The neem tree has been a part of natural health care since time immemorial (1). It is synonymous with good health, and that’s why Ayurveda considers this medicinal herb ‘Sarva Roga Nivarini’ (the healer of all ailments). The oil extracted from the neem seed is rich in medicinal properties. Neem oil is especially useful in treating eczema and other skin ailments. How? Read on to find out.
Neem oil is loaded with tannins, flavonoid derivatives, and other rich lipids that are extremely helpful in calming dry and irritated skin. Even in the Siddha system of medicine (one of the oldest medicinal systems in India), neem oil and leaves were widely used for treating skin ailments (2). It not only clears infection and rejuvenates your skin but also beautifies it. Some of the benefits of neem oil are:
Neem oil is useful in healing inflammation, which is often marked by redness, swelling, and pain. A study conducted on albino rats concluded that neem oil could relieve both chronic and acute inflammation. Neem oil also has low ulcerogenic potential (i.e., it doesn’t cause ulcers). This is why the study concluded that it is safe to use neem oil for treating inflammation (3).
Neem oil is very useful in treating bacterial infection caused by Staphylococcus aureus, the same bacteria that causes eczema. A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology tested neem extracts on Staphylococcus aureus and Schistosoma mansoni worms (a type of parasitic worms). It found that neem extracts inhibited the growth of both the strains of bacteria (4).
An allergic reaction to any substance, be it pollen or detergents, can trigger eczema. However, neem oil – along with the extracts of other parts of the neem tree – has antihistamine properties (5). This means that it can inhibit these allergic reactions effectively.
Eczema is an inflammatory condition that produces symptoms like dry, flaky, and cracked skin, intense itching, and swelling. Although it is a chronic condition that cannot be cured, you can manage its symptoms and avoid flare-ups with the help of neem oil. Here are a few ways you that can use neem oil to treat the symptoms of eczema.
Both neem and turmeric are known for their antibacterial and antifungal properties. The healing touch of neem and turmeric reduces the itching while honey keeps your skin moisturized, helping in reducing the symptoms of eczema.
Coconut oil is antifungal and antibacterial. Compared to other oils, it can penetrate your skin much more easily and keep it moisturized. When combined, both the oils help in reducing the symptoms of eczema.
Taking a bath has a hydrating effect on your skin (which is very important for treating eczema). Adding neem to your bath water increases its moisturizing property. However, make sure that the water is not hot. Try to take a shower in cold or lukewarm water as it won’t dry out your skin further.
Both neem oil and papaya have anti-inflammatory properties that help in soothing the symptoms of eczema. Raw papaya helps in reducing itching and redness while neem oil helps in clearing the infection and inflammation.
Both neem and tulsi have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that help in healing the symptoms of eczema. They reduce the itching, inflammation, redness, pain, and swelling caused by eczema.
This balm is extremely hydrating and feels soothing on the skin. Its anti-inflammatory property helps in relieving the itching caused by eczema and suppresses other symptoms too.
Do not apply neem oil directly on the eczema-afflicted area and expect it to heal overnight. On the contrary, neem oil is quite potent and can make things worse. Instead, use the above methods to use neem oil in milder formulations. Also, only cold-pressed and raw neem oil works best (and believe me, it stinks). Other commercially available oils may be refined and not have a strong odor, but they are not as potent as raw neem oil.
However, there are a few products available in the market that you can use to treat your skin condition. Take a look.
Neem Seed Butter is 100% pure and organic and keeps your skin well moisturized. It has antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties and contains vitamin E that repairs and heals your skin. It is not only good for eczema, but it also treats acne and any other inflammation.
Metiista Neem Powder claims to reduce itchiness, infection, inflammation, and other skin related issues. It is 100% natural and free of chemicals.
Neem Skin Milk is intensely moisturizing and has healing properties. It contains organic shea butter and neem oil and is free of alcohol, parabens, petrochemicals, and other harmful chemicals. This cream helps in reducing itchiness and inflammation and rejuvenates skin cells.
Just Neem’s Neem Lotion is fragrance-free and loaded with all the goodness of neem. It doesn’t contain any other additives and is, basically, pure neem extract that you can apply to your skin without any fuss. This is suitable for healing any skin condition and suits all skin types. You can also use this neem lotion for eczema.
Neem Oil by Naked Neem contains no additives and is a therapeutic grade oil. It is suitable for treating almost any kind of skin issues. It is also rich in omega-6 and 9 fatty acids and contains antioxidants that keep your skin healthy and protect it from any issues. It is also beneficial in treating eczema, fungal infections, head lice, and other conditions.
Neem is nature’s best-kept secret that has slowly gained popularity for its incredible healing powers. But due to the widespread popularity of modern medicine, we tend to overlook the gift and power of healing and wellness that nature has bestowed on us. All we need to do is stay close to nature to treat all our health problems.
Let me know if you have any natural and herbal remedy for eczema in your kitty in the comments section below.