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How Is Neem Oil Made?

This week we're doing a run down on how our secret sauce - Neem Oil - is made. But before you gettoo excited, we're keeping it pretty generalised. Just enough for you to understand this miracle product a little more, but not so much you'll be whipping up a batch in the bathtub anytime soon.

Neem trees, scientifically known asAzadirachta indica, predominantly grow in tropical and semi-tropical regions, with India being the primary source. It's a resilient tree, capable of thriving in less fertile soils and demanding weather conditions. The neem tree's leaves, seeds, and bark can all be utilised, but it's the seeds that yield the highest concentration of oil.

The process of making neem oil commences with the collection of ripe neem fruits, which are then left to dry naturally in the sun. Once sufficiently dry, the outer layer of the fruit is removed to reveal the seed. Each seed contains a kernel, which is the valuable part that ultimately gets turned into oil.

To extract the oil, the kernels are crushed and pressed, releasing the oil, a method known as cold pressing. This method retains the highest amount of beneficial compounds, ensuring the oil's potency. Alternatively, some producers use a solvent extraction method, which can yield a higher amount of oil but may also include solvents' residue.

Once extracted, the oil undergoes a filtration process to remove any remaining solids, resulting in a clear, amber-coloured liquid. This oil is rich in various compounds, including azadirachtin, which gives neem oil its potent properties. The resulting oil is then ready for use in various applications, from plant care to skincare, proving why the neem tree is often referred to as a "one tree pharmacy".

Pure neem oil is then stored and blended with water when ready to be used. When mixing pure neem and water, the shelf life of the active ingredients in the neem is about 4 days. In our neem oil, we add plant-based oils to extend that shelf-life to 18months, so you'll have plenty of time to keep on shining.

Neem oil has earned an esteemed reputation in the world of horticulture, thanks to its ability to act as a natural pesticide,fungicide, and miticide (Ourneem oil is not registered as a pesticide and therefor we cannot market it as such. If it happens to keep pests away, well.... that's just a coincidence). Gardeners and plant enthusiasts often reach for neem oil as an eco-friendly alternative to synthetic pesticides, championing its ability to keep common pests at bay, without causing harm to the environment or beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies.

When used on indoor plants, neem oil can control pests such as aphids, mites, scale, and whiteflies. It works by disrupting the life cycle of these pests, preventing them from growing and breeding, thereby reducing their population over time. Moreover, neem oil is also effective against a variety of fungal infections that commonly plague indoor plants, such as powdery mildew and black spot.

Apart from its pesticidal properties, neem oil can also enhance the overall health and vitality of plants. When applied to the soil, the compounds in neem oil can help improve soil health by reducing nematodes and other soil-borne diseases. This results in stronger, more robust plant growth. Additionally, neem oil can also be used as a leaf shine, enhancing the aesthetic appeal of indoor plants.

Despite its potent properties, neem oil is safe to use and will not harm pets or humans. It also breaks down naturally, leaving no harmful residue in the environment. However, like any gardening tool, it is important to use neem oil appropriately. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions and apply in the correct dosage to ensure optimal results.

Neem oil is undoubtedly a gift from nature, a versatile solution that packs a powerful punch in plant care. Its ability to deter pests and fungal infections, coupled with its contribution to improving soil health and plant vitality, makes it an invaluable addition to any gardener's arsenal. It's eco-friendly, safe, and effective, standing as a testament to the incredible benefits that can be derived from nature's bounty.  Just remember to use it responsibly, following the instructions given, and enjoy the journey of nurturing your plants with this 'one tree pharmacy'. And if you're keen to know more, we've covered more on neem oil in our education pages here.



And remember...our neem oilis not registered as a pesticide and therefor we cannot market it as such. If it happens to keep pests away, well, that's just a coincidence


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