quality of the oil. Although the method of using a solvent for extraction is used it does not completely extract the contents of the seeds and also contains many impurities that distort the fragrance and colour of the oil.
For the extraction of pure Neem essential oil is done by the Cold press method, in which the oil is mechanically pressed out of the kernels, while constantly maintaining texture. Although this method is very cumbersome, it is the only way to extract usable essential Neem oil.
Commonly know Benefits
Neem Oil (Cold Press) has been recorded in the Ayurveda in the treatment of major diseases like leprosy, tuberculosis, malaria, as an ophthalmic and all sorts of skin diseases.
Other uses of Neem Oil are as follows:
This oil is used as grease in many communities in India due to its resilience to atmospheric and mechanical degradation.