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Health Articles

Here you'll find an assortment of interesting reading on health-related topics.



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Nature's Bounty - Klaus Ferlow

Klaus Ferlow - Founder, Ferlow Botanicals

photo by Jaime Kowal

"Health is wealth" is an adage we've all heard countless times, but Klaus Ferlow has dedicated his life to putting it into practice. Ferlow is the founder of Ferlow Botanicals, a local, family-run business that produces "zero harm" medicinal and personal care products. That means instead of using chemicals to fill the list of ingredients in the toothpastes, lotions, shampoos, and other products the company offers, you will find only non-toxic and wild-crafted herbal ingredients.

"If you can't pronounce it, don't buy the product", Ferlow advises, referring to the "petrochemical-derived junk" that makes up many of the products that may be sitting on your bathroom shelf right now.

While a background in sales and marketing makes Ferlow a savvy businessman, he is also an herbalist whose country upbringing in Germany-and a grandma whom he credits as his chief instructor in herbalism-brought him face to face with Mother Nature at an early age. As a result, Ferlow believes whole-heartedly in the healing power of nature. "For every disease we know, Mother Earth provides a herb to grow," he's fond of saying.

What's more, Ferlow has been an active lecturer at colleges, universities, and health fairs from Nanaimo to North York, and has written numerous articles for health magazines and other publications across the country-all free of charge. How does he do it? By facing challenges head-on and by never, ever forgetting his own personal mantra:

"You can achieve everything in life if you have the courage to dream it, the intelligence to make a real plan, the will to see that plan to the end, and to help others achieve their dreams."

Written by Tamara Letkernan


Klaus' educational articles about health, healing, herbs, nutrition can be found in health magazines in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, North America, United Kingdom, Europe and online.


*Shared-Vision is no longer operating.


My Own Personal Story about Psoriasis and Neem

By Klaus Ferlow, Vancouver, BC

My own experience with Neem has been nothing short of miraculous. Growing up in the Northern part of Germany “country style” I quickly developed a love for the bounty of Mother Nature, especially berries, flowers, herbs and vegetables. One of my favourite herbs was the “stinking rose” garlic, which I considered a wonder herb. And also pure elderberry juice with honey and lemon juice, heated up for bringing down fever, enhancing the healing power of the body by boosting the immune system.“Here is my own personal story about psoriasis and Neem”

At the young age of seventeen and after finishing school I moved away from my family home in a small farm village to start an apprenticeship in sales and marketing. My new home was in a big city situated in a heavy industrial commercial area with huge steel mills and mining corporations. Due to the stress of being by myself, due to the completely different diet and lifestyle in an environment of widespread pollution and high level of noise I soon developed severe psoriasis on my scalp and elbows. At times my psoriasis was flaring up to a point when I even had difficulties combing my black hair due to very thick build-up on my scalp and elbows.

I received ongoing treatments from allopathic doctors in Germany and later in Canada who did not have a clue what the cause of the problem was, and all these treatments cost me a lot of money I had to pay out of my own pocket, but were totally unsuccessful. After over 40 years I finally gave up and was told by the doctors that I had to live with it for the rest of my life!

Then, early in 1994, I had the good fortune of tuning into the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Toronto, Ontario television series “The Nature of Things” with Dr. David Suzuki, which featured a program describing the miraculous healing power of the Neem tree from India inclusive for chronic skin diseases. This was the impetus to my healing, as I began with the help and training of a professional chemist, to develop a Neem tree cream without harmful toxic chemical ingredients, using Neem extract from the leaves of the tree. The extract came from a supplier I found in France, since at the time nobody in North America had any knowledge about the Neem tree and therefore was unable to supply such an extract to me.

For almost nine weeks my wife of over 48 years massaged the cream onto my scalp, and finally by the end of the tenth week my scalp was totally clear of the conditions from which I had suffered for so long! In the meantime I added also cold pressed Neem oil derived from the kernels of the fruit of the tree which has different healing properties than the extract from the leaves. This further enhanced the efficacy and healing power of the cream.

Even my psoriasis on both of my elbows disappeared within merely three weeks and now I have to use only one drop of Neem oil per elbow each week to prevent recurring of the psoriasis. Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures “Before” and ”After.” I accepted these results as a miracle and launched my passion for Ayurveda Neem herbal products introducing them as the first company in early 1994 through holistic practitioners to consumers and to the Canadian market.  In the meantime our family company in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, developed additional herbal Neem products such as shampoo, conditioner, soap, tincture, toothpaste and we have also the Neem oil in our program. I brought with me a custom-made Neem display that shows how we present our Neem products to the consumers in Canada. More Neem products will be developed in the future.

As far as I know we are still the only company in Canada who have educated the holistic practitioners and the consumers about the miraculous healing power of Neem by offering free product seminars, writing articles with the topic “The Miraculous Neem” and “Neem toothpaste: the natural solution for your teeth and gums.” These articles have been published in Health Magazines in Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Europe, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and numerous websites on the internet world wide. Furthermore I have done lectures at Health Shows, Naturopathic Colleges, Institutions of Holistic Nutrition, Universities in Canada, Naturopathic College, Portland, OR, USA.

Millions of people world wide are suffering from skin diseases such as acne, eczema, dandruff, psoriasis, rosecea, shingles, rigworm to name just a few were Neem could be the answer. It is my passion to share information about the miraculous healing power of the Neem tree with everybody. To this day I remain free of psoriasis on my scalp and elbows by using our Neem shampoo, Neem oil and Neem soap. This simple treatment is NOT a cure, but it alleviates the problem to a great extent, and each person can be in charge of their own body and health....the natural way! Remember, for every disease we know Mother Nature provides a herb to heal and grow!

Of all the plants that have provided proof to us of their healing power throughout the ages, few have offered as much value and versatility as the genuine, unique Neem tree from India. This miraculous herb is truly ancient and yet effective for a modern world, a tree for solving global problems.

FERLOW BOTANICALS introduced as the first company beginning of 1994 herbal medicinal and personal care products inclusive Neem tree products to the Canadian market (health & wellness practitioner clinics and other holistic practitioners in traditional medicine). In the meantime selected stores with holistic practitioners on staff were added on.

And in my wildest dreams I could not imagine that there was a solution for my chronic skin disease of psoriasis and for me the biggest reward is when I can put smiles on peoples faces who have not smiled for a long time due to their suffering with health problems by offering to them herbal medicinal Neem  products without harmful toxic chemical ingredients. That’s worth more than money!!

Thank you for your attention!


Health Benefits of Neem

Some of the most important health benefits of neem include its ability to treat dandruff, soothe irritation, protect the skin, boost the immune system, reduce inflammation, speed wound healing, treat gastric conditions, slow the aging process, increase the health of the hair and scalp, maintain sexual organ health, treat various forms of cancer, and manage/treat diabetes.

Neem is the common name of an extremely important tree native to the Indian subcontinent, although it now grows in certain parts of the Middle East as well. With the scientific name of Azadirachta indica, neem trees are actually in the mahogany family of trees, Meliaceae. Neem trees grow very rapidly and have broad spreading leaves, which they can drop quickly in a drought so as to protect the rest of the trees. This quality makes them extremely resilient to challenging environments; it is primarily found in tropical and subtropical zones and thrives there. The flowers are very fragrant and white in color, while the fruit of the neem tree is a small drupe with a bittersweet pulp. neem
Neem leaves are widely sought after and are a major industry in the subcontinents, as these valuable leaves can be used for many different things. The oil from neem leaves can be extracted and used in a wide variety of medicinal uses, while the leaves can be dried and used as an herb or even as a pest repellent. In many areas of India, the shoots and flowers of the tree are also used in culinary applications. Neem contains a very unique composition of organic compounds and beneficial components, making products derived from neem very popular in alternative and herbal remedies. From tea and garnishes to skin salves and herbal supplements, it is considered as one of the most important and versatile plants in Indian culture. Let’s take a closer look at the many health benefits of neem.

Health Benefits of Neem

Antibacterial Potential: One of the most widely recognized benefits of neem oil, leaves, tea, and every other derivative is its strong antibacterial and antimicrobial effects. This comes into play both internally and externally, which is why neem is considered to be such a general tonic for the immune system and as a simple way to keep your overall health better protected. It is commonly associated with treating skin conditions, but its effects are far more extensive than that!

Dandruff: The antifungal and antibacterial properties of neem make it very popular in shampoos and scalp cleansers, as it can help the skin remain hydrated and eliminate dandruff while strengthening your hair and improving the health of your hair follicles due to its antioxidant content. In fact, it is even used in traditional medicine to stimulate hair growth and prevent male-pattern baldness.

Detoxifying Effects: Whether you are using neem paste or leaves directly on the skin, consuming neem extracts in supplements or in some other form, the active ingredients in this one-stop pharmacy tree will help to rid the body of toxins. Neem has been known to stimulate the liver and kidneys, helping to eliminate toxins quickly and optimizing the body’s metabolic activities. A great deal of detritus accumulates on our skin every day, including germs, microbes, dust, and grime; neem paste can help neutralize those chemicals, pathogens, or dirt that can cause irritation or illness.

Acne Treatment: In terms of treating acne, which is one of the most widespread and challenging skin conditions to treat or eliminate, neem paste is recommended to eliminate much of grease and bacteria that can exacerbate the condition. The antibacterial nature of neem will also help prevent future breakouts, while the antioxidants in it will help to minimize scarring and keep the skin looking fresh and clean. Need also has astringent properties, which reduces the chances of skin sagging or showing signs of wrinkles and aging. This is due to the fatty acids in neem oil, as well as the high content of vitamin E.

Gastric Health: Consuming neem has been directly connected with a reduction in inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, which helps to reduce ulcers and a wide range of other intestinal issues, such as constipation, bloating, and cramping. It can also be used as a quick healing antidote for stomach flus and infections that can destroy beneficial bacteria in the gut.

Cancer and Chronic Disease: Although research is ongoing into this particular application of neem, the high levels of antioxidants present in neem have been linked to reduced chances of developing certain types of cancer. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, the dangerous byproducts of cellular metabolism that can cause cancer and chronic disease throughout the body. Early research reports indicate a positive correlation between antioxidants and low risk of cancer and heart disease, as antioxidants also keep the cardiovascular system clean and unobstructed.
Pore Size: When neem paste is applied as a face mask, it works as an excellent exfoliant, and can also shrink pore size, which will help to prevent the development of blemishes and pimples.

Fungal Infections: You can apply neem paste or diluted neem oil directly onto infected areas of the body, including Athlete’s foot. The antifungal effects of neem’s active organic ingredients are rapid and highly efficient, leaving your immune system and skin intact.

Diabetes treatment: The exact pathway of this beneficial effect of neem is somewhat unclear, but there is a connection between a lower deman for insulin in the body and the consumption of neem. Neem’s chemical components optimize insulin receptor function and ensure that the body is receiving appropriate amounts of insulin, which protects against the development of diabetes. Furthermore, for patients who have diabetes, neem can be used to minimize the dependence on insulin therapy.
Malaria Treatment: There has been some unconfirmed research that neem can effectively treat malaria symptoms and minimize the danger of the disease, but neem’s more common relationship to malaria is as a natural insect repellent that is nontoxic and highly effective in repelling mosquitoes, which are the main vectors of malaria.
neeminfo1Oral Health: Neem is very popular as an ingredient in oral health products in the Indian subcontinent. The antibacterial qualities of neem make it ideal for eliminating the bacteria beneath the gums that causes periodontal disease and halitosis (bad breath). Neem is popular in mouthwashes and toothbrushes for precisely that reason, although the flavor’s not bad either!

Reproductive Health: Neem is widely used as a natural spermicide and birth control agent, as it is likely to reduce the chances of conception for both men and women without harming them in a toxic way. It lowers fertility levels without impacting libido and can even help treat or prevent certain sexually transmitted diseases.
Anti-inflammatory Agent: As mentioned above, there are certain anti-inflammatory properties in the leaves of the neem plant, and this is especially exciting for arthritis research. The paste or oil, when applied to aching joints and muscles due to arthritis can significantly reduce pain and discomfort, and even increase flexibility if consistently used.

A Final Word of Warning: Despite this vast range of potentially beneficial uses, there are some side effects associated with neem. Firstly, it should not be used or consumed by infants or toddlers, and those with existing kidney or liver issues should definitely consult a doctor before using neem leaves, paste, or oil. There is a chance of fatigue associated with neem, due to its slight sedative nature, so be cautious of overuse, particularly in conjunction with any other medications.


Original Article From Organic Facts