The face cream you put on your garden

The Good Life Letter 

23th November 2018

  • This tip from a reader might sound a little weird at first, but apparently it works
  • Why you should put this anti-wrinkle remedy on your flowers
Last week I talked about weed-killer…

Namely glyphosate, which is liberally sprayed onto crops that have been modified to be resistant, particularly in the USA where GM is the name of the agricultural game.

The theory is, the crops stay alive while everything else around them dies…


But if that’s not enough, then ANOTHER blast of glyphosate is sprayed onto the crops to speed up the drying process before harvest.

I’m not decrying all modern farming methods as destructive and short sighted…

But with so much of the stuff in use, it’s no wonder that it is being found in certain types of dried cereal in worrying amounts…

Right so that’s the recap.

In the days that followed my original email, I got a few comments from readers – some concerned because they’d been wolfing down large portions of one of the cereal brands I listed, and others because they used a lot of Roundup in the garden, a weed-killer with glyphosate in it.

But some also wondered if I was over-reacting?

One reader drew my attention to this statement:

“As part of the latest risk assessment, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) evaluated more than 3,000 studies. They found no indications of nerve damage or of carcinogenic or mutagenic properties. Nor is glyphosate associated with reproductive toxicity.”

This statement can be found at the glyphosate website if you are interested in the counter-arguments.

However, I remain unconvinced…

There’s too much doubt.

My response is that Monsanto, the licence holders for glyphosate, have been highly active in countering any health concerns and highlight the issues about the recommended or safe levels.

They spend a lot of money making sure their product doesn’t get banned or restricted.

Ultimately their aim is to breed and licence crops which are resistant to glyphosate and then use the product to kill weeds within them... handily this gives them complete control of the food chain!

Whilst I have used Roundup, the weed-killer containing glyphosate, in my own garden in the past, I think the growing evidence about its long-term health risks is significant enough to take seriously. Personally, I am going to curb usage until more is known.

I’m also unsure that genetically modifying a crop then spraying the environment, laying waste to living things around it, is the best way forward for humanity on a finite and delicate planet.

Neither would I feel comfortable if my dog or a toddler went barrelling out into my garden directly after spraying it with Roundup, or any toxic chemical for that matter.

The thing is, when it comes to gardening there are alternatives. Which is why at the end of last week’s email I offered a few natural ways you can deal with weeds and pests in the garden.

A few of my gardening-minded readers even sent in their own tips. For instance, Bryon says: “NEEM oil is a good product for the garden (and pets).”

This is one that I’d not heard about for the garden, so I’m delighted that Bryon pointed it out.

A natural skin health oil and anti-ageing cream from India

Neem oil comes from the fruits and seeds of the neem tree, which is found in the Indian subcontinent.

It is usually used for cosmetics such as hand or face cream. That’s because it’s rich in vitamin E and fatty acids, including oleic and linoleic acids which are good for keeping your skin moist, soft and elastic.  Neem oil also contains antioxidants that can help slow down the signs of the ageing process on your skin, wrinkles for instance.
Neem oil is also a powerful anti-inflammatory that can reduce the swelling and pain of acne.

So if you have skin problems you should seek some out but bear in mind that neem oil is potent stuff, and very occasionally people can have a bad response, so I recommend putting a little dab of oil on your arm first and waiting for 24 hours – see if you show any signs of an allergic reaction.

I’d then recommend you mix the oil with something like jojoba, grapeseed or coconut oil before you apply it to large areas of skin.

But here’s the use of neem oil that is news to me…

Why you should put this anti-wrinkle remedy on your flowers

It can be used in the garden as a natural pesticide, thanks to a chemical compound called azadirachtin.

Neem oil can help fight off more than 200 species of insects including aphids, whiteflies, mosquitoes, cabbage worms, gnats, moths, cockroaches and flies. It kills some of these beasties and attacks the larvae of others. It can also repel plant munchers like snails and slugs.

However, neem oil is harmless to bees, earthworms, birds, livestock and people, so you don’t need to worry about its effect on kids and pets running through your garden.

And actually, if you have dog it could work wonders as a natural repellent against fleas, ticks and intestinal parasites. You can add the neem oil to a shampoo and give your dog a regular wash with it or spray it on their fur.
The measurements…

These apply to both animals and plants…

For prevention, regular spraying is recommended. A mix of 0.5% to 1% neem oil to water is a good general solution.

However, if you need to tackle an infestation then increase that to 2%.

For plants and flowers, spray the neem solution on all the leaves, especially the undersides of the foliage where insects tend to hide.

You can buy some versions of it readymade online, including one that works like a fungicide. I’ll take a look into the best UK suppliers and see if I can find something really good (and affordable) to recommend in the future.

Thanks so much for your emails in the past week. As always, I love to hear your tips and feedback so keep them coming. Only bear in mind that I cannot give one-to-one medical advice!

That’s it from me, enjoy your weekend.

Yours, as always




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