Did you know that virtually every part of the neem tree is useful?
Bark, resin, seed, wood, leaf, flower and stem are key ingredients in many hair care, dental hygiene and cosmetic products. You can find neem on the ingredient list of many pet care products too! Neem tree branches are even used as toothbrushes in subtropical regions where this easy to grow tree grows wild. But most of us think of neem as a natural agricultural pest care product.
Let's learn why!
Neem is chalk full of antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti inflammatory properties.The list of practical uses this resourceful tree provides is long, but today let’s just focus on one: neem as a key ingredient in our plant care tonics.
On its own, neem oil is a good treatment for plant pests, but it has a few drawbacks. It has a strong smell many people find unappealing and then there's the emulsification issue, oily and gloppy when mixed with water. In our years of plant care and urban farming, spraying neem oil was never a pleasant experience.
We changed all of that!
Our tonics contain the world's only whole plant extract of leaf, bark, and seed of the neem tree. We then infuse those extracts with fresh aloe vera leaf, kelp, live sprouts and mineral rich herbs like comfrey and stinging nettle, and then the magic really happens, we emulsify it with our very own soapnut tonic! This process not only emulsifies the oils, but it provides another layer of pest care by triggering the plant's own natural defense system.
- Neem is an insect repellent, insects are not attracted to your plants once applied.
- Neem is a hormone disruptor, pests do not reproduce effectively when in contact with neem.
- Neem is an appetite suppressant, insects who have already set up homes on your plants no longer thrive to effectively grow to reproduce or spread.
- Neem is technically edible making it perfectly safe to apply up until the day you harvest from your garden.
- Neem doesn’t pollute our streams or rivers like synthetic fertilizers and insecticides, instead it actually feeds the earth with healthy, soil boosting nutrients!
Is neem safe for pollinators?
Did you know there is such a thing as neem honey?
Neem has been getting a bad wrap for harming beneficials like butterflies and bees. The problem with these accusations is that the studies have been done on products like Azamax, which is pure azadirachtin (the active compound in neem) not the actual cold pressed oil that we infuse into our tonics. Instead of harming pollinators, with proper use, our tonics actually create healthier, pest free plants that can better serve pollinators.
Here’s the real question, do we ever want to spray anything, even plain water, when butterflies and bees are on and around the plants? Do we want to spray bees with olive oil, or any oil for that matter? Of course not!
The residue from our sprays are oxidized and evaporate in less than 24 hours, so even if a bee gets some overspray or lands on the leaf after application, there is no harm done. We never spray when pollinators are active, and never aim for butterflies or beneficials, no matter what we're spraying.
By default our tonics make it easy to avoid spraying pollinators as we recommend applying out of direct sunlight and heat, which is when bees and butterflies are active. Instead we recommend applying Sacred Leaf & Sacred Soil during the the evening hours when pollinator go to their home and rest.
Hopefully the can bring peace of mind. We are honored to share this knowledge and thoughtful tonics with you all as the Sacred Elements community continues to expand, grow and thrive! Happy growing to you all.
Be well friends! With love,
Karina and Team SE