Skin/Coat - Neem
The Neem tree is an evergreen tree indigenous to India. Neem oil is pressed from the seeds of the tree - Pro-Equine supplies only 100% cold-pressed Neem oil. In India, Neem is most commonly used to control insects and mites, and for minor wound care.
Neem oil contains vitamin E and many essential amino acids which help restore moisture and elasticity to the skin. It can therefore be used on dry and sensitive skin and for wound care. On wounds its collagen properties promote healthy, new skin (so Neem should not be used on puncture wounds where the wound can be covered over too quickly) and reduce scar tissue. Neem also encourages healthy hair re-growth.
Neem oil has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Neem oil has repellent properties and has been scientifically tested for use against midges.The University of Edinburgh1 evaluated Neem oilfor “repellent and anti-feedant activity” against the biting midge Culicoides impunctatus (responsible for sweet-itch) and concluded that blood-feeding by the midge was “significantly reduced by topical applications of Neem oil”.
Neem can be used to repel flies and midges, to prevent and treat sweet-itch, to prevent and treat mud fever, against lice and mites, for ringworm, wound healing, scar reduction and hair re-growth. Neem oil can be used neat or can be diluted (to make a rinse solution or spray) by adding a small amount of a mild detergent along with water. A dilution of at least 1 part Neem to 20 parts water is recommended for a fly spray.
Using Neem Oil for Sweet-Itch
Neem Oil should be used to prevent midges biting and causing sweet-itch. Once sweet-itch has occurred, Neem Oil can be applied neat to the worst affected areas. Neem prevents further biting from the midges, deeply moisturises, soothes and repairs the skin, and encourages rapid hair re-growth.
Using Neem Oil for Mud Fever
Mud fever usually occurs during the wet winter months and is principally caused by the bacterium dermatophilus congolensis. Signs of mud fever are inflammation of the skin, leg swelling, cracked skin, weeping, hair falling out and scabs. Neem oil should be rubbed directly on the infected area up to twice a day to soften and remove the scabs (without the need for shampooing) but also to relieve the pain as Neem oil contains an anti-inflammatory. Generous application of Neem oil (or Pro-Equine Mud Bug Buster) before turning out will create a barrier to help prevent further re-infection.
1Toward development of neem-based repellents against the Scottish Highland biting midge Culicoides impunctatus. Blackwell A, Evans KA, Strang RH, Cole M. Med Vet Entomol 2004 Dec;18(4):449-52.