Saturday, March 04, 2006

Neem News

Last week my mother (who lives in Madras) had a close call with diabetes -- she went into a low-sugar coma just before lunch. She was shifted to the nearby hospital by ambulance and revived in the ICU the moment she was given a drip, and seemed in good cheer when I spoke to her on the phone that evening. The reason I'm sharing this news is that the substance that apparently triggered her brief coma was half a glass of neem-leaf infusion. She'd been told it was a well-known Ayurvedic method of reducing high-sugar levels in diabetics. Maybe her blood-sugar was already normal or perhaps unknown to her it had dipped lower than usual. But the point is: if neem leaves boiled in water can result in a coma-inducing drop of blood-sugar in my mother it sounds like something worth checking out as a low-cost alternative to the normal treatments and drugs that diabetics use. Of course, when you consider the night my mother spent in the ICU, that made it an unusually EXPENSIVE treatment ...

Meanwhile, a friend sent me the following link to an article about the opening up of a new frontier in outsourcing. Reminds me of a certain play I wrote ...

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

i never cease to marvel at neem - insect repellant - contraceptive - and now this neem news that almost became a neem noose. q 2 u - is your mother a diabetic? was she on any other medication when she swallowed the neematode? just curious whether there were other chemicals circul8ing in her system that might have synergised this effect. gt

Marginalien said...

Oh yes, she's diabetic. And apparently neem is well-known for it's blood sugar-reducing qualities -- her doctor scolded her severely for experimenting with neem while taking regular medication as well. Apparently her blood sugar was already down and the neem sent it over the cliff's edge. She and the woman who cooks for her are both diabetic (hmmmm ... nexus??? No, not really. The cook's only been with her one year and both have long histories of diabetes) -- so the cook had the other half of the glass of neem juice. She didn't go into coma, but her next blood report showed that her sugar count was down 100 points.

Anonymous said...

hmmmmm v interesting - and easy to test too. a glass of boiled neem leaves and an evaluation of sugar levels - even in normals should be simple enough to do. i think i will look into this. btw - i will be in india mainly in bombsaway and banggalore 11 to 18 april. might be coming to your corner on 15th - but uncer10 yet. in case it transpires i can give you a yell. r u around then? gt

Marginalien said...

Very kewl -- my intention entirely in posting about my mom's neem encounter.

No, I do NOT expect to be in Delhirium after April 11 -- am planning to leave that night for Vermont. See ya there, I guess! No reason why we can't chat on the phone in the US, though that NEVER SEEMS TO HAPPEN. And I even visited your coast and all.

Anonymous said...

neemaste mp
john conrick has the mother of all neems books Neem - The ultimate herb - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0910261326/103-0008624-9719833?v=glance&n=283155 - i swiped me a copy - its most educ@ional - and does discuss the neen leave and oil extracts ability to reduce dependance on western drugs to regul8 insulin levels. cer10ly merits serious consideration. i should be back in sunny diego on 20th april. call anytime thereafter - 858 349 3572 gt

Marginalien said...

Got that. If you want to erase your num from the net, as the author of it, you can edit your mssg (I can't edit it, only remove it entirely).

I think it would be a very kewl thing to figure out a way to merchandise neem so that the world's huge population of diabetics could have access to cheap drugz. The tree's leaves are freely available, but of course the important issue is regulating the amount of the active chemical being delivered to a person's inner space. Perhaps the thing to do is NOT attempt to patent the chemical (i.e., the neem -- which has been tried already and failed, rightly so) but the process/gadget by which the leaves can be cheaply processed, measured and self-dosed by a patient. If that gadget is patented, then the patent holder could stand to gain MILLIONS. Go for it, gt!

Anonymous said...

a smart thing to do would be to go to some ayurvedic doc and check whether they have some patients already being treated for diabetes. these people's blood can then be easily monitored for insulin/ glucose levels by any of the many (heh isnt that nice? any of the many) kits commercially available in the market. this will be a nice east meets west kind of approach. eastern neeems with western kits. its not possible to patent neem - antd the patent office does not allow you to patent a natural substance per se (i guess they think "god" owns that 1!)but one doesnt really know what the active component is and that could be worth finding out. there are several candid8s gt
btw it doesnt really m@ter having my number out there but actually i dont think i can remove it now anyway - theres no way to edit from my side once it gets thrown out into your space