The importance of knowing how to make Neem oil at home cannot be overemphasized, especially considering the various uses of the product. Apart from its application in hair growth and as an insecticide, Neem oil lightens skin.
This article will provide you with answers with regards to “how to extract Neem oil from leaves at home” and “how to make Neem oil from seeds at home,” just to mention a few. Some of the information that you will learn in this ;article is also applicable if you were wondering how to make Neem oil at home for mosquito repellent, among other uses.
- How to Make Neem Oil at Home
- Frequently Asked Questions
How to Make Neem Oil at Home
Making Neem oil can be done using either the hot or cold process. The procedure for making homemade Neem oil begins by preparing the ingredients, grinding the leaves or seeds, extraction, straining, and then packaging. Usually, it’s used as a Neem oil spray.
Because the spray is more commonly sought after, this article will not dwell on how to make Neem powder.
1. Prepare the Ingredients
You need to prepare for the procedure for manufacturing your Neem oil well before you start so that you don’t interrupt the process. Keep gloves handy so that you protect yourself from any form of irritation. You will also need a spray bottle where you can put your ready-made Neem oil. Also keep a glass jar that has a tight lid handy.
Occasionally you may need about three teaspoons of Neem oil that you would have pressed at home. Put aside at least one gallon of water. Make sure you have about two spoons of any mild detergent of your choice 一 dishwashing liquids are usually good enough. If you use the hot process method, you will need coconut oil.
If you intend to start pressing the Neem oil on your own, be sure to collect healthy leaves and seeds. Wash them using running water and then dry them with a paper towel if natural evaporation tends to take longer. The amounts that we mentioned are provisional. You can increase the quantities based on the amount of Neem oil that you intend to make.
2. Grinding the Leaves or Seeds
The first step in making Neem oil is milling the seeds or leaves that you will use. You can pound the leaves or seeds using the pestle and mortar. However, for the seeds, be sure not to crush the kernels because they are the ones with the oil that you want. Rather aim to split the shells, prior to pouring everything in a basket.
You can then engage in winnowing so that you are left with white oil-rich kernels that you will use in subsequent steps. Remember to pick out any rotten kernels because they are potentially toxic. For the leaves, you can use a small grinder if you can access one. Alternatively, a blender or coffee grinder will do an equally good job.
When Neem leaves are ground to smaller particles, extracting the oil becomes relatively more efficient. This is because the smaller leaf particles are associated with a larger surface area for extracting the oil. Simply put, the smaller the particles, the greater the surface area for the extraction procedure; so creating a powder is more likely to give you better results.
3. Further Process the Kernels
Once you have the healthy kernels from the Neem seeds, continue to grind them using the pestle and mortar until a brown paste that is sticky is formed. Use your hands to knead the paste, while periodically adding small amounts of water as you go. Be sure to use clean water.
After some time of kneading, Neem drops of Neem oil will begin to come out. Continue to knead and squeeze the oil out. Only stop when no more oil comes out no matter how much you squeeze. Expect between 100 and 150 milliliters of Neem oil in every 2.20 pounds (1 kilogram) of seeds.
4. Using Coconut Oil for Hot Extraction
If you are following the hot process procedure, add generous amounts of coconut oil into a large pan or any other appropriate container that you have. Allow the oil to heat up to a point when it’s completely transparent. Cold coconut oil is slightly milky and that appearance disappears as you heat it.
When you grind the leaves, you will get a paste that also has particles of leaves and stems. Add this paste to the hot coconut oil in the pan and immediately start stirring. The mixture will boil while you stir at regular intervals. Be sure to reduce the heat once the mixture starts boiling, although the cooking should continue for additional several minutes.
If the liquid in the leaves assumes a green color, it’s an indicator that you have cooked the leaves long enough. Alternatively, you can just see if the leaf powder has turned brown. If yes, then turn off the heat.
5. Using Coconut Oil for Cold Extraction
If you don’t prefer the hot extraction method with coconut oil, you can replace the previous strep with the procedure that we will describe in this section. Get the ground Neem leaves and put them in a clean glass jar. The size of the jar that you use should be large enough to accommodate the leaves without them filling it to the brim.
Add coconut oil until it covers all the leaves that you put in the glass jar. Tightly cover the jar contents with a lid and leave for not more than two weeks. Keep the jar at room temperature and protect it from exposure to direct sunlight. This is because direct sunlight can destroy the compounds in any matter, and in this case, the Neem oil will become less effective.
6. Using Water for Extraction
You have an option to use water for extracting Neem oil, especially if you intend to use it as a pesticide in your home garden. You can clean up the leaves, alongside the stems, if there is a possibility that you will apply Neem oil for medicinal or cosmetic purposes, otherwise there is no need.
The Neem oil that is extracted using water is also great for use as a repellent against disease-causing pests and insects. Please note that you may not need to grind the leaves in this case. However, place the leaves in a bowl, prior to adding water that is enough to cover them. Place the bowl on low heat and bring the water to a boil.
The moment the boiling begins, lower the heat even more and then let the leaves cook for an extra five minutes, which is long enough for the important compounds in the leaves to be transferred to the water.
Take the bowl off the heat and allow it to cool down. Once the water is no longer hot, you can remove the leaves using your hands. Be sure to squeeze the leaves before discarding them so that you don’t lose any extracted essential oils.
Now it’s time to separate the greenish liquid that you obtained during the hot extraction with coconut oil from the leaf residue. You can use a strainer to carry out this procedure. If you can get hold of a filter paper, that would be great!
Place a strainer on top of a clean glass jar and pour the pan contents onto the strainer. The oil will start dropping into the jar while the leaf residue remains. At that point where no more oil drops are coming through the strainer, squeeze the leaf residue to release any more oil that is retained in it.
Only stop when the residue appears so dry that no oil comes out even after squeezing. If you are using the cold extraction method, open the jar and filter the oil into another clean one when two weeks elapse. Again, you can use a strainer or filter paper.
Note that this method produces less of the essential oil that is found in Neem oil, when compared with the hot processing method. If you use water extraction, you should filter the water that you remain with after removing the leaves.
The essential oils in Neem oil remain intact and effective for up to four months, as long as appropriate conditions are maintained. We recommend that you keep the jar away from direct sunlight and try to use it within the stipulated periods. Make sure the environment around your oil is cool and dry so that the Neem oil spray retains its efficacy.
You could store your Neem essential oils in different containers, depending on the intended use. For example, you can keep concentrated Neem oil in one container and the one that is diluted using different solvents can be in other containers.
You could dilute it with water, or even coconut or olive oil. For a hair serum, some mix the Neem oil with ingredients such as rose water, vitamin E capsule gel, and/or fresh Aloe vera gel.
Frequently Asked Questions
– Is There Any Difference Between Neem Seed Oil and Neem Leaf Oil?
There is a difference between neem seed oil and neem leaf oil. The oil from the seeds have larger amounts of the substance azadirachtin, compared to the leaves. Azadirachtin is the active substance used against various pests, as it interferes with their feeding abilities and hormone systems.
Well done for taking time to equip yourself with a wealth of knowledge, with regard to making your own Neem oil. Please, check the following reminders before you go:
- You can extract Neem oil from seed or leaves.
- You can use the hot or method of extracting Neem oil.
- You can also use water or coconut as the solvent for extracting the Neem oil.
- Be sure to store the Neem oil at room temperature and away from direct sunlight.
If you have been wondering how to make Neem oil with olive oil, follow the same procedure as with the coconut oil. Enjoy the fun of making your own Neem oil spray!
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