Sunday, April 5, 2015

Neem Oil and Eczema - It Didn't Work For Me

There's a funny video on Youtube about neem oil and as much as I was warned about its smell, I had to buy some from my local Indian grocery shop. My eczema has been flaring up and I'm willing to try anything.

I had a choose a cheap Indian brand that's featured in the video over a organic UK brand which was four times the price. I could upgrade later if it worked and if it didn't, I didn't lose out on much. 

At home I opened the bottle and took a whiff. It was indeed bad. To me it smells like wet rotting garlic, onions and peanuts. So pungent, I had to put the cap back on straight away. 

Neem oil is lumpy, thick and golden brown. It was almost solidified in the store. I asked my Indian friends to translate the hindi and apparently the label simply just says Neem Oil.

For the treatment of eczema, I diluted the neem oil with another carrier oil before applying. I mixed 40% neem oil with 60% black Jamaican castor oil. I find the the latter works to calm down the itch and inflammation of eczema. 

My eczema felt itchier after I applied it twice a day. I should have diluted the neem oil further but I figure with such a reaction, it's unlikely to give the desired result in smaller quantities. It still stinks after it's mixed. I tried it for a week and there was no improvement until I stopped using it. 

I'm sticking to neat BJCO and recommend it to anyone with eczema. 

With the remaining amount of oil mix (not to waste that lovely BJCO), I've been adding it to Cholesterol Cream, which I use as a deep conditioning co-wash. On it's own, it's a heavy cream so I have to emulsify it well with a little warm water to get it foamy before rinsing. The surfactant in CC, sodium lauryl sulfate washes out before the oil will and I don't want to end up with oily hair.

As for the rest of the neem oil, I think it's best used for keeping bugs out the garden!

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