What is Neem Tree?
The Botanical name of the Neem Tree is “Azadirachta indica A. Juss”, also known as “Margosa” in common English.
The Neem tree belongs to the family Meliaceae which is found in abundance in tropical and semitropical regions like India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal.
It is an evergreen, fast-growing tree that holds a great strength and vitality: it is able to thrive in a wide variety of climates and environmental conditions and overcome deficiencies of the soil or the climate.
The fruit are green drupes, they have the size of a small olive or grape and turn golden yellow when ripe (between June & August) and contain 10-30% oil
What is neem Oil?
Neem Oil is a vegetable oil pressed from the fruits and seeds of the neem tree.
It is the main commercial product of Neem, mostly used in organic farming as a pest control, biopesticide and health remedies.
Why does Neem Oil have different colors?
The color varies: it can be golden yellow, yellowish brown, reddish brown, dark brown, greenish brown or bright red.
It depends on the number of days the Neem is soaked in water.
What is cold pressed Neem Oil? How is it superior to ordinary Neem Oil?
The Traditional Indian way of processing Neem Oil uses cold-pressed extraction.
The seed kernels are crushed both through cold pressing or through a process incorporating temperature controls between 40°C and 50°C. This is why it is called cold pressed neem oil.
Neem seed oil can also be obtained via a non-natural process called solvent extraction.
Sometimes the oil is extracted from the remaining neem cake, using hexane. This solvent-extracted neem oil is of a lower quality as compared to the standard cold pressed neem oil and is mostly used for soap manufacturing.
What makes Neemo a high-quality Neem Oil?
Only high-quality seed kernels are selected. The oil is extracted via a natural cold extraction traditional process.
No chemical solvents are added in order to preserve many vital organic chemical and ingredients and retain a high Azadirachtin content. It is double filtered after extraction to remove any suspended materials. Every batch is tested.
How to ensure you are buying high quality Neem Oil?
It is best to ensure you buy organic Neem Oil that has been extracted through a natural cold-pressed process, without chemicals and which contains a high level of Azadirachtin.
What is the composition of Neem Oil?
Neem Oil contains mainly triglycerides as well as many triterpenoid compounds, which are responsible for the bitter taste.
- *Azadirachtin is the most well-known and studied triterpenoid, Azadirachtin A & B
- *Nimbin is another triterpenoid which has been credited with some of neem oil’s properties as an antiseptic, antifungal, antipyretic and antihistamine.
- *Nimbidin, Salaninin, Salannol
- *Several sterols, including campesterol, beta-sitosterol, and stigmasterol.
- *Omega-3-6-9, antioxydants
- *Fatty acids: Palmitic acid, Stearic acid, Palmitoleic acid
- *Vitamin E & C
What is Azadirachtin?
Azadirachtin is the most prominent component of a series of limonoids (tetranortriterpenoids) present in the seed kernels of neem.
It is known to affect over 600 insect species by affecting their growth, development, behavior, reproduction and metamorphosis.
– It acts as a:
* Insect repellent: broad spectrum biopesticide for over 600 species of pests: Aphids, Armyworms, Beetles, Bollworms, Borers, Caterpillars, Control Spider Mites Cutworms, Flies, Fruit-worm, Leaf folders, Leaf miners, Leafhoppers, Lice, Maggots, Mealy bugs, Mites, Nematodes, Scale, Termites, Ticks, Thrips, White flies, etc.
* Antifeedant, feeding deterrent.
* Oviposition deterrent, Insect reproduction inhibitor, anti-fertility: disrupts reproduction, sterilizes insect reproductive organs, reduces egg laying capacity & hatchability
* Growth inhibitor.
-* Crop Protector by regulating the development of disease (rots, mildews, rusts, blights, botrytis, scab, leaf spots, etc.) and fungi.
In which products do we find Neem Oil?
Components of Neem Oil can be found in many products today such as cosmetics, well-being products, toothpaste, soaps, pet shampoos, cleaning products, insect repellents, pesticides.
Neem oil can be formulated into granules, dust, powders or emulsifiable concentrates.
Is the strong smell of Neem Oil normal?
Yes, the smell is rather strong, it combines the smells of peanut, garlic and sulfur.
The smell of Neem Oil is strong, do you have any solutions?
You can add essential oils to your preparation in order to mask the smell of Neem oil.
Is Neem Oil safe for the environment?
Neem Oil and its Azadirachtin component are biodegradable. There is no harmful residue.
Azadirachtin is rapidly broken down. Microbes and light break it down in soil, water and on plants.
The half-life of Azadirachtin in soil ranges from 3 – 44 days. In water, the half-life ranges from 48 minutes to 4 days. It also rapidly breaks down on plant leaves; the half-life is 1 – 2.5 days.
The remaining components of Neem Oil are broken down by microbes in most soil and water environments.
Neem Oil helps soil regeneration, increases soil productivity, makes plants stronger, is not harmful for non-target organisms.
Why Neem Oil is becoming popular in Agriculture and farming?
The world is looking for alternatives to chemical pesticides and insecticides due to its long-lasting hazardous effects on human health and environment. Organic farming is a step towards that.
Neem Oil has been used in India from ancient times as organic pesticides because it is biodegradable, non-toxic, safe for humans and non-target organisms.
No residue: Neem Oil based pesticide are residue free.
Economical: Contrary to most beliefs, neem-oil based pesticides are very economical.
Resistance: Neem consists of several compounds hence development of resistance is impossible.
Effective: Neem pesticides are very effective on eggs laying whilst chemical pesticides are not.
Broad Spectrum: Neem Oil based pesticides are effective against many insects and pests.
It works on Aphids, Armyworms, Beetles, Bollworms, Borers, Caterpillers, Fruitworms, leaf folders, Leaf miners, Leafhoppers, Scale, Thrips, Mealy bugs, Cutworms, Flies, Maggots White flies, etc.
Soil regenerator and fertilizer.
Seedlings can absorb and accumulate the neem compounds to make the whole plant pest resistant.
Compatibility with synthetic pesticides: Neem Oil is compatible with synthetic pesticides so that it can be integrated into pest management (IPM):
- It can be mixed with other synthetic pesticides and enhances their action.
- None or lesser quantity of synthetic pesticides needs to be used, thereby reducing the environmental impact.
Can be mixed with chemical pesticides
. No insect resistance
. It regenerates soil power and increases its productivity
. It is more economical than chemical treatments
How does Neem oil work as a pesticide?
As an insect repellent:
The Azadirachtin, present in Neem Oil is the most active component for repelling and killing pests.
As an insect growth regulator:
Neem Oil has a unique property, it works on juvenile hormones. Larvae cannot enter the pupal stage and ultimately die. If the concentration of Azadirachtin is not sufficient, some larva can enter the pupal stage but will die at this stage. And if the concentration is even smaller, some will enter adulthood but will be 100 % malformed and 100% sterile.
As a feeding deterrent:
The most important property of Neem is feeding deterrence.
Azadirachtin repel and reduce the feeding of nematodes. Other components of Neem Oil kill insects by hindering their ability to feed. When an insect larva sits on a leaf, it gets hungry and wants to feed on it. If the leaves are treated, the presence of Azadirachtin, Salanin and Melandriol produce a sensation similar to a vomiting sensation, preventing the insect to feed. Its ability to swallow is also blocked.
Affects insect digestion, excretion and locomotion
As an ovipositional deterrent and reproductive inhibitor
– It reduces insect egg laying capacity
– It reduces egg hatchability
– It disrupts the insect reproduction system and sterilizes insect reproductive organs
Why pests and insects are not resistant to Neem Oil?
Neem Oil contains multiple active ingredients, in different concentrations that act simultaneously. A lot of synthetic pesticides are single chemical compounds and therefore lead to easy resistance.
The components of Neem Oil act simultaneously and disrupt MFO induction (mixed function oxidase) in many insects thus making development of resistance virtually impossible for pests and insects.
Does Neem Oil work as a fungicide?
As a fungicide, neem oil is mainly used as a preventative and when disease is just starting to show. It coats the leaf surface which in turn prevents the germination of the fungal spores. Neem oil is effective against rots, mildews, rusts, scab, leaf spot and blights.