A bitter skin tonic

Sonia Mathur Mar 9 2018, 22:16 IST

A humble tree found in every neighbourhood, neem is a powerhouse of antioxidants and it also has antibacterial and antifungal properties. With the botanical name azadirachta indica, neem is typically grown in tropical and semi-tropical regions. The fruits and seeds of the tree are the sources of the much-acclaimed neem oil, while the flowers and leaves are also used in culinary preparations.

This easily accessible ingredient can be used in a host of home remedies for skin ailments. Let's look at 10 uses of neem:

Clears acne scars & pigmentation: Create a concoction, by boiling about 20 neem leaves in half a litre of water till the leaves turn soft and are discoloured. The water must turn green too. Strain and store this in a bottle. Use this liquid as a skin toner by dipping a cotton ball into it and wiping your face with it every night.

Treats wounds & rashes: Neem oil can treat chronic non-healing wounds, especially when used in combination with haridra capsules, an Ayurvedic medicine.

Prevents recurrence of blackheads: It can be embarrassing to have your face riddled with blackheads. But with neem, you probably don't have to worry. Diluting neem oil with water and applying it to your blackheads will help lighten them. However, ensure that you don't use more than two to three drops of the oil.

Treats skin infection: Neem has antibacterial properties that can cure skin infections. Just dilute neem oil with water and add 100 ml of this concoction to your bath water. This remedy also helps treat skin allergies.

Prevents acne breakouts: Just take 10 neem leaves and boil them in some water. You can add little bits of orange peel to this. As they become soft, remove them and pound them into a pulp. Apply this on the affected areas on your face. Wash it off once it dries.

Makes skin glow: Regular use of paste of neem leaves and turmeric can clear your skin and give it a glow. Adding some grated cucumber to this mixture can cool inflamed skin.

Treats dryness: Neem has amazing moisturising properties. It helps get rid of dry skin without making it too oily, offering a balanced effect. Mix neem powder with a few drops of grape seed oil and apply this to your face.

Delays signs of ageing: The compounds in neem give it its regenerative properties that help the skin fight pathogens below the surface, thus keeping the skin supple and young for a longer time.

Helps treat psoriasis: Neem oil works wonders for psoriasis. The most common problem associated with this disease is dryness and scaling. Neem oil helps get rid of itchiness and irritation. It also keeps the skin moisturised, thus reducing the dryness and scaling.

Eliminates under-eye dark circles: Neem reduces pigmentation and acts as a moisturising agent.

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