What is neem oil and why is it in our toothpaste? - truthpaste
April 20, 2020

What is neem oil and why is it in our toothpaste?

By Adam Bastock

Neem Oil

Latin name: Azadirachta Indica

As well as supporting dental health in truthpaste Original, neem oil has been used for centuries around the world for many uses. Also known as the nim tree, the rather romantic sounding Indian Lilac. Our personal favourite is the KiSwahili name mwarobaini meaning ‘of forty’ due to the common East African belief it can cure 40 diseases.

Where is neem from?

 Typically found in tropical regions, the Neem Tree is native to India, although can be found in many parts of Africa and the Middle East. Part of the mahogany family, the Neem tree is known for growing very quickly in the right conditions. Our neem seed essential oil is from India, just in case you were wondering! 


What is neem used for?

Ayurvedic practitioners have used Neem oil historically in any number of ways. It has been referenced in texts as early as 2000BCE by Charake, and in 1500BCE by Sushruta. (National Research Council 1992).
As well as the essential oil extracted from an olive-like fruit (which is what we use in truthpaste), the flowers, seeds, shoots, bark, roots, sap, gum and twigs can be used. We love the sheer versatility of the Neem tree!
Neem is used in many different industries including fuel, medicine and farming.  It is particularly used in cosmetics for healthy skin and hair, but in other industries the leaves, oil and seed husks are useful as fuel. The oil used in lamps can also act as an insect repellent! It is used as a lubricant in rural India, and the gum is used in the textile industry and as a glue. 


Neem toothpaste 

For centuries, communities in India, Africa and the Middle East have used Neem twigs as a toothbrush. First by chewing on them and then splitting the twig to use it to clean the tongue.

Research has shown that Neem can help reduce the amount of plaque buildup on teeth as well as reducing gingivitis, a great natural ingredient for dental health!


But truthfully:

Neem is quite bitter in smell (and taste!).
Avoid using Neem if you are, or suspect you may be pregnant. 
As with many essential oils, neem can be harmful to children under 7. We always advise to keep it well out of their reach.


G. Bodeker, G. Burford, J. Chamberlain and K.K.S Bhat (2001) Medicinal potential of Azadirachta indica and Acacia nilotica. International Forestry Review 3(4).




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