Neem soap is made primarily from the oil present in the Azadirachta indica, or neem tree. This soap is considered useful by many for treating acne, repelling insects, and fighting off bacteria. It may also help fight dandruff, kill head lice, and relieve discomfort in sunburned skin. The high oil content in neem soap generally makes it ideal for use on dry skin. People with psoriasis and eczema often find, that unlike other soaps, neem soap improves rather than worsens their condition.
People in India have been utilizing the many benefits of neem for thousands of years. Its popularity has spread over time, and most countries have since taken advantage of its usefulness. The oil is derived from the seed of the neem tree, but the bark and leaves are not typically left to go to waste. Almost every part of the tree is considered beneficial in some way. In India, the neem tree is commonly referred to as the village pharmacy, because it has a potential benefit for almost any ailment.
In addition to soap, neem is also available in the form of shampoo, dietary supplements, and pet products. It is often included as an active ingredient in pesticides and fungicides for the garden. When reduced to powdered form, neem bark may be helpful in killing fleas and ticks on pets. Neem tree twigs are sometimes used as toothbrushes in Africa and India. Boiling the leaves of the tree to make a tea is also a common practice, and the tea is often used for fever reduction or as a foot soak.
Using products containing neem, either topically or internally, may cause some side effects. The majority of these side effects tend to occur when neem is ingested, while side effects from neem soap and other topical forms are mild and primarily stem from allergic reactions. In general, neem is not considered safe for ingestion by children or babies. Seizures, comas, and death are just a few of the dangers associated with children and neem consumption.
Side effects of neem ingestion by adults could include kidney damage, liver damage, and jaundice. Pregnant women and couples trying to conceive should avoid neem because there is a risk of miscarriage, and it may also damage sperm. Additionally, neem could interact negatively with immunosuppressants and medications for diabetes. A person who is interested in taking neem supplements for the many possible benefits should speak with a doctor first.