Summer is the weather of fun--playing outdoors in the sunshine, getting a tan, vacations and storing up on vitamin D. However, with summer comes bugs, e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. They come out of hiding, reproduce and wreak holy havoc on our lives until the weather gets intolerably cold for them, and then they go away. Interestingly, if you eat lot of sugar, you will attract more bugs. I realized this as a young child, as I loved sugar, and as a result I was the one who got the most bug bites. Bug bites carry their own risk of diseases and infections, such as malaria, dengue fever, Lyme disease and filaria (elephant feet), to name a few.
Summer travel is often linked with gastrointestinal upsets.
Travelers’ diarrhea is one of the most common health issues. If you are going out of countr y or hiking in the mountains, you might especially be exposed to parasites like amoeba, giardia, hook worms, tape worms, pin worms and more. Sunshine & Skin Health
What about skin cancer and sunshine?
As you know, the sun has been with us since the inception of this universe. So, why is it suddenly starting to be so cruel to us? Are we doing something wrong or is the sun becoming more dangerous? My answers do not always come from reading peer-reviewed medical journals. What about animals, are they getting more skin cancer, too? If not, then we humans may be doing something wrong. We live in our cars, houses, offices or indoor work places and we wear eye glasses coated with UV protection. We actually get very little UV exposure, and there is even less if you are living in the Pacific Northwest, Alaska or countries where there is little sunshine. I have seen patients coming from India, Texas, Arizona and Florida who are deficient in vitamin D. Why? It is because most of us spend so much time indoors and we seldom have a chance to enjoy the sunshine. When we go outdoors, we coat ourselves with sunscreen, which carries its own risk of being cancerous.
How about vitamin D deficiency and cancers?
More than 50% of all the cancers can be stopped by having normal vitamin D levels, although my range is between 70-80 ng/ml. Now we know that a lack of vitamin D is linked to numerous chronic inflammatory diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer and autoimmune disorders. However, we also know that exposing unprotected skin to too much sunlight increases the risk of skin cancer. It’s a balancing act. Recent research has discovered that nearly every kind of tissue in the body is equipped with vitamin D receptors, suggesting it may be involved in all kinds of functions.
Recommended Products for Summer:
Azadirachta indica, usually known by its common name, neem, has attracted much attention within the worldwide medical community in recent years due to its wide range of medicinal properties. Neem has also been used as an organic fertilizer and bug repellent. All parts of the neem tree are highly regarded in Ayurvedic medicine. Neem is used for gastrointestinal upsets when under assault f rom microbes and parasites. It has shown to inhibit the growth of unf riendly bacteria, virus and fungus. Fresh neem twigs are often used for cleaning the teeth because of its antiseptic properties. Neem leaves have insect repellent properties, and they may be applied to boils, ulcers and skin rash. Neem has special effects on the skin, and is used in treating acne. In addition, it has blood sugar lowering properties and reduces sugar cravings
A powerful herbal preparation designed to support and maintain optimum gastrointestinal health. I, Dr. Virender Sodhi, have developed Intestone as a strategic blend of six prominent medicinial herbs. This blend provides crucial therapy for the gastrointestinal system, especially when it is exposed to parasitic conditions. As any traveler to Southeast Asian countries such as India, China, Thailand and Vietnam well knows, intestinal parasites can present a serious health problem. While living and practicing medicine in India, Dr. Sodhi treated several thousand patients with intestinal parasites. He developed Intestone™ for superior gastrointestinal support using the best of knowledge reaped from centuries of Ayurvedic tradition. Intestone combines six of Ayurveda’s most powerful herbs to form a synergistic formula. Aegle marmelos, Azadirachta indica, Piper longum, Momordica charantia, Ocimum basilicum (basil leaves), and Berberis aristata all have long histories of medicinal use in Ayurveda, and their effectiveness has been confirmed in modern medical research.
Dr. Sodhi's Tips for the Summer Season
- Avoid eating sugar, as you will be less attractive to bugs. Remember they love sugar as much as you do.
- Apply Neem Oil on the skin when you go out. Neem Oil and Neem has shown to have bug repellent properties. Neem has shown to repel 108 different varieties of bugs. Indian grandmothers give their grandchildren Neem to prevent bug bites and bug-related complications. Take a Neem capsule three times per day, and start this regimen ten days before your travel.
- Wear light, cotton clothing that will cover the body, and cover the face and back. Children should wear a hat. Avoid going out when UV light is maximum from 10am to 2pm. The best time to go out is when the sun is rising or setting. This is when you will get the safest amount of Vitamin D.
- The skin produces approximately 10,000 IU of Vitamin D in response to 20-30 minutes of summer sun exposure. This is 50 times more than the US government’s recommendation of 200 IU per day! According to Ayurvedic medicine, sunshine at dawn and at dusk is the best. In winter, you can have sun anytime it is available. This is true as when you look at nature, how often do you see animals out in 100+ degree temperature, yet you will always find animals or birds out in the early morning or early evening.
- When you travel, the most important factor is the water you consume as most of the travel related diseases are due to the water from a specific region. While you are traveling, try to drink water you know is clean. Carrying a water filter is a good option. Avoid eating foods which are not properly cooked, avoid raw foods, and root vegetables. Avoid eating from outdoor vendors, especially in South Asian countries, and in Latin A