Neem oil is a vegetable oil pressed from the fruits and seeds of the Neem tree (Azadirachta Indica). It’s a tree native to the Indian subcontinent, but it has been introduced to many other regions in the tropics. It’s mostly used in organic farming (as a natural pesticide) and as medicine.
Neem has a strong odor that reminds of peanut and garlic and it has a rather bitter taste. Neem oil can also be made from the leaves of the Neem tree, which is considered a milder and safer oil than the oil pressed from the seeds and fruits.
Neem as a massage oil is cooling in nature and is used to balance excess Pitta and Kapha Doshas. It’s also typically used to soothe and lubricate the skin, calm irritations and heat of the skin, promote health of nails, hair, and scalp, stimulate a healthy digestion, and maintain a proper body temperature.
Because of its strong cooling properties it may sometimes aggravate Vata Dosha. If the latter is the case one can mix Neem oil with additional Vata balancing herbs or Sesame oil, to reduce excess Vata Dosha effects.