Last Modified on Apr 08, 2014
A substance that has been used in skin care for thousands of years, neem oil has a variety of other applications as well. The oil is considered highly treasured in India and is used extensively as a remedy and treatment in Ayurvedic medicine. Now more readily available, neem oil has risen in popularity and use around the world.
What is Neem Oil?
Neem oil is derived from the neem tree. The neem tree is an evergreen that is considered a member of the mahogany family and is typically located in drier regions including India, Southeast Asia, and some parts of Africa. All parts of the tree can be used medicinally including the bark, leaves, fruit, seeds, and oils; however, the oil is often considered the most potent of the treatment options.
Derived from crushing the seeds, neem oil is a powerful anthelmintic compound. The oil also possesses a wide range of other beneficial properties as well. In any treatment plan, neem oil is to be used solely as an external remedy but is capable of treating a wide range of conditions.
Health Benefits of Neem Oil
With its exclusive composition, neem oil possesses a wide range of medicinal applications. While initially used as a skincare agent, neem oil has since been identified as an effective treatment with a host of additional treatment properties.
Neem oil can be used as an antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and an analgesic agent. Each of these properties offers specific healing components including inhibiting viruses and fungi, destroying bacteria, relieving pain, reducing inflammation and tenderness and eradicating other microorganisms.
As such, the oil can be used for treating a wide range of specific conditions. Neem oil is effective for fighting the aging process, improving acne prone skin, soothing dry skin and eczema, treating nail fungus and other fungal infections, and removing parasitic insects. The oil is also effective for treating other mild conditions including warts.
With applications ranging from wart removal to parasite expulsion, neem oil is an effective treatment option. Its innate properties and sensitive application make it an easy to use treatment for a range of conditions.
|Reader Feedback||15 YEAS|
[SIDE EFFECTS] 10/10/2009: Tee from Chicago, Il: "Im using neem oil in a face wash I made myself to fight acne and the smell is about to turn my stomach. I tried to mix lavender with it but the smell still lingers. Any suggestions?"Replies
11/03/2009: Rose from Brisbane, Australia replies: "I use a product called ___ ___ Neem Oil. It's not as potent smelling as the raw neem - and is thinner. It stills smells though but not as nutty or as strong as the raw potent ones. I use it all over my skin for candida rash. Just a few drops in water. It cleared up my small cyst acne on chin. This may help?"
05/04/2010: Dan from Dunedin, New Zealand replies: "I use neem quite a bit and a fantastic way to disguise the smell is with spearmint essential oil. Not only does the spearmint oil disguise the smell, but it draws the blood to the skin and opens the pores letting more of the neemy goodness in. You can still use it on your skin, even your face with a little discomfort."
[YEA] 10/21/2012: Rivergirl from Washington, Dc, United States: "I first noticed that I had parasites a month ago. I tried wormwood, cloves, walnut hall, DE, for over 30 days and not much elimination of them. I read on a few searches that the herb neem will expel them, prevents them from feeding you and stops the eggs from hatching, Finally ordered some and after taking it two day I could not believe what I was seeing coming from my body. I could feel them moving around throughout my body head to feet causing me to lose sleep. I have been running to the toilet most of the day and each time looks likes hundreds of the expelling from my inside. Close inspection I could see them moving around inthe toilet. I also took a laxative, triphala to get assist with the neem. It works and it works fast. Hopefully in two weeks or so I will be parasite free. Neem is a lifesaver for me. These things were crawling around in my ears. Face and brain. This is the first time, I feel them lessen up. Now I am in the die off stage. Try neem!!!!!!! I need something quick and this is doing it for me so far. Do a search on neem and see how good it works on all types of parasites."Replies
10/22/2012: Waynow from Motown, Ca/ Usa replies: "I was very pleased to read this worked! Neem is considered a sacred tree in India. It sounds like the word, Name.
Triphala (lit. "three fruits") sounds like, Trip Fall-a. The "greatest" of these "three fruits" is Amaliki, which sounds like Am I Like He.
This is an excellent body and blood cleanser, and has the Indian saying, "So you have no mother? That's alright if you have Triphala. " So perhaps this is even safe for children??? It is very high in Vit. C. , and good for use as a purgative /laxative, whole body cleanser (especially the liver and organs), and is anti-inflammatory for the stomach and intestines. --T."
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 11/03/2009: Lilly from Wellington, New Zealand: "I have been plaqued by all kinds of symptoms and just recently discovered it is most likely candida. I had rashes, hives, prickles, body hot flashes, allergic feeling, sneezing, weird smell coming from body. When my rashes dry out I get dandruff like white dust (a sign of fungi) and this is when it starts to heal up - before that rash just about made me leap through the roof.
I started to use Neem oil. I put a few drops in water and because I don't have a bath put it on container and then dribble it over my body. I rub it in at last point in shower so it doesn't wash off then get out and let it dry. I don't put any creams on just dry.
I have been using it for about a week and so far the rash has almost gone - i don't itch nearly as much, no more hives, or prickles unless I get over hot.
I am also going to add in betonite clay/psyillum. Spices I crave but they may create too fast die off because I get really hot and itchy after I eat them.
I recommed Neem (some of the other oils I get reactions too but i'm fine with neem). Will you keep you posted - I can tell I have overgrowth in throat (not in mouth) and I guess probably just about everywhere. I am also going to try find some leaves to put in warm water and soak - or chew on."Replies
04/21/2010: M from Anon, Usa replies: "hi, it sounds like you have tinea versicolor. i've had it since i was 12 (im 25 now...) and the only effective way i've found to get rid of it is H2o2 therapy w/food grade hydrogen peroxide. you have to drink it in water, and its totally gross, but it will cure you in about 2 weeks. tea tree oil castille soap is also helpful. the only prob is tinea versicolor recurs like 90%of the time :( i'll try the neem oil tho! maybe it can help me too!"
[YEA] 11/28/2010: Annie from Montreal , Quebec, Canada replies: "Hi, for similar problems that were caused by the tinea fungus, it is true that neem oil will help a lot, but the best cure is apple cider vinegar. Use a piece of cotton and dab apple cider vinegar on the lesions, at least once a day. Let dry without rinsing. The fungus cannot live in an acidic medium. Don't forget those cracked heels: they can be infected by the same fungus, that also causes athlete's foot and jock itch, depending on the location. My 5 years old son had tinea on his back, then the fungus moved to his groin, so this was called jock itch, but it was the same tinea versicolor fungus. I cut the vinegar half and half with water to ease the sting to these tender parts, put it in a spray bottle, sprayed him all over his lesions everyday after shower. He waited for it to dry before putting clothes on. Everything disappeared within a couple of weeks.
Beware that cats and dogs can be carriers. A very good treatment would be to dab on or spray apple cider vinegar, then rub in a few drops of neem oil. 2 very good, powerful antifungal in conjunction. For athlete's foot, wet or soak the whole feet in vinegar. Then rub in a little neem oil. Best luck!"
03/01/2011: Debbiefudge from Brighton, East Sussex, Uk replies: "Hi, where any symptoms are to do with yeast/fungus.
I'd take a good look at your diet and do loads of research. There are so many things that feed off yeast, which may make the problem worse. Whilst neem and ACV can help on the outside of your body, you need to look at what you are putting 'into' your body, which could be the root cause. For instance, there is sugar in so many things. Even natural sugar in fruit. Take a good multi vitamin/mineral supplement. If you are cutting things out of your diet. So that you are not lacking in those.
One thing that might help, is a good probiotic yogurt. Preferably, one you make your self. You can also use this on your vagina which is very cooling.
Read the labels on everything you eat!"
04/25/2011: Maryannw from Brick, Nj / Usa replies: "I had tinea versicolor once about 20 years ago, never came back though. I used Nizoral shampoo- on the area and wash your hair thoroughly leaving it on for a few minutes. It worked for me!"
06/10/2013: Jolene from Albuquerque, New Mexico replies: "to BetterButNotCured - if you have an overgrowth of Candida Albicans, you need to cut it down to size. The best way of doing that for me is to take White Oak Bark supplements. There is also a product with cellulase and protease enzymes that works very well because it consists of enzymes that digests the fungus instead of destroying it and so the "healing crisis" is avoided. There are online tests to help you determine if you do have that fungal overgrowth."
09/05/2011: Fibb from Bangalore, India: "If there are consistent outbreaks then apply - rather massage neem oil even after the outbreak goes away for at least 3 months to let the neem enter the body and kill the virus. Along with that chew neem leaves or take neem capsules."
[YEA] 07/22/2009: Amy from Indianapolis, IN: "I can attest to using neem oil for dandruff. I have been using a high quality organic neem shampoo, and have noticed a big difference in the 2-3 days that I have used it. I have been following the instructions and leaving the shampoo on my scalp for 3-5 minutes before rinsing. I have had an itchy, red scalp for about 2 years that came on after a bad home perm. The flakes are definitely almost gone already. Using pure neem oil seems to irritate my skin b/c it's too strong, but the shampoo seems to work well so far. I think my scalp problems are due to some sort of ongoing yeast or fungus, and I am also taking coconut oil daily."
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 06/11/2009: Rosie from Westport, New Zealand: "I often use Neem oil on a little sponge inside my vagina to help me with my candidiasis symptoms... It works very well, no more itching anymore but it did not cure the candidiasis completly ( I am still working on it, with the help of this great site, I am on a Borax cure at the moment and I am going to start Apple cider vinegar + Baking soda cure as well as coconut oil). Neem oil is great on my hair too, to prevent it from exessive dryness."Replies
08/20/2010: Mdepaul from Phila, Pa replies: "It can be taken internally to fight off parasites and infections. The use of neem leaf capsules will help immune system which is why the problem to begin with."
11/16/2010: Mitch from Gatineau, Quebec replies: "You may want to try vaginal douches of 3% hydrogen peroxide once a day for a week or two."
[YEA] 01/12/2009: William from Grants Pass, Oregon: "Hot Spot Remedies:
My dog Terra who is part Sheppard and part Akita, had two large hot spots on her back above her tail. I wasn't sure what to do so I asked the folks at our local herb shop ( called "the Herb Shop") and they recommended using Neem oil. When I got home I poured a little Hydrogen peroxide on them to clean and disinfect the spots and then I applied a coating of the oil, nothing else. After about 20 minutes or so, the skin started drying out and that was it, no more problem , completely healed with in a few days.
Several years later, my Mother was in the last few days of her life, from cancer, and we noticed a rather large bed sore on her back so I applied some Neem oil and the same thing happened. Even though her body had started shutting down the skin was reforming on the bedsore!"
11/05/2008: Barbara from KEY WEST, FL: "If you are discovering Neem for the first time, here are some quick amazing Neem facts :
* the tree is known to cure more than ONE HUNDRED diseases.
* neem is both a pest control material and as well as a fertilizer, making it an invaluable farm companion.
* neem is an intelligent pest repeller - it affects only harmful pests and does not affect useful species in the farm!
* neem has a four-pronged repellant action and complex molecular structure which ensures that pests don't become immune to it.
* it gives more oxygen than other trees, making it a champion pollution fighter.
* just sleeping under the shade of a neem tree is therapeutic.
* the tree is known to halt spreading deserts.
* It's leaf and it's extract are a natural substance that don't simply mask symptoms but encourage your body to heal itself.
* Its completely safe and causes no harm or side-effects. It has been used as a health and beauty aid in India for more than 5000 years!
* It was considered a divine tree by ancient Indians.
* A world conference is held every three years to discuss the research and discoveries modern science is making, on this single tree. And there is lots to show and tell!
As if all this wasn't amazing enough, the Neem is a hardy tree that requires almost no water and grows happily on wastelands.
06/25/2012: Eh From Latrobe from Latrobe, Pa replies: "I'm new to EarthClinic -- and am already addicted to it. I have been investigating Rosacea for a friend and came across your comments on NEEM. It sounds like the perfect thing for Rosacea -- as Ted said he was most concerned about microbes as its cause. Any further understanding would be appreciated. Thank You"
06/25/2012: Diana from Portland, Oregon replies: "I have heard that a raspberry cream can help. This seems to be too expensive for me & seeing a Dr. with no insurance is to what can I use that will be cheaper & effective."
[YEA] 10/16/2008: Sayed from Abu Dhabi, UAE: "Neem, Botanical Name Azadirachta Indica
Neem is considered as the king of Herbs in India. There are many diseases that are treated with neem including arthritis, rheumatism diabetes, cancer, Chronic fatigue caused by candida albicans etc..
Some ways of using Neem
1. Mix pure dried neem oil with Vaseline in the ratio of 1:5. This combination can be used for repelling insects including mosquitoes as well as for skin disorders, minor cuts, burns, wounds etc.
2. For complete skin protection make a strong tea with neem leaves and add to the bath along with a little rose water.
3. Boil 10 freshly cleaned neem leaves along with cotton with a liter of water for approx. 10 mins. Cool. Use as an eyewash in case of conjunctivitis, itching etc.
4. For athletes' foot and other foot problems, make a strong tea and soak feet.
5. For dandruff and head lice: Massage neem oil mixed with coconut or olive oil into hair and leave for 1 hour. Shampoo. Repeat once weekly for 3 weeks or as long as problem persists.
6. To treat a sore throat without antibiotics, gargle with neem leaf water (add 2 - 3 neem leaves to 300 ml water and cool) to which honey has been added.
7. For acne, pimples, skin infections pure neem leaf powder mixed with water to the affected area.
8. In case of sinusitis, use pure neem oil as nasal drops. Two drops morning and evening.
9. Prevent breeding of mosquitoes by adding crushed neem seeds and neem oil to all breeding areas. Neem products ensure complete inhibition of egg laying for seven days.
10. Add 30 ml of neem oil to 1 ltr of water. Mix well. Add 1 ml of teepol (liquid detergent) and spray immediately for plant protection. Do not store the mixture; make fresh formulation for each spray.
11. Boil 40 - 50 neem leaves in 250 ml of water 20 mins. Cool, strain and refrigerate to use as a astringent.
12. Chewing 2 - 3 neem leaves regularly helps purify the blood and in cases of hyperacidity and diabetes.
13. For Diabetes, recommend usage is to take one tablespoon of neem leaf juice daily on an empty stomach each morning for three months. An alternative is to chew or take in powder form ten (10) neem leaves daily in the morning. Some studies have shown that oral application of neem leaf extracts reduced a patient's insulin requirements by between 30 and 50 percent for nonkeytonic, insulin fast and insulin-sensitive diabetes.
More information available at
[SIDE EFFECTS] 08/24/2011: Mary from Milwaukee, Wi, Usa replies: "Neem is something that I learned about very recently, and because of the various ailments it helps with I decided to give it a try (it worked for clearing up my skin). While this herb works wonders for the "normal" person I would like to inform anyone who has an autoimmune disease that it could potentially cause major side-effects. The introductory post discussing neem says it can help with rheumatic disorders, and the post by Sayed from Abu Dhabi says it helps with rheumatism; rheumatic disorders and rheumatism refer to rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease. According to WebMD(http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-577-NEEM.aspx?activeIngredientId=577&activeIngredientName=NEEM&source=2), there is a contraindication listed under the herb for autoimmune diseases mainly because neem can activate the immune system, which is exactly the opposite of what should be done with an autoimmune disease.
I have rheumatoid arthritis and had minimal pain and inflammation before taking neem, and I took it for about a month. Over that month the pain and inflammation increased pretty severely; my entire body - from my skin, joints and organs - experienced extreme inflammation, and I may also have some permanent joint damage now. Three months later I am still slowly nursing the pain and inflammation into remission (the natural way). This may be an isolated incident and I am not a doctor, but I would like to at least let people know the experience I had with it. I would, however, recommend it to people who don't have an autoimmune disease."
06/26/2012: Vinny from Atlanta, Ga replies: "I'm sorry to hear that Mary, but Neem does not cause those symptoms. As a matter of fact, neem does not have any side effects if taken properly. There could be many reasons why you had those symptoms including diet, any prescription drugs, high amounts of yeast ..etc"
[YEA] 09/08/2008: Steven from Camas, USA: "NEEM OIL is a rapid cure for ear mite infections. I used it with my cockapoo and it worked in a couple of days where three weeks of using other treatments failed (olive oil, mineral oil, olive oil with garlic, water/vinegar ALL FAILED). The effectiveness of Neem Oil was impressive and I recommend it highly.
Start by warming the Neem Oil by sitting the closed bottle in a bowl of hot water for about 10 minutes. This is important because Neem Oil becomes viscous or solid when cold and you must warm it up so that it flows easily into the ear.
Then, using a dropper, fill the ear canal with pure Neem Oil, then massage the ear canal for about a minute, then wipe off the excess with a cotton ball. Do this once a day at bedtime for a few days so the dog sleeps with the oil in its ear. Neem Oil seems to be absorbed into the tissues so do not use it for more than a few days."
[YEA] 02/24/2008: Gabriela from Pahoa, Hawaii: "My pet recipe: Neem Seed Oil (100% pure only). I use it on everything, when our pets have itching, they scratch constantly and inflict wounds on themselves. If they have tics in their ears, they might inflict a wound somewhere by constantly scratching on the outside.
Neem Seed Oil is against parasites, mites and tics and fleas. It is also anti-bacterial. I used it on little turtles, chickens and cats. These are our only animals. I am so confident with this. I have solved problems, the vet said, were psychological. In one case, it truly was. Our cat was not stopping to scratch herself and inflicted wounds on herself because we had been away for some time and she was traumatized. I solved this problem by using Neem Seed Oil on her wounds first and then I put a little dog-shirt on her (like a T-shirt for tiny doggies you can buy). She was so estranged about the funny thing on her body that she forgot about her licking and couldn't anyway. After a few days, she got it off herself and had all forgotten her obsessive licking. When I use Neem Seed Oil, I put it on my hands, and oil the animals generously on all the spots necessary. They hate it - but usually one or two treatments are enough."
[YEA] 10/06/2007: Diane from San Francisco, CA: "I have used neem oil very successfully to prevent head lice. My daughter caught them at school. I used an over-the-counter insecticide to kill the lice that were on her head. Then I used the special comb included with the insecticide to remove as many of the eggs as possible. Then I applied neem oil (heated until it was liquid) to her scalp, generously, then massaged her scalp to make sure the oil covered her scalp completely. After this treatment, she had no more lice. The other kids in her class continued to get lice, but she never got lice again. I understand that neem oil kills the eggs and also makes it difficult or impossible for the living lice to drink blood from the veins in the scalp, so they die without laying more eggs."Replies
03/15/2014: Bill from Vancouver, Bc replies: "I read neem works by inhibiting molting in insects, preventing them from making it to the next life cycle; egg can't turn to larvae, larvae can't turn to creepy crawly, and creepy crawly can't turn to winged egg layer. That's why it's important to treat for at least the length of time your problem insects life cycle takes if you want to get them all."
[YEA] 08/06/2007: Otti from Tampa, Florida: "I discovered an awesome natural remedy for any yeast infections and fungus - neem tree see oil. It even works on plants, not just my boyfriend's toe nail fungus. However, the seed oil smells worse than garlic but it is so very strong and powerful. Mixing it with an essential oil can help with that smell. Other neem tree extracts can cure viral infections as well and can be taken orally. I have used the seed oil on my cold sore (mixed with carmex because of the smell) and it stopped the herpes outbreak immediately."
[YEA] 05/25/2007: Michele from Esteli, Nicaragua: "I don't know how many live where they are affected by dengue. But I have had it three times. The first time wasn't that bad, the second time even though my platelets didn't drop to a critical level, my white cell did drop and wouldn't come back very fast, the doctors there prescribed an anti-viral and it it helped but recovery was slow. The third time I had read about neem doing research for incecticide I ran across something sayin it was effective against dengue. So I thought I would try it my platelets were dropping close to critical, I didn't know how to use it so I just had some leaves heated them in water, and let it steep. I sipped all thorough out the day, it tastes very bitter, anyway it seems to work better than flu remedies they give you for discomfort. The next day the blood test showed my platelets going back up, and white cells also. The following day after that the platelets made a huge jump of 60,000 in one day and the white cells also went up significantly. I don't know for sure if the neem worked, or if it was just coincidence. My recovery period total was 4 days, the previous time it was 12 days. Supposedely every time you get dengue it is worse than the one before. Since there is only three types of dengue so far in Nicaragua I shouldn't get it again. But I thought this remedy would be of interest to anyone in areas where it happens."
[YEA] 05/22/2007: Pat from Sterling, VA: "I have fostered many cats with ringworm and the thing that knocks it out in days is neem oil. A bath twice a week for at least a month in a neem oil pet shampoo. Make sure you wash between toes which is how the spores are spread -- scratching the face and head. Then apply neem oil lightly directly to lesion twice a day for 3-4 days. It usually starts to heal the affected areas in 3 days."