Neem oil is a vegetable oil pressed from the fruits and seeds of the neem (Azadirachta indica), known as the “Village Pharmacy” or the “Tree For Solving Global Problems”, the neem tree is widely spread in West Africa since the early 1960’s, especially in Ghana where it is known as the “Independence Tree”.
* Collection of fruits/seeds: The women collect the ripe seeds from the tree.
* Cleaning, drying and sorting of seeds: The ripe fruits and seeds collected are cleaned by washing in ordinary water and rubbing with the palms to remove the skin of the fruits. The cleaned seeds are then dried by spreading in the sun to reduce the moisture content of the seeds. This is followed by removing unwanted materials such as stones and dirt by hand picking.
* Shelling of seed and winnowing: Shelling of seeds to obtain clean kernel is carried out using grinding stones as shown below and winnowing is achieved by holding baskets filled with mixture of seeds and shells at arm’s length and gradually emptying them. If there is strong wind, the pieces of shell will be blown away, if not, the operation is repeated many times.Healthy.
* Crushing the kernels: Crushing of kernel to reduce size is normally done by women using grinding stones or using mortar and pestle.
Sieving of ground neem seed to obtain fine particles: Sieving is carried out using the traditional sieve to get fine particles.
* Extraction of oil: Oil extraction is carried out by stirring the fine particles with a wooden stick in a bowl and gradually adding hot water (90 degrees Celsius). We then stir to form dough.
* Kneading and pressing to extract oil: After the formation of dough, it is pressed using the hands on a grinding stone until the oil starts gushing out. The oil is then scooped off into an empty dried container.
Neem oil is a fantastic skin care ingredient:
* Neem relieves dry skin.
* It soothes itchiness, redness and irritation.
* It improves general skin health and immunity, combating bacterial infections, as in acne, boils and ulcers.
One of the top neem benefits is that it lets you avoid harsh chemicals and nasty insecticides when treating conditions like;
* Head lice and more.
* Used as hair oil neem promotes shiny, healthy hair, combats dryness, prevents premature greying and may even help with some forms of hair loss.
Neem oil also makes a great nail oil. No more brittle nails and no more nail fungus.
The biggest benefit of neem oil is that it is good for your general health, the condition of your skin and body, and your immune system. So whether you use it to fight some skin condition, or just to prevent any skin related problems in the first place, you are doing yourself something good.