Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Neem Oil (plus super speshul white spotted Friesian foals!)

Chrome has changed colors again!

 He now has white spots!!  Too bad I gelded him, I could have made a fortune off of his super speshul (spelled wrong on purpose) fairy Friesian foals!!  Just kidding.  I treated all of his bug bites in Desitin baby rash ointment because the zinc will promote healing and prevent any infections.  :)

I'm trying a new treatment on him to see if I can get rid of this aggravating sweet itch.  I bathed him this morning in betadine and followed it with an iodine/aloe shampoo to help soothe his itchy bites and get him clean (to prevent secondary fungal/bacterial infections).  And then I tried something new called Neem Oil.

Neem oil comes from the cold pressed seeds of a Neem tree which grows in India.  It is said to have antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antiseptic, and antiparasitic properties.  It is gaining in popularity for keeping insects out of gardens and also as a preventative for sweet itch.  Here is some information from this website:  http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/learn/oilprofile/neem_oil.php

Neem Oil has been used medicinally and cosmetically for hundreds of years. Its long term use has made it one of the oldest medicines available today. Used to treat a myriad of diseases and illnesses, Neem Oil is truly a product that has withstood the test of time. The Neem Seed Oil sold by Mountain Rose Herbs is cold-pressed from whole Neem tree nuts (Azadica Indica). It has been blended with 15% organic Olive oil to assist in pourability, as Neem oil alone will solidify at typical room temperatures. It has a very strong odor, dark color, and thick viscosity.
Neem has been used in India since 2000-4000 BC, and was referred to in ancient Indian texts as "the curer of all ailments". All parts of the Neem tree were used - the leaves, twigs, and oil from the nuts. Neem trees are cherished in India, where they are considered good luck. Since India’s Neem trees were used so extensively, Neem trees were affectionately referred to as "the village pharmacy". Even today, Neem is a key herb used in Ayurvedic and Unani medicine.
Medicinal and Cosmetic Use
Neem is antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antiseptic, and antiparasitic. Because of these properties, it is widely deployed in many different toiletries such as soap, toothpaste, hair care products, and skin care products. It is used to treat a wide array of diseases, illnesses, and problems, and is considered a cure-all in India. The oil has moisturizing and regenerative properties, contains Vitamin E, and has essential fatty acids. Scientific research today validates many of the traditional uses of Neem Oil, it is used to treat bacterial, fungal, and viral infections, boost the immune system, and for many specific health problems. It is also used to deter mosquitoes, fleas, flies, ticks, mites, and lice."

There's more information on the web about Neem oil, but that will give you a basic understanding.  There is more information about how Neem oil is used as an antiparasitic on gardens at this website:  http://www.discoverneem.com/neem-oil-insecticide.html

"Some gardeners question the usefulness of neem insecticide.
They sprayed neem oil, and did not see an immediate effect. They probably did not understand how neem oil affects insects.
Neem oil does work, but the way it works is different from other insecticides. Neem is not an instant, knock down, kill everything pesticide.
Neem oil affects insects in many different, ingenious and subtle ways.

How neem oil messes with the insects' brains and bodies

Neem oil has many complex active ingredients. Rather than being simple poisons, those ingredients are similar to the hormones that insects produce. Insects take up the neem oil ingredients just like natural hormones.
Neem enters the system and blocks the real hormones from working properly. Insects "forget" to eat, to mate, or they stop laying eggs. Some forget that they can fly. If eggs are produced they don't hatch, or the larvae don't moult.
Obviously insects that are too confused to eat or breed will not survive. The population eventually plummets, and they disappear. The cycle is broken."

 I decided to give it a try so I bought a small bottle (which should last me twelve days) and I'm going to see if I can tell any difference in the amount of bites he gets and how itchy he is (it is supposed to be soothing to current bites).  I'll still be treating his bites with other medicine like the zinc or carona (an equine medicine, not the beer lol), but this should prevent more bites so hopefully his sores can heal.  :)  Keep your fingers crossed for us!!!

P.S.  I almost forgot.  When I was spraying the Neem Oil (1/2 teaspoon Neem oil, 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup water; put oil and vinegar in spray bottle and shake well, then add water and keep shaking; Continue to shake the entire time it's in the bottle and only make enough for one day!) there was a breeze and it sprayed back on my arms.  I sat outside at dusk for fifteen to twenty minutes (while Chrome fell asleep with his nose on my shoulder) and did not get a SINGLE mosquito bite!!!  That's amazing for me... normally I'm covered in them.  So I'm hoping that's a sign of how well this stuff works.  Also be forewarned Neem oil has a strong..... different (not necessarily bad) odor.  :D


  1. We are keeping fingers crossed!


  2. We are also currently fighting sweet itch so I can't wait to hear more about how things go with the Neem oil. Sure hope you see great results.

  3. Poor guy! I feel so grateful that bre only gets eaten alive during a 2 week hatch of some evil bugs. Her teats and groin is bloodied for 2 weeks and the only thing I found works is drowning her underside in swat. Im going to try the feed trough fly stuff next year but I'm not sure it works for no seeums.

  4. UGH Sweet Itch, it's an evil allergy. I'll be interested in hearing how your Neem works out. My mare wears a Boett Sweet Itch Rug, but this summers heat wave makes it to hot to wear.


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