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Natural Living

Nourishing Neem

This time-tested herbal healer is making noise in the world of modern beauty products.

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In India, women have used the neem tree for thousands of years as their herbal pharmacy and cosmetics counter. They boil and mash the leaves to make a cleanser that keeps skin supple and healthy. They make facial masks with neem leaf powder for its moisturizing and antiaging action. They even treat wounds with the antiseptic properties of neem oil. Modern science confirms these uses, identifying hundreds of active compounds from various parts of the neem tree that have powerful anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic, and even anticancer properties.

The neem tree has its origins in India, but it’s popularity has spread, and it now grows in the dry regions of more than 50 tropical countries around the world. The oil extracted from the fruits and seeds of the neem tree is used as a main ingredient in natural skin, hair, and oral care products. It contains particularly high amounts of protective antioxidants; fatty acids such as oleic acid and linoleic acid that help rejuvenate skin and hair; and germ-fighting properties that make it a popular ingredient in toothpaste and mouthwash.

The oil is light to dark brown in color, depending upon its method of processing. Its bitter taste is due mainly to the triterpenoid compounds, which are the cancer fighters. While Ayurvedic medicine, one of the world’s oldest holistic healing systems, continues to rely on neem in the medicine cabinet, the herb is becoming more and more popular in natural beauty products. And here are the reasons why:

1. Moisturizes, Protects Skin, and Smooths Wrinkles

Antioxidants in neem oil protect skin from environmental damage, including carotenoids that defend against free radicals. Essential fatty acids and vitamin E prevent moisture loss and improve skin’s elasticity.

2. Fights Acne

Neem’s antibacterial properties destroy acne-causing bacteria while reducing redness and inflammation. The herb’s essential fatty acids prevent and treat acne scars.

3. Relieves Symptoms of Eczema

Neem’s ability to reduce inflammation and soothe irritation relieves dry, itchy skin, as well as redness and swelling. Its antiseptic properties prevent infections.

4. Reduces Brown Spots

Neem slows down the production of melanin in the skin, according to some research.

5. Fights Nail Fungus and Athletes Foot

Neem’s antifungal properties can help treat infections of the skin.

6. Treat Dandruff

Maintains the scalp’s PH level and relieves itchy scalp.

7. Tames Frizzy Hair

Moisturizes and repairs damaged hair follicles, leaving hair manageable and shiny.

8. Stimulates Hair Growth

Strengthens hair from the roots.

9. Protects Teeth and Gums

Antiseptic properties keep teeth and gums healthy and infection-free.

10. Heals Minor Cuts and Wounds

Astringent properties fight infection and promote healing.

Clean and moisturize dry or sensitive skin with Auromère Tulsi-Neem Ayurvedic Soap. Neem, a natural emollient and antiseptic, tones and soothes, while tulsi (aka holy basil) purifies and protects skin from environmental damage. The formula combines 16 other Ayurvedic herbal extracts and oils in this easy-to-lather soap.

Treat normal or stressed skin to TheraNeem Naturals Facial Oil Serum Soothing Therapé. Skin drinks up the rich neem, sea buckthorn, baobab, and kukui nut seed oils, leaving it silky smooth. An exclusive adaptogen blend of antioxidant-rich botanicals works together with the seed oils to nourish, seal in moisture, improve elasticity, balance tone and texture, and protect skin. Use alone or add a few drops to enhance day or night moisturizers.

Clean and protect teeth and gums with NOW Solutions Xyli•White Neem & Tea Tree Toothpaste Gel. This toothpaste contains 25 percent xylitol, which has been shown to reduce the growth of bacteria by up to 90 percent. Xylitol is also known to help prevent bacteria from sticking to teeth and gums and help repair damaged tooth enamel. Papain and hydrated silica whiten teeth, and neem and tea tree oil kill germs and bacteria. This fluoride-free gel has a light minty flavor.

Hydrate and soothe face and body with NeemAura Naturals Concentrated Neem Cream. High-potency neem oil is added to aloe vera and a synergistic herbal blend of healing extracts, including St. John’s wort, chamomile, white willow bark, grape seed oil, arnica, horse chestnut, thyme, goldenseal, barberry, and ivy leaf. So condensed, a little goes a long way!