Neem oil is pressed from the seed of the neem tree (Azadiracta indica Juss). This tree, native to eastern India and Burma, is known by several names including “village pharmacy”, “cornucopia”, “wonder tree”, and “the veritable gold mine”. Neem leaves, stems, seeds and oil have been used for medicinal and other purposes in India for more than 4,000 years. In fact, its Sanskrit name, arishta, means “reliever of sickness”.
Natural Leaf Polish
Neem oil leaves a natural shine on leaves without clogging stomata that leaves need to take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen and water vapor essential to the basic functioning of the photosynthesis process. Many of the glossy leaf polishes, which give an unnatural appearance to leaves, actually interfere with these natural transpiration processes.
Directions For Use
Mix 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of neem oil per quart of water (1 to 1 1/2 oz per gallon) to make a spray mix. Add about 1/4 to 1/2 this amount of mild dishwashing liquid soap or other surfactant to get the oil to emulsify in water. Warm or hot tap water will make this process easier. Put this mixture in a trigger spray bottle or other sprayer, shaking well before each use to get the oil in suspension. Since many find the smell of neem oil unpleasant, vanilla extract or peppermint oil can be used to mask the scent. You may also use Dr. Bronner’s Soap® with peppermint oil already mixed to accomplish both aims, emulsifying and masking the scent.
Spray on leaves until the mixture runs off to wash dust and dirt from leaves. Then allow the mixture to dry leaving a natural appearing semi gloss look on the leaves. Leaves may be cleaned and polished in this manner as often as twice a month if necessary.
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