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What Is Neem Water?

By Marlene Garcia
Updated Feb 13, 2024
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Neem water can be made from the leaves or seeds of the neem tree, which is native to Southeast Asia and used as an alternative medicine. A specific chemical in Azadirachta indica, the botanical name for the neem tree, acts as a natural pesticide. Neem solutions might also be used on the skin, as a hair shampoo, or in dental hygiene as a mouthwash. Its antibacterial properties treat infection such as acne, ringworm, and eczema. When used as a tea, neem might lessen effects of a cold, ease indigestion, and regulate glucose levels.

Commercially prepared pesticides from seeds of the neem tree repel certain insects through azadirachtin, the main chemical found in every part of the tree, with higher concentrations in the seeds. This chemical controls insects by altering their breeding and feeding patterns. Producers of corn, cotton, and rice find neem water effective in controlling specific pests when sprayed on crops. Insects avoid vegetation after neem water is applied to the leaves.

Crushed seeds are placed into large amounts of water to ensure they dissolve completely. The water absorbs azadirachtin after soaking a few hours in a shady area. This solution, which remains active for several days, might be sprayed directly onto infested plants. Most farmers use caution when irrigating crops to avoid washing neem water off.

Some species of plants absorb neem water through the roots, which might stop larvae from hatching into adult insects. Cutworms that attack corn, tobacco, and tomatoes might be controlled using neem products by applying it when crops first sprout. Some manufacturers of these insecticides add a chemical to prevent degradation of the product from exposure to ultraviolet rays of the sun.

Bathing in neem might ease discomfort from rashes and boils. Neem extracts commonly go into toothpaste and soaps because of the tree’s antibacterial properties. In some cultures, people might use twigs from the tree as toothpicks or a primitive form of dental floss. It can also be used as mouthwash, but its bitter flavor is not appealing to some people.

Leaves boiled in water for a few minutes produce a greenish solution for use when shampooing the hair. In traditional medicine, neem treated head lice, addressed hair loss, and may have promoted new growth. Neem might leave the hair feeling soft and conditioned.

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