OK In Health - Healing

Think Hemp! For Food, Clothing, Body Care - Part One - September 2018

By Klaus Ferlow, Vancouver, BC

natural hemp leave

Think of hemp and many of us picture a mind-altering weed that has tarnished the reputation of this otherwise useful herb. Marijuana is the notorious cousin to hemp and is specifically cultivated for its high levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the chemical that gives this famous weed its psychoactive properties.

While hemp and marijuana originate from the same cannabis sativa species, the hemp variety produces only trace amounts of THC, too negligible to elicit any reaction. Unlike marijuana, the hemp seeds are planted densely to produce thicker stalks and fewer flowers. Generally hemp is used commercially for its stalks and seed whereas marijuana (or cannabis) is used illegally for smoking its flowers or leaves. Thus these two plants are vastly different.

For centuries, hemp has been used for food, shelter, ropes, clothing and medicine. It is now re-emerging as one of nature's most useful, healthy, economically feasible and environmentally friendly herb.
It is for this reason that hemp is worthy of attention and of redefining its true nature and use. Each part of the hemp plant (seed, oil and stalk) generates useful products. The seed, a hard-shelled nut containing protein, carbohydrates, fibre and a number of vitamins and minerals, is one of the highest sources of essential fatty acids (EFAs).

EFAs are essential in our diets for the proper growth and functioning in our diets for the body. They aid in fat transport and metabolism and are necessary for the normal functioning of the reproductive system, for hormone regulation and for breaking up cholesterol deposits in the arteries.
"The benefits of this plant to our health and to our environment cannot be understated. We may only chipping away at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to exploring the potential of hemp."

EFAs also plays a role in the following:

  • reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease by lowering cholesterol and blood pressure
  • reducing the risk of stroke and blood clots by lessening blood platelet coagulation
  • reducing the risk of osteoporosis by increasing the absorption of calcium
  • reducing inflammation, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, eczema, and psoriasis
  • improving insulin function in diabetics
  • increasing immunity system by improving T-cell function
  • increasing energy by aiding oxygen transport to cells
  • improving vitamin and mineral absorption into the cells
  • improving hair growth and skin moisture

Recent evidence also suggests that people suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS) and attention deficit disorder (ADD) may benefit from a properly balanced EFA intake. Deficiencies in EFAs can lead to changes in cell structure, resulting in slowed growth and other disorders such as brittle or dull hair, nail problems, dandruff, allergies, dermatitis and eczema. Hemp offers one of the highest sources EFAs with a perfect ratio of three to one of omega-6 linoleic acid and omega-3 linolenic acid (GLA). According to Udo Erasmus, author of "Fats that Heal Fats that Kill", this is the ideal ration and hemp is the only vegetable oil available in this perfect balance.

Furthermore, best-selling author and leader in complementary health and healing, Dr. Andrew Weil rates hemp seed oil as the #1 vegetable oil on the market. He supports the use of hemp to lower the risk of heart attacks and to help as an anti-inflammatory for such conditions as arthritis and other autoimmune disorders.

The hemp seed has a multitude of uses in food.The meat of the hemp seed is also highly nutritious and versatile for preparing a number of foods. The oil produced by hemp is very fragile and should be refrigerated in an airtight container to preserve its freshness and nutrient value. The oil is best used raw or uncooked. Among the foods produced by these parts of the hemp plant are healthy snack bars, cookies, porridge, nut butter, chips, pastas, tortillas, hummus, non-dairy milk, cheese, ice cream, burgers, flour, breads, and more. The oil is ideal for use in salads, dips, pesto sauces, shakes and smoothies.

Hemp oil reaches beyond its usefulness as a food and has soothing, rejuvenating and restorative properties for the skin. For this reason it is ideal for use in body care products such as herbal lotions, creams, lip balms, shampoo, conditioners, soaps, and shaving products. Other non-food uses for hemp oil include lamp oil, paint, varnishes and lubricant substances.

The stalk of the hemp plant produces a strong and durable fibre that has been used successfully as a food for durable clothing. Its insulating quality helps the wearer of the hemp clothing to stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It also offers UV proctection. The fibre has been used in manufacturing of twine, cord, textiles, paper, building materials and numerous household goods.
To add to its multitude of uses, hemp is considered to be an envirnonmental friendly crop. It is a natural herbicide that rapidly outgrows competing weeds by smothering them and blocking out the light, and therefore requires no other herbicides and pesticides. It has lower nutrient requirements than most other crops and it thrives in Canada's cool climate. In fact, the hemp crop cleans the soil and adds nutrients when it is allowed to dry in the fields. The deep roots of the hemp help to prevent erosion of the soil and provide aeration for future crops.

Do you still think hemp is a useless weed?
Fortunately in the past decade, hemp for commercial industrial use has been legal in Canada, unlike other countries such as the U.S. which still prohibits its cultivation. The benefits of this plant to our health and to our environment cannot be understated. We may only be chipping away at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to exploring the huge potential of hemp!

Hemp for Health, Chris Conrad, ISBN 0-89281-539-6
The Cultivation of Hemp, Dr. Ivan Bocsa, Michael Karus, ISBN 1-886874-03-4
Hemp Pages, the Hemp Industry Source book, 199902000
Hemp World & Hemp Journal, ISBN 0--9650779-2-6
Industrial Hemp, Hemptech, ISBN 1-886874-00-X
Hemp For Health, The Medicinal and Nutritional Uses of Cannabis Sativa, Chris Conrad, ISBN 0-89281-539-6

Klaus FerlowKlaus's Bio: Klaus Ferlow, HMH (Honorary Master Herbalist, Dominion Herbal College, Burnaby, B.C., est. 1926), HA (professional Herbal Advocate Canadian Herbalist's Association B.C., Victoria, is a traditional herbalist, innovator, lecturer, researcher, writer, founder of Ferlow Botanicals, Vancouver, B.C., www.ferlowbotanicals.com now retired and Peter Ferlow is acting President, manufacturing/distributing herbal medicinal and personal care products with no harmful chemical ingredients to holistic practitioners and selected stores in traditional medicine in Canada and parts of USA since 1993, the company was founded in 1975. His educational articles about health, healing, herbs, nutrition have been published in health & women's magazines, newspapers, newsletter in Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa in print and online and on the internet. Klaus founded in 2013 NEEM RESEARCH, Mission,, B.C. to protect and promote the precious healing gift of the Neem tree from India to humanity and with over 23 years experience working with Neem he published in 2016 the book "Neem - Nature's Healing Gift to Humanity", www.neemresearch.ca and is also a co-author of the book "7stepsdentalhealth.com" He is a member of the National Health Federation, Monrovia, Ca., International Herb Association, Jacksonville, Fl, United Plant Savers, Rutland, OH, Neem Foundation, Bombay (Mumbai), India and he can be contacted via neemresearch1@gmail.com - Klaus Ferlow Website - Email

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