In India, the neem tree is known by the people as the village pharmacy as it is thought to hold the key to many health problems from rheumatism and heat rashes to head lice.
Neem leaves, seeds and oil were traditionally used due to their protective and health promoting qualities. The tree holds antibacterial and antifungal properties, as well as being an insecticide.
Scientists in the West noticed that although locusts have the capability to wreak devastation on many species of tree, time and time again, they bypass the neem tree. Investigations revealed that neem interferes with the ability of locusts and other insects to feed, grow and breed and that's why they avoid it.
The leaf, often found in neem creams, is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, calming for red, inflamed skin, and antiseptic for damaged skin or spots. Dry, itchy skin conditions, eczema, and rough, bumpy skin rashes will all benefit from it, and it is unlikely to upset sensitive or delicate skin, even on young children.
With the summer holidays coming to an end and the new school year looming, one of the problems faced by parents is that of head lice and how to deal with them. This is where neem comes into its own by providing an extremely efficient head lice treatment that does not have a detrimental effect on the humans involved. Regularly using strong chemicals on children's heads does not appeal to many parents so neem is a great alternative. What's more, lice cannot become resistant to neem, meaning that it can successfully be used repeatedly if children become reinfected at school. Extracts from the neem tree offer a reliable alternative in the treatment of head lice, one that is not harmful to either health or the environment.
Let's look at a few facts about head lice:
Â It's not only children with unwashed hair that get head lice. Head lice are indiscriminate. In fact, they prefer hair that is clean.
Â Head lice do not fly from child to child. The fact is they cannot fly. The only way they can move from one child's head to another is by walking, not flying and only then if the two children have had direct head contact for a prolonged period of time.
Â Only 1 in 5 people with head lice suffer from itching in the scalp. Regular checking of the scalp is the only way they can be detected. Nits stick to the hair shaft, even after treatment. Fine tooth combing is the only way to remove them.
Â The best prevention method for head lice is regular combing with a nit comb and detection. Shampoos and lotions such as Riddance head lice treatment will not prevent children catching head lice.
With all the many properties the neem tree has to offer, it is easy to see why it has been held in such high regard for so long.