Neem cream is a topical skin cream that contains either neem oil or dried and crumbled neem leaves. This topical product is often recommended by herbalists to help relieve chronic skin conditions and help heal wounds. Proponents of this cream sometimes call it a cure-all because it reportedly helps heal so many different conditions. Its benefits are also not limited to humans. Some websites and stores that sell neem products also create formulas for use on dogs and cats.
The neem tree grows primarily in India and features long, feathery leaves with ridged edges. While neem flowers are said to smell very nice, the leaves themselves tend to have an unpleasant odor when distilled or dried for medicinal use. For this reason, many herbalists mix neem with other herbs to cover the smell, making pure neem cream formulas hard to find. Lavender, rose oil, eucalyptus, and citrus extracts are a few scents that are often paired with neem.
Most neem formulas are also brown in color, especially if they contain the dried leaves. When the leaves or oil are exposed to air, they oxidize and turn brown just like an apple or an avocado. This does not hinder the efficacy of the product, but may make neem cream visually unappealing to some consumers. Brown cream does not usually stain or discolor skin as long as it is thoroughly massaged into the area.
Though neem cream possesses some unsavory attributes, most of its proponents believe that its benefits far outweigh its disadvantages. Neem has been used to treat all kinds of skin conditions, from eczema and scabies to acne. The plant contains substances that reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and help keep the skin moist. When used for skin-drying conditions, it sinks into the skin and helps relieve the irritating symptoms. This herb is also antibacterial and often kills the germs associated with acne.
Veterinarians may recommend cream containing neem for cats and dogs with dry, flaky skin or irritation from a recent flea infestation. These creams are usually less concentrated and gentler than those for humans. Animal doctors may be able to order special cream for one’s pet or direct the owner to a reliable product brand.
Those that use neem cream often apply it to scrapes, cuts and abrasions, as well. Its antibacterial qualities help prevent infection and promote healing. Though not usually available in grocery stores or beauty shops, neem cream is widely available online. Herbal health and natural living websites often offer neem products for fairly reasonable prices.