For many growing summer vegetables and flowers is a fun and healthy hobby. However, it can be hard to naturally keep insects and harmful mold and bacteria out of the garden. They same can be said for annoying mosquitoes and bugs while you are trying to spend some rejuvenating time outdoors. This is especially important this season when there is growing alarm about the spread of infections from mosquito bites.
The good news is there are a lot of natural options to keep pesky insects away from you and your favorite garden plants. One ingredient to keep an eye on is Neem Oil, which is quite effective at repelling unwanted pests from not only your body but also your garden.
Neem oil comes from the fruit and seeds of the tropical neem tree. The Global Healing Center traces Neem Oil usage back to ancient eastern Indians who revered the oil as a natural method of repelling insects. They credit neem juice for containing more than 50 natural insecticides. That’s a lot of power for one plant!
How does Neem oil work?
According to the National Garden Association Neem Oil and Neem-based products are natural fungicides and used as a bio-pesticide for organic farming. Neem, it is said, controls black spot, powdery mildew, anthracnose, fungal diseases and repels lots of different pests such as the mealy bug, beet armyworm, aphids, cabbage worm, nematodes, the Japanese beetle, as well as household buggers like ants, bedbugs, cockroaches, horseflies, sand flies, snails, termites and mosquitoes.
The real benefit is that while Neem is great at keeping away that long list of insects and plant enemies, it is also safe for humans, pets, birds and some beneficial insects like lady bugs and honeybees.
The National Garden Association recommends using 100% pure Neem Oil for the best results rather than using refined Neem extracts. The key is retaining concentrations of Azadirachtin, the ingredient that keep critters away. Pure Neem Oil has a pungent scent that is described as smelling like garlic or Sulfur, but that “aroma” is part of its effectiveness.
How to use Neem Oil on plants
In the garden, use pure Neem Oil directly on the leaves of plants, or go DIY and make your own spray to mist directly on plants. Don’t worry about trying to mask the scent for outdoors.
An easy recipe from The Global Healing Center suggests adding a ½ ounce of high quality Neem Oil plus a ½ teaspoon of a mild organic liquid soap to 2 quarts of warm water. Add mixture into a spray bottle and use on plants right away. Depending on the insects or plant diseases you are trying to fight off, you may need to increase the concentration of Neem Oil.
Another tip to keep in mind, it won’t work automatically. You may have to wait for a week before seeing results. Take care when spraying plants that are particularly sensitive. If you want to be proactive, try spraying plants every 2-3 weeks. It is best to spray either early in the morning or in the late afternoon to avoid those beneficial insects you want to keep around.
Source Vitál Apothecary Neem Oil (Cold Pressed)
We recently added 100% all natural, cold pressed Neem oil to our line of botanical carrier oils. In addition to its power at repelling insects it is also a source of Vitamin C, beta-carotene and glycerides.
It has been shown to also improve the appearance of rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, rashes, burns and acne. Our suggestion
As with most essential oils, we suggest not using undiluted Neem oil directly on the skin. Our suggestion is to contain no more than 30% of Neem oil for skin formulas. Patch test on the skin before use just to make sure there are no reactions.
To purchase Source Vitál Neem Oil click here or call us at 1-800-880-6457.
Do not use Neem oil if you are pregnant or trying to conceive (including men). Neem is traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine as a contraceptive.
As always, if you are pregnant, have epilepsy, fever, heart disease, cancer, liver issues or any other serious illness, consult a medical professional before using Neem Oil or any essential oil.
Though the EPA has categorized Neem as Generally Recognized as Safe for use as a pesticide on food products, pure Neem Oil should never be ingested internally. It is safe for external use only.
Always keep oils out of the reach of children.
For information about the Zika Virus, including information on how to prevent its spread, visit the Centers for Disease Control and prevention at: https://www.cdc.gov/zika/about/questions.html
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lindsey Pope is a content contributor at Source Vitál Apothecary. She is a self-proclaimed product junkie who loves lotions, potions, elixirs and all things that make you look and feel great. Lindsey writes about new products, seasonal promotions and the latest industry trends.