Neem For Weight Loss and Psoriasis
NOTE: Neem must NOT be consumed by Pregnant/Trying to Conceive Women or by Children!! However there are topical solutions and personal care solutions you can use.
Read time: average 7 minutes
How Eating Neem Leaves Helped Me Cut out The Soda and Sweets and Put Me On The Road To Better Health
Mmmm. Mountain Dew. My favorite soda since I was 13.
Do you know there’s 46g of sugar in a 12oz bottle? And that bottle is 170 calories?
This is a big no-no when calorie counting. Too much of it also does bad things to your glucose levels. Trust me, I know. But it’s just so yummy, and bubbly and it goes straight to my head and probably my thighs.
Every time I try to improve my eating habits, I’ve tried to cut the soda out, but I just couldn’t. Pizza, burgers, fries, no problem. But my Mountain Dew and sugary snacks, I had to have a hit at least twice a day. Then night time comes around, the kids pull out the Oreos and how can I not join them? It’s a before bedtime tradition. Another thing that went to my thighs, probably the cause of my love handles too.
Love handles, who came up with that bloody name anyway? I certainly don’t love having handles of fat hanging out below my bra. Sheesh.
How being over weight affected my health
On November 20, 2008, I was diagnosed with psoriasis and anemia. My doc was also complaining of my glucose levels being borderline and “haven’t you learned anything from the gestational diabetes mam?’
Called me Mam. Witch. Who refers to a 32 year old as mam?
Within a few days I had my first dermatologist appointment, where he said, “no one knows what causes psoriasis, could be stress and weight gain in your case. Try losing a few pounds and see how that helps”. He then gave me some sample shampoos and creams because my crappy insurance wouldn’t cover anything he would prescribe.
So I did what any computer savvy chic would do (chic, not computer savvy mam), I started researching all possible causes for psoriasis.
What stuck with me was that there was a possible link between psoriasis, anemia, obesity, and diabetes.
Neem Leaves For Weight Loss and Your Health
Now my husband is from a village in Guyana in South America. He grew up eating healthy and with the belief that using natural remedies to give you the runs detox the system was the way to go. He’s way bloody healthier than me. Anyway, I turned to him for his input on all the natural remedies I came across. When I said neem leaves, he said “that’s it! that’s what you need.”
Neem trees are native to Guyana and used by villagers to help with several ailments. This is a tradition brought over from India by the indentured laborers. Lucky for me, in NYC, there are many Guyanese run Food Markets and one of the local shops imports the Neem Leaves. Sadly they only have it seasonally so while my grocer was waiting on a shipment, I decided to order Fresh Neem Leaf from Neem Tree Farms. They ship it fresh. It was excellent.
Basically because I had to refuse it. Not because I had a ton of weight to lose. It was because I’d become somewhat allergic to it. Every time I tried to have something sugary, an Oreo, a sip of Mountain Dew, a cream puff, chocolate, my tongue would start to itch. A glass of water would stop it, but if I tried again, my tongue would itch.
So, no, it wasn’t actually me being all brave and strong and denying myself for the good of my health, it was actually my body rejecting it, saying “no, i don’t want that crap in me”.
It was all thanks to the neem leaves I was eating on a daily basis (much more on this in the following paragraphs, including a consumption warning).
In addition to refusing sweets, I, of course, lost weight. Within 2 months I had lost 7lbs.
But, that’s not all folks.
When I went back for blood work, my glucose was normal and I was no longer anemic. Due to the neem leaves or the weight loss? I’m not sure. I’m told neem is a natural blood purifier which would explain why my body rejects anything sweet.
But wait! There’s more.
Unexpected Health Changes From Using The Neem Leaves
My constant heartburn, gone. I could eat/drink anything at anytime.
I didn’t get sick all winter. When everyone at work was dying from the flu, when the kids and my mom had the flu, I was fine. Me! The one who always gets sick in winter, when seasons change, when in contact with anyone with a cold (my immune system has always been weak since I was a child). My employer also commented on it. After almost 8 years, this was the first year I wasn’t out sick during the winter.
Because of this I made my tweens eat the neem leaves, but they complained of the bad taste, so got them Supercritical Neem Extract and when all the kids in school were suffering from the flu, mine were fine and dandy.
Oh! Know that icky feeling in your mouth that you get in the mornings when you’ve been up all night blogging and drinking coffee with creamer? That coating on your tongue. Gone. My mouth was super clean every morning. Side note, hubby use to suffer from gingivitis. No more. Gone. He uses Peppermint Toothpaste made from neem and other extracts.
And the psoriasis? Well, it did go into remission for a little bit on my skin but my scalp just kept getting worse.
All this was during the months of December to April.
So I decided to do some extended research on the neem leaves because my legs look like I’m a burn victim and my arms are quickly following. Here’s what I learned.
Bit of History (Background) on Neem
Neem has a centuries-old reputation as a health agent and a majority of Ayurvedic Medicine remedies includes the use of neem. Every part of the tree – the bark, leaves, twigs, roots, fruit and seeds – has unique uses. I’ve read that the world’s oldest books, the Vedas, which is said to be over 5000 years old, explains the many uses of neem in Ayurveda Medicine. In India, where it’s said to originate, the people refer to neem as the “Village Pharmacy” and tout that at least 40 ailments can be trated successfully with neem. Today, the neem tree can be found growing in Asia, Africa, Central and South Americas, and plantations in the US and Australia. It can even be grown at home.
In Ayurveda Medicine Neem is used for:
The oil from the seeds are a main ingredient in ointments to treat itchy/irritated skin, dry skin and acne.
The leaves boost the immune system, improves liver function, purifies the blood and supports healthier digestive and circulatory systems.
The leaves combined with the bark are said to treat ulcers, diabetes and digestive problems.
The fruit is used to create soaps and shampoos for skin & hair care.
The bark, twigs and roots are used for oral care to combat gum disease and gingivitis.
This is just the basics of what I’ve found on-line from non-commercial websites.
There are quite a few manufacturers of products made of neem and websites are a plenty.
Are the remedies real? Personally I did experience changes.
There’s also quite a bit of information available.
For further info, I’d suggest the Neem Foundation.
Every article I’ve read states plainly: Pregnant Women/Women Try to Conceive and Small Children must NOT consume Neem, whether it be in raw form or in vitamin form.
I do not recommend or suggest in anyway that sufferers of any kind use neem to substitute their prescribed meds. I’m not a doctor. Just a broke mom looking for an inexpensive and non-chemical way to heal thyself. I, in no way, suggest anyone else trying this without further research and talking to your doctor or a homeopath. I spoke with mine, who happens to be Indian, she said I was nuts but was surprised when my blood tests were back. The use of neem is a personal choice. Many vitamins are available guaranteeing that consumption is safe, except for Pregnant Women and Children. I’ve found info on why that is. it’s just so bloody scientific it went over my head.
ONLY NEEM LEAVES and VITAMINS are for consumption. NOT THE SEEDS, BARK, ROOTS OR PRODUCTS CREATED FROM SUCH.
By the way, the leaves, are really freakin’ bitter! Hubby thought I couldn’t eat them and is a big baby cause when I can sit and chew 6 to 10 leaves, he can’t handle more than 3.
When starting neem use, start with 2 or 3 leaves a day or what’s prescribed on the vitamin bottle.
New Neem Leaves Regimen
Neem Oil and Aloe Vera Soap really relieves the itching. No scratch marks in weeks. My skin’s still breaking out, lots of red spots now spreading to my arms, but I believe because of the soap it’s not itching as badly so no scratches or more importantly, no infected bleeding sores. Have been using my one bar everyday for the past 4 weeks. Ingredients: Coconut oil, sodium hydroxide, organic fresh neem leaf extract, fresh organic aloe vera gel, cold-pressed neem oil and seasalt.
Neem & Emu Salve does a great job of softening the patches of rough scaly buildup. I used it everyday for a week on those areas (it’s a tiny jar approx 2 oz for $10.99/3 jars are $26.99 at this time) and it softened the rough scaly psoriasis patches. Since then, my skin still dries up quickly, but those once rough patches are now as dry as the rest of my skin but no scale build up. I feel this is a great product for softening those dry patches. I also feel depending on your budget, you may only want to use it for the rough patches and not your whole body. Ingredients: coconut oil infused with organic aloe vera, cold-pressed neem oil, emu oil, beeswax, Vitamin E.
I’m still looking for an affordable all-over body cream to hydrate my skin. I’ve tried Aveeno, Eucerin and Vaseline Intensive Care lotions. I’s appreciate any suggestions.
UPDATE: As of 11/24/2010, I am now affiliated with Neem Tree Farms. Why? Because I use Neem Botanical Outdoor Soap, Neem toothpaste and the Neem Tree Farms Neem & Emu Salve and thing they’re great products. At this time, these are the only products I’ve tried and am willing to endorse.
Update: As of April 14, 2012 My psoriasis wasn’t as bad as before this winter due to the neem leaves and the products above made from neem. It’s been really just a huge relief to not be covered in flakes all of the time. to not be in pain all the time. Many people who use these products from my recommendations above have hit me up on facebook and twitter to tell me how much it’s helped. As for my weight, though I didn’t gain any weight during the winter, i also didn’t lose because i wasn’t active at all. i was just sitting my butt at my desk all the time. i recently join a long term weight loss program and it’s been great. the fact that i don’t do sweets was something my coaches found impressive and as soon as i started following their direction on exercise and portions, i immediately started shedding pounds. i’m thankful to the neem leaves. i don’t think i’d be doing so well today if i hadn’t stopped the sweets.
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I am an affiliate for Neem Tree Farms. I only promote those products which I’ve used and found to be helpful for me. My full disclosure statement can be found here.