What is neem oil?

Ontario Gardener Magazine - - LOCAL DIRT -

Neem oil is a nat­u­ral prod­uct ex­tracted from the neem tree which grows wild in In­dia but has since been im­ported and grown in other trop­i­cal coun­tries, in­clud­ing in the south­ern United States. In its home coun­try, it is known as the vil­lage phar­ma­copeia and is used for treat­ing a num­ber of ill­nesses in­clud­ing in­ter­nally for in­fec­tions such as in­testi­nal worms, car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease, gum dis­ease and so on – it is even used to pro­mote belly fat loss.

Ex­ter­nally, it is used cos­met­i­cally to treat acne, as a skin en­hancer, to dis­cour­age mos­qui­toes, and even in fry­ing In­dian food. It has a slightly gar­licky odour. Neem twigs have been used as tooth­brushes for mil­len­nia, pro­mot­ing whiter teeth and healthy gums.

Ac­cord­ing to Wikipedia, neem oil con­tains a num­ber of com­pounds ad­di­tional to azadirachtin known to de­ter both in­sects and fun­gus. When used to de­ter in­sects, in­clud­ing bed bugs, raw neem oil is mixed at a rate of one ounce to one gal­lon of wa­ter and it usu­ally also needs an emul­si­fier such as a tea­spoon of de­ter­gent to help the oil and wa­ter mix.

Neem cake is used as a fer­til­izer. In ad­di­tion to con­tain­ing NPK, it also has a long list of es­sen­tial mi­cro nu­tri­ents and pro­tects plants from harm­ful ne­ma­todes and grubs.

Neem breaks down quickly in the en­vi­ron­ment leav­ing no resid­ual harm­ful chem­i­cals.

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