Klaus Ferlow, author of Neem – Nature’s Healing Gift To Humanity, is no stranger to the powerful potential of the neem tree. He is the founder of Ferlow Botanicals, Vancouver, B.C. and NEEM RESEARCH, West Vancouver, B.C, and has been involved in intensive research on this miraculous versatile medicinal neem tree for over 25 years. His company manufactures Ayurveda herbal personal neem care products with no harmful ingredients in Canada. His connections and collaborations with neem experts in India is also very strong.
In his book, Neem – Nature’s Healing Gift To Humanity he shares his personal story and experience with neem about the benefits and healing power of this tree.
Bookedforlife chats with him about the multitude of benefits that neem offers….
Your love affair with herbs has been rooted in your childhood where you had access to fields and forests. In your book you also mention that study of herbs was a part of the curriculum. Unfortunately, we don’t see that kind of access today. How can one change this scenario?
I grew up attending school from 1945 – 1955 and learning about the benefits and healing power of herbs. It was part of life and the education I received from my grandmother and my parents, especially from my mother. Knowledge about herbs and healing was passed on from generation to generation, and also while attending school. We are living now in an information age where the digital system offers educational value on what Mother Earth has to offer.
Whether herbs as a curriculum is available in schools, I am not sure. However, many colleges over the years are now offering holistic herbal medicine courses and huge public and commercial health shows are taken place. A growing number of the population at large seem to get the message and want to get back to basics and learn more about what Mother Earth has to offer, staying away from harmful prescription drugs.
I found the chapter on skin care quite interesting. The skin care regimens and products you prescribe are easy to follow and understand. However, when I contrast it with what many popular magazines say today, I find one difference. You do not talk about sunscreen. I personally feel that the conceptualization of sunscreen as indispensable under all circumstances (purported by popular media) seems questionable. I wanted to know your thoughts on the same.
From my personal experience and many tests, I can tell you that two of our herbal creams work wonders when it comes to preventing sunburns and they also work on severe skin problems and insect bites. But, we are not allowed to promote it to the consumer because the government supports the commercial sunscreens with SPF factors, some of which are loaded with harmful synthetic chemicals, which in fact do not work in most cases and are not effective and can create severe skin problems, even cancer!
You mention in the book that modern medicines geared towards symptom relief are about sickness while there is another approach about wellness. How can the common man bring balance the two, in this age of information overload where one often hears conflicting views?
I would say it is mis-information overload! It is a fact that big pharmacy companies have been able to influence (corrupt?) even governments. When people have absolute no knowledge about the benefits and healing power of herbs and herbal remedies it would not work for them because the body, mind and spirit have to go together as a belief system. However, experience shows that when people with health problems using prescription drugs arrive “at the end of the rope”, many of them switch over to herbs expecting a miracle cure over night…which of course does not work either. I have told people over and over again that herbs and herbal remedies work over time if you are patient, using them daily and believe that they might help you because the body is the best healer!!
What is the solution? Kids in kindergarten and in schools should have curriculum about the benefits and healing power not just for health problems, but also for using in their day to day life.
Your company has been manufacturing herb based products for many years now. Have you observed a change in consumer mind-set when it comes to using natural products? Any information you may want to highlight?
There is a continuing trend for consumers to be concerned about the potential side-effects of the many artificial and harmful synthetic chemical substances used in skin care products such as paraben preservatives, petrochemicals, toxins and so on. Increasingly consumers look for “green approved’ products that do not harm the skin and are also kind to the environment and society.
Raising trends of the use of natural, chemical-free ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products is observed among various manufacturers as well. The trend caters to the ever increasing demand for natural and organic (there is also a lot of cheating going on using the words “natural” and “organic”) products among consumers. The highest demand is in Asia-Pacific area, North America, Western Europe. Men increasingly are also demanding quality cosmetics without harmful ingredients and increasing the elderly population become a force for these products.
My understanding is that sustainable neem products have made major inroads with farmers around the globe but the powerful manufacturers of poisonous chemicals with their lobbyists will do everything to discredit the movement of natural products for the agriculture industry. But at the end I believe common sense will prevail.
Sadly, corporations are still able to find new customers with their “brainwashing advertising and promotion” because people don’t read the labels!
Today, the marketplace is flooded by products that claim to be ‘natural’. How can a consumer make the right choice? Any tips from your side?
Consumers these day have unlimited sources to educate themselves and to my knowledge the middle class income earners are becoming more and more aware to avoid any cosmetics, especially loaded with synthetic cheap fragrances than can cause many health problems. I think that if consumers read the ingredients on the labels of the products and they are unable to pronounce it…it’s a chemical and they need to avoid! They also should ask questions and if they can’t get a proper explanation which they understand they should not buy products. By not buying the products with harmful ingredients, consumers can force the manufacturer to change their formulas. Beware also of the use of the word “natural” which has basically no meaning and the word “organic” which means ingredients without toxic herbicide, pesticides spraying and pesticides fertilizers.
India has always been harnessing the benefits of Neem and the tree has a place in our collective consciousness as one offering much to us. But, as we get caught in the plethora of choices for personal care products, (especially with so many international brands to choose from), it may help to reflect on the fact that Nature’s Healing Gift To Humanity lies right in our backyard.
BOOKS BY KLAUS FERLOW
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Title: Neem – Nature’s Healing Gift To Humanity
Author: Klaus Ferlow