Psyched On Life
November 2013 newsletter

The Benefits of Neem

If you live in Trinidad or come from Indian descendants  you most likely have heard of the wonderful neem tree. I remember when I was a boy neem was used to help with skin rashes.  Neem leaves were soaked in water and the water was used for bathing. I recently recommended a neem paste for a client  to help soothe and reduce the effects of psoriasis. So far the reports have been encouraging.  Neem is also used in Ayurveda to reduce pitta in the body.
In India,  the neem tree is called “Nature’s drugstore” and “the Divine Tree”, because of its many beneficial uses.  An article on Web MD states,  neem has the following uses:  Neem leaf is used for leprosy,  eye disorders,  bloody nose,  intestinal worms, stomach upset, loss of appetite,  skin ulcers, diseases of the heart and blood vessels (cardiovascular disease), fever,  diabetes,  gum disease (gingivitis), and liver problems. The leaf is also used for birth control and to cause abortions.

The bark is used for malaria, stomach and intestinal ulcers, skin diseases, pain, and fever. The flower is used for reducing bile, controlling phlegm, and treating intestinal worms. The fruit is used for hemorrhoids, intestinal worms, urinary tract disorders, bloody nose, phlegm, eye disorders, diabetes, wounds, and leprosy. Neem twigs are used for cough, asthma, hemorrhoids, intestinal worms, low sperm levels, urinary disorders, and diabetes.
The seed and seed oil are used for leprosy and intestinal worms. They are also used for birth control and to cause abortions. The stem, root bark, and fruit are used as a tonic and astringent.  Some people apply neem directly to the skin to treat head lice,  skin diseases, wounds, and skin ulcers; as a mosquito repellent; and as a skin softener.  Inside the vagina, neem is used for birth control.  Neem is also used as an insecticide.
It is important to seek the advice of your physician or healthcare provider before using any herbal product. 


Fats, the good and bad 

With the holiday season fast approaching there will be a lot of food available to enjoy the celebration. Among the favorites will be fatty foods such as butter, oils, cheese, etc. For quite a while fats have been given a bad name. Most people think that fat  gets you fat. So what’s the truth? 

The NIH December 2011 newsletter on health stated the following: “We need a certain amount of fat in our diets to stay healthy. Fats provide needed energy in the form of calories. Fats help our bodies absorb important vitamins—called fat-soluble vitamins—including vitamins A, D and E. Fats also make foods more flavorful and help us feel full. Fats are especially important for infants and toddlers, because dietary fat contributes to proper growth and development."  The good news is some fats are good for you but you need to know which are the good fats to eat and how much is necessary.

Dr. Mercola explores the topic in more detail in his article on “what you don’t know about fats”. He suggests that the following fats  are good for you.  Olives and olive oil, avocados, raw nuts such as almond and pecans, coconut and coconut oil, palm oil, butter from an organic source, unheated organic nut oils.
Remember to have Omega 3s and stay away from all trans fats and hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils. Also look out for GMO ( genetically modified ) oils. Unfortunately, unless they are organic, most of the soy and corn oils and other products made from soy and corn tend to be GMO. 

Because of the amount of disinformation and misinformation being advertised regarding healthy foods, you need to educate yourself as to what foods are really good for your health in order to stay healthy. Just listening to the commercials promoting health foods is not enough.  Read your labels and ingredient lists carefully when shopping.  Happy shopping!

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David L


I'm a Trini!
Autumn is leaving and winter is approaching but here in the Caribbean it still feels like summer. We just finished celebrating Divali the Indian festival of lights that signifies the triumph of light over darkness. In Trinidad Divali is a public holiday. Many homes and communities light deyas,-  small clay bowls filled with oil. Bamboo is cut and shaped into various forms and lit deyas decorate them.  These can be seen in parks and on streets throughout the island. People come out after dusk to view the lights and partake in delicious Indian food that is readily available. I visited a neighborhood where everyone was being fed by a particular family. I was told that every year this family provides delicious food and drink for all who venture down their street to view the lights.

 In Trinidad you can just drop by a friend's home unexpected and you will be welcomed with a big smile. If it happens to be around the time they are having lunch or dinner you will not be turned away but asked to join in the meal.

 Last evening I attended a yagya ( an Indian prayer meeting). As is customary here, after the meeting everyone was invited to partake of a delicious Indian meal free of charge. The people in Trinidad are so warm and welcoming that it makes me proud to say “I’m a Trini.”

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If you have made consistent efforts to improve your physical and emotional health and still do not feel good we should have a talk. 
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