In India, we recognize Neem for its bitter tang and blood purifying properties. In Ayurveda, Neem has been cited for its sundry health benefits and curative properties. It contains bioactive compounds like Nimbidin, Nimbin and Azadiractin that have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
In fact, the Neem tree has been acknowledged as the “Wonder Tree” because each part of the tree -from its leaves, bark, seeds, flowers, to its fruit, exudes beneficial properties that can be used for different skin care purposes.
For instance, dried Neem leaves can wrapped in a muslin cloth to place in cupboards – to preserve old clothes, or in containers around the house for their strong fresh scent ,to deter pests, while Neem twigs have for long been used for dental cleaning owing to their antimicrobial properties.
Several properties and health benefits of neem are revealed in the Ayurvedic text Bhava Prakash Nighantu:
Nimba sito laghu grahi katu tikto agni vatakrt |
ahrdya srama trt kasa jvara aruchi krmipranut ||
vranapitta kaphacchardi kushtha hrilasa mehnut |
“Neem is Sheet (cooling), Laghu (very light), Katu (Pungent), Tikta (Bitter), Agnikrut (digestion improving), Vata krut (Vata increasing), Krumihar (antimicrobial), Vranahara (healing), Pitta kaphahara (Pitta and Kapha balancing), Kustahara (good for skin).”
In skincare, Neem is one of the summer must haves on account of its moisture absorbing, cleansing, and healing properties.
The best skin care products to invest in this season are ubtans or 100% natural face cleansers- with neem as one of their key ingredients ,as only are they the best products for oily skin, their cooling and light properties make them idea for various skin types and issues ranging from sunburn to removing skin tan.
The paste of Neem leaves can be applied over night to treat acne or soothe sunburn,or water in which a few neem leaves have been soaked overnight can be used to wash the face or bathe.
In the morning, chewing 4-5 Neem leaves (yes it’s bitter but its effects only sweet!) on an empty stomach will help in blood purification - essential for glowing skin.
That said, people with dry (Vata) skin should use Neem judiciously, as it is drying (Vata aggravating) in nature.
So, make neem an essential component in your products for Summer and unveil glowing skin!
Dr. Taruna Yadav
Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (B.A.M.S.).
Diploma in Stress Management.
For Forest Essentials.