Hemp Seed Oil does a power of good

by Thea Jourdan 

IsobelIsobel Darvill was only eight months old when she developed the skin condition eczema. Soon, her body was covered in weeping red sores. “It was terrible. I tried everything,” says her mother, Sarah Darvill, 32, cuddling her daughter, now aged three. “Isobel would wake up in the morning with bleeding, inflamed skin where she had scratched. We had some terrible nights with her.” Even steroid creams couldn’t help.

In despair, Sarah finally turned to an alternative treatment recommended by a friend – regular doses of Hemp Seed Oil. Within weeks, the itchy sores had vanished. “I noticed the change almost straight away. Her skin became peachy,” says Sarah, who lives in Oxfordshire with her husband, Mark, and their three children. Two years later, Isobel is fine, although she still needs to take a spoonful of the oil every day. “If she misses a day, the eczema flares up again,” says Sarah.

Joanna Peters has suffered from severe PMT since her early twenties. Unwilling to take hormone pills, she started on a regime of Hemp Seed oil last year. “It took about three weeks to make a difference, but it really has worked for me,” says Joanna, 41, who works in advertising in London. “I feel much more relaxed in the week before my period, and I even like the oil’s nutty taste.”

There are plenty of anecdotes like these that attest to the therapeutic power of Hemp. Packed with digestible protein, vitamins and essential fatty acids, Hemp has been described as one of nature’s most perfectly balanced foods. Grown throughout the world for thousands of years, it has enjoyed a considerable revival since the 1990s when it was reintroduced as a commercial crop in Europe. Hemp cultivation in Britain doubled between 1990-1997.

Although many people swear by Hemp, hard facts about its health-giving properties have been hard to come by until now. A team of scientists in Finland has conducted the first clinical trials, which show that Hemp oil can have dramatic effects.

The study, conducted at the Departments of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Clinical Nutrition at the University of Kuopio, involved a group of 14 healthy volunteers taking a daily dose of Hemp Seed oil for four weeks. All kept detailed food diaries and were told to decrease their intake of saturated fats throughout the study so as to get clear results about levels of fats in the blood. After an appropriate break, they were asked to follow the same regime with linseed oil.

What researchers found was that Hemp Seed oil, as well as containing substantial levels of important essential fatty acids, considerably boosted the level of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) in the blood. GLA has a potent anti-inflammatory effect, which may help to explain why it eases the pain of eczema.

Dr Jace Callaway, who headed the Finnish project, believes that there is likely to be a link. “Increased serum levels of GLA might help explain some of the numerous anecdotal reports of seemingly miraculous cures from people taking Hemp Seed oil, particularly those suffering from chronic health problems such as allergies, dry skin, slow wound healing and even rheumatoid arthritis.” Linseed oil did not have the same effect, actually reducing levels of GLA in the body.

Hemp Seed oil contains the same potent essential fatty acids found in evening primrose oil, which is also used to relieve the symptoms of PMT.

Hemp does not have to be consumed just as cold oil. Like soybeans, Hemp Seeds can be made into many different food products. Crushed seeds can be used as flour to make bread, cakes, pasta, and biscuits. In addition, the soaked seeds can be made into “milk”, ice cream and non-dairy cheeses.

Confusion often arises about the difference between Hemp and illegal cannabis. Hemp is a variety of the plant species Cannabis Sativa, but it has negligible psychoactive properties. You would have to drink about a litre of Hemp Seed oil to feel any effect.

Nutritionist Lorraine Perreta recommends Hemp Seed oil to anyone who wants to make sure they have a balanced diet – and a glowing complexion. “It literally lubricates from the outside in,” she says. “Imagine having a moisturiser that works from beneath the skin.” It is also possible to grind up the seeds and use the mash as a skin exfoliant.

Hemp Seed is also easy to digest, making it ideal for people suffering from gut and bowel problems. A recent report, funded by the Canadian government, says that 66 per cent of Hemp protein is high quality, the highest percentage of any plant source. Hemp also contains three times as much vitamin E as flax.

While Hemp Seed is a powerful healer, it is fragile. The essential fatty acids it contains are easily damaged if exposed to light, air or heat. So nutritionists recommend that Hemp Seed should never be cooked at high temperatures and is best eaten raw.

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Therapeutic Hemp Seed Oil

by Andrew Weil, M.D.

hemp-seed-oilGThe nutritional composition of oil from the Hemp plant could be beneficial to your health. To most people, Cannabis sativa is synonymous with marijuana, but the plant’s Latin name means the “useful Hemp” and although part of the same genus, is not marijuana. Species designated sativa (useful) are usually among the most important of all crops. In fact, the utility of Hemp is many-fold: the plant has provided human beings with fiber, edible seeds, an edible oil, and medicine, not just a notorious mind-altering drug.

In our part of the world, these other uses of Hemp are no longer familiar. We rarely use Hemp fiber and know little about Hemp medicine. Hemp seed is sometimes an ingredient in bird food; otherwise, edible products from Cannabis sativa are virtually unknown.

This may all change. In many parts of the country, promoters of Hemp cultivation are working to educate people about the immense potential of this plant and to reintroduce it into commerce. They champion Hemp as a renewable source of pulp for the manufacture of paper, as a superior fiber for making cloth, and as a new food that can be processed into everything from a milk substitute to a kind of tofu.

Hemp seeds contain 25% high quality protein and 40% fat in the form of an excellent quality oil. Hemp Seed oil is just now coming on the market.

Hemp Seed oil contains 57% Linoleic (LA) and 19% Linolenic (LNA) acids, in the three-to-one ratio that matches our nutritional needs. These are the essential fatty acids (EFAs) – so called because the body cannot make them and must get them from external sources. The best sources are oils from freshly ground grains and whole seeds, but EFAs are fragile and quickly lost in processing. EFAs are the building blocks of longer chain fats, such as eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) that occur naturally in the fat of cold-water fish like sardines, mackerel, salmon, bluefish, herring and, to a lesser extent, tuna.

Adding these foods to the diet seems to lower risks of heart attacks because Omega-3 fatty acids reduce the clotting tendency of the blood and improve cholesterol profiles. They also have a natural anti-inflammatory effect that makes them useful for people with arthritis and autoimmune disorders.

Health food stores stock many brands of EPA/DHA supplements in the form of fish oil capsules. I usually do not recommend them because I think it’s better to get your essential fatty acids in foods, and I worry about toxic contaminants in fish oil supplements. But what can you do if you choose, for one reason or another, not to eat fish? You can get some Omega-3s in expeller pressed canola oil, the only common vegetable oil that contains them.

A much richer source is Flax oil. Flax oil is pressed from the seeds of Linum utilitatissimum, the source of linen fiber and an oil better known in this country as linseed oil, the base for oil paints.

Flax  oil is usually classified as a “drying oil” rather than a food oil because its chemical characteristics cause it to combine readily with oxygen and become thick and hard. This tendency to harden on exposure to air quickly turns linseed oil rancid and unfit to eat, but makes it useful as a vehicle for pigment on canvas. (The word “canvas” by the way is a relative of “Cannabis,” because true canvas is made from Hemp fiber).

For dietary purposes Flax oil must be pressed at low temperatures, protected from light, heat, and air, stored at cool temperatures, and used quickly once the containers are opened. Most Flax oil is not delicious. There is great variation in taste among the brands currently sold in natural food stores, but the best of them still leaves much to be desired.

Flax oil is generally recommended as a dietary supplement to patients with autoimmune disorders, arthritis and other inflammatory conditions, but about half of them cannot tolerate it. Some say it makes them gag, even when concealed in salad dressing or mashed into a baked potato. These people have to resort to taking Flax oil capsules, which are large and expensive.

Udo Erasmus (author of the classic book, Fats and Oils (Alive, 1986), [and Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill, The Complete Guide to fats, oils, cholesterol and human health, Second Printing of Fats and Oils, (Alive, 1996). This book is a fabulous resource on nutrition.) says that the problem is freshness. Unless you get Flax oil right from the processor and freeze it until you start using it, it will already have deteriorated by the time you buy it. Hemp Seed oil contains more EFAs than Flax and actually tastes good. It is nutty and free from the objectionable undertones of Flax oil. I use it on salads, baked potatoes and other foods and would not consider putting it in capsules.

Like Flax oil, Hemp Seed oil should be stored in the refrigerator, used quickly and never heated. Unlike Flax oil, Hemp Seed oil also provides 1.7% Gamma-Linolenic acid (GLA). There is controversy about the value of adding this fatty acid to the diet, but many people take supplements of it in the form of capsules of evening primrose oil, black currant oil, and borage oil. My experience is that it simulates growth of hair and nails, improves the health of the skin and can reduce inflammation. I like the idea of having one good oil that supplies both Omega-3s and GLA, without the need to take more capsules.

One of the questions that people are sure to ask about Hemp Seed oil is whether it has any psychoactivity. The answer is no. The intoxicating properties of Cannabis sativa reside in a sticky resin produced most abundantly in the flowering tops of female plants before the seeds mature. The main psychoactive compound in this resin is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Strains of Hemp grown for oil production have a low resin content to begin with and by the time the seeds are ready for harvest, resin production has dropped even further. Finally, the seeds must be cleaned and washed before they are pressed. As a result, no THC is found in the final product.

Obviously, there is a political dimension to the appearance of this product. For many years, Cannabis sativa has been stigmatized as a satanic plant and its cultivation has been prohibited. As an ethnobotanist interested in the relationships between plants and human beings, I have always felt that making plants illegal was stupid, especially when the objects of these actions are supremely useful plants like Hemp. The plant is not responsible for human misuse of it.

If you have a chance to try Hemp Seed oil, a long forgotten, newly rediscovered food, I think you will see why I am enthusiastic about it.

Andrew Weil teaches at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, has a private medical practice, and is the author of Natural Health, Natural Medicine.

The World’s Most Eco-Friendly Car is Made Entirely From Hemp

hempcar1You would never think that a single plant could solve most of the worlds problems, well it can. Hemp has over 50, 000 uses, why this plant remains illegal is causing confusion among many. Everything from clothes, medicine, fabrics, fuel and more, hemp is definitely a large threat to a variety of corporations that control energy, health and a number of other industries. Many corporations would see a decline in profit if hemp were to be legalized. One in particular this article will focus on is the automobile industry.

The worlds most Eco-friendly car, the Kestrel, was designed in Canada by Calgary-based Motive Industries INC. Unlike the United States government, the Canadian government is open to hemp farming and actively supporting the industrial hemp industry and it’s potential benefit for us and our environment.

It has a top speed of 90 km per hour and a range of approximately 100 miles before needing to be recharged. It’s powered by a motor made by TM4 Electrodynamic Systems, a Quebec based company.

It’s weight is approximately 2,500 pounds, and has a very affordable price given the fact that hemp is very easy to grow and requires nothing but the sun. It fits 4 passengers and the production version of it was supposed to be available this year. Since the unveiling of it a couple of years ago, everything all of a sudden has become quiet. You can contact the developers here for more information if you are interested or would like to get your hands on one.

The body of the car is completely impact-resistant and made entirely out of hemp. When we think of cars we think of gasoline, steel, pollution, etc. Even though we have had some innovative and visually pleasing cars on the road today, it is difficult to ignore the sheer environmental impact that modern cars create.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a hemp car making noise, did you know that Henry Ford spent more than a decade researching and building his Model T car? This was in the 1940’s, it was completely made from hemp. This car was 10 times stronger than steel and was also designed to run off of hemp bio-fuel! Whatever happened to this idea? Read more about that here.

To think that even one of the founders of a major car manufacturer was trying to give the world a vehicle that was safe, strong and clean for the environment is good to know. At the same time, his invention was so suppressed that it is somewhat disheartening. How did we go from such an obvious and intelligent discovery, to using gasoline, steel and other non-harmonious materials? It’s important to keep in mind that not only do we need to look at the pollution factor of material while in use, we should also be aware of the pollution caused from manufacturing and creating of cars from raw materials.

Looking at hemp, it complies with every Eco-standard  that exists today; in fact, it blows them out of the water. The suppression of this technology is largely due to the fact that hemp was outlawed in the US in 1937 due to the potential damaging effect it would have on many powerful industries at that time. I highly recommend you check out the full story we wrote on how hemp became illegal.

The Kestrel’s hemp composite body shell passed its crash test in strong form, unlike steel, the panels bounce back into shape after impact. Hemp also has the same mechanical properties as glass. It is even lighter than glass and these properties help boost fuel efficiency.

The oldest known records of hemp farming go back 5000 years in China. For thousands of years, 90% of all ships sails and rope made from hemp. Hemp is an unlimited, forever lasting resource. For that reason alone it is a threat to our current financial and economic systems. It seems the systems we have in place are used to justify why products like this cannot be mass marketed and mass distributed. It’s time for a change, and it’s time for us to implement new methods and technologies that are more harmonious with the planet.

Nature’s Forgotten Nutraceutical

by Darrell L. Tanelian, M.D., Ph.D.

That the Hemp plant (Cannabis sativa) is used as a food source initially surprises and confuses most people. The public misinformation system has largely restricted knowledge of “Hemp” as it being Marijuana … which is actually derived from the Cannabis Indica plant (same family .. different plant – like broccoli and cauliflower, same family, different plant), with its leaf content of the psychoactive substance delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Oil, Shelled Seed, Flour, Hemp Cake, paint and more are made from the seed, while rope and cloth is made from the Fibre of the Cannabis Sativa plant and paper from the plant stalk.

Both the oldest Chinese agricultural treatise, the Xia Xiao Zheng, written in the 16th century BC and other Chinese records discuss Hemp as one of the major grain crops grown in ancient China.

Besides its propagation in China, the cultivation and use of Hemp has, since the beginnings of recorded history, also been documented by many other great civilizations, including: India, Sumeria, Babylonia, Persia, Egypt and other nations of the Near East and the Aztec and Mayan civilizations of South America; as well as by native cultures in North America and Europe. Indeed, it might be said that over these thousands of years, Hemp has always followed humankind throughout the world, or vice versa. Nutritionally, the key point about Hemp is that its edible portion – the meat of the shelled seed – resembles the seeds of other cultivated grains including wheat and rye and does not contain THC. Moreover, the strains of Hemp plant used for food have been naturally selected so as to produce little or no THC, generally. These nutritional varieties of Hemp plant grow in temperate climates to heights of 14 feet and as with many agricultural grains, their seeds can be harvested in a conventional manner with a combine. Since the most modern handling and shelling of the seed minimize its contact with leaf resins, the shelled seed itself and the oil, nut butter and other foods prepared from the seed have been made with THC concentrations as low as 1 ucg/g (ppm) to non-detectible. These modern Hemp products, when consumed in normally recommended amounts, should all but eliminate positive urine tests for THC.

Studies conducted on older versions of Hemp seed oil found some to contain THC concentrations that resulted in positive urine tests

Nutrients in Hemp Seed

The most basic Hemp seed product is the shelled seed, sometimes referred to as the “Hemp Nut.” The other major Hemp food products are Hemp seed nut butter – which resembles peanut- and other nut butters – cold-pressed Hemp seed oil and Hemp seed flour. These basic products can be consumed alone or used along with or instead of other grains, seeds, nuts and oils in any appropriate recipe. In terms of its nutrient content, shelled Hemp seed is 34.6% protein, 46.5% fat and 11.6% carbohydrate.

The most important feature of Hemp seed is that it provides both of the essential fatty acids (EFAs) needed in the human diet – GLA, Linoleic and Alpha-Linolenic acid -as well as a complete and balanced complement of all essential amino acids.

Fats in Hemp

As compared with most nuts and seeds, the 46.5% fat content of shelled Hemp seed is relatively low and Hemp food products have a low cholesterol content and high content of the natural phytosterols that reduce cholesterol levels. Hemp Seed Oil has on average the highest mono- and poly-unsaturated fat content of all oils, taken collectively, of between 80% and 89%.

The polyunsaturated Linoleic acid, an Omega-6 fatty acid, is present in Hemp seed oil in a content of 55.6g/100g and Alpha-Linolenic acid, a polyunsaturated Omega-3 fatty acid, is present at 17.2 g/100 g. The ratio of the two EFAs is 3.38, closely approximating the 4.0 average ratio recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), Sweden and Japan for the human diet.

Conveniently, Hemp Seed Oil is also one of the only food oils to contain the direct metabolites of Linoleic and Alpha-Linolenic acid – Gamma-Linolenic acid (GLA) and Stearidonic acid (SDA), respectively. Because of this, it can circumvent the impaired EFA metabolism and physical compromise that can result from genetic factors, intake of other fats, aging and lifestyle patterns.

By contrast with unsaturated fat, only 6.6% of the total calories in shelled Hemp seed come from saturated fat – a percentage that contrasts sharply with the 13 to 14% of saturated fat calories in the modern western diet.

This gives Hemp seed oil a polyunsaturated-to-saturated fat ratio of 9.7, in comparison to the current ratio of 0.44 in the western diet, 6 and indicates that consuming even a small portion of Hemp seed oil daily can contribute strongly to bringing this dietary imbalance back toward the World Heath Organisation recommended goal of 1.0.

Hemp Protein

Besides providing the human EFAs and having a favorable unsaturated-to-saturated fat ratio, Hemp seed is an excellent dietary source of easily digestible, gluten-free protein. Its overall protein content of 34.6 g/100 g is comparable to that of soy beans and better than that found in nuts, other seeds, dairy products, meat, fish, or poultry. Hemp protein provides a well-balanced array of the 10 essential amino acids for humans. An important aspect of Hemp seed protein is a high content of arginine (123 mg/g protein) and histidine (27 mg/g protein), both of which are important for growth during childhood and of the sulfur-containing amino acids methionine (23 mg/g protein) and cysteine (16 mg/g protein), which are needed for proper enzyme formation. Hemp protein also contains relatively high levels of the branched-chain amino acids that are important for the metabolism of exercising muscle.

Other Hemp Nutrients

The carbohydrate content of shelled Hemp seed is 11.5% and its sugar content is 2%. Of the shelled Hemp seed carbohydrate, 6% is in the form of fiber. The fiber content of Hemp seed flour is 40%, which is the highest of all commercial flour grains. In addition to containing the basic human nutrient groups, Hemp foods have a high content of antioxidants (92.1 mg/100g) in the form of alpha-, beta-, gamma- and delta-tocopherol and alpha-tocotrienol. Additionally, Hemp seed contains a wide variety of other vitamins and minerals.

Hemp in Health and Disease Prevention

The high content of Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids and the relatively high phytosterol content of Hemp foods and oils, make them beneficial to cardiovascular health. Numerous human and animal studies have shown that substitution of polyunsaturated for saturated fats can reduce the risk of sudden cardiac arrest and fatal cardiac arrhythmia, as well as reducing blood cholesterol levels and decreasing the cellular proliferation associated with atherosclerosis.

A high polyunsaturated-to-saturated fat ratio, especially when it includes Linoleic acid, has also been positively associated with reduced arterial thrombosis.

Additionally, phytosterols, of which Hemp seed contains 438 mg/100g, have been shown to reduce total serum cholesterol by an average of 10% and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol by an average of 13%.

Poly-unsaturated fatty acids and especially GLA, have also been found beneficial in treating various human cancers, 13-17 and studies have shown that phytosterols may offer protection against colon, breast and prostate cancers.

Besides the importance of a proper dietary ratio of Linoleic to Alpha-Linolenic acid in maintaining the polyunsaturated fatty acid composition of neuronal and glial membranes, membrane loss of polyunsaturated fatty acids has been found in such neurodegenerative disorders as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases and it has been suggested that a diet with a proper balance of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids may help delay or reduce the neurologic effects of these diseases. A fatty acid preparation with a ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids of 4, which is practically identical to that in Hemp oil, has been shown to improve the quality of life of Alzheimer’s disease patients.

Additionally, GLA has been found effective for treating rheumatoid arthritis and active synovitis and the GLA and vitamin D content of Hemp foods may make them beneficial in preventing and treating osteoporosis.

Moreover, supplementation with products containing EFAs has been found capable of reversing scaly skin disorder, inflammation, excessive epidermal water loss, itch and poor wound healing caused by EFA deficiency and GLA has been shown to be beneficial for atopic eczema and psoriasis.

Hemp in Cosmetics and Processed Food Products

The critical importance of EFAs and especially GLA, for healthy skin makes Hemp seed oil a highly effective skin care and cosmetic product. Its lipid constituents allow it to permeate through intact skin and to thereby nourish skin cells directly while also carrying therapeutic substances with it into the skin. These properties have led to a multitude of soaps, shampoos, skin lotions, lip balms, conditioners and other skin-care products containing Hemp seed oil.

Among food products made from Hemp seed, oil and flour are beer, pasta, cheese, cookies, waffles, granola, candy, ice cream and others, with new products now being regularly developed.

In short, Hemp can constitute an important element in nutrition, health and cosmetics, with the prospect of playing a major role in preventing disease and reducing health care expenditures.

 

References

1.      Yu Y. Agricultural history over seven thousand years in China, In: Feeding a Billion: Frontiers of Chinese Agriculture, ed. S Witter, 1987.

2.      Li H. “The Origin and Use of Cannabis in Eastern Asia: Their Linguistic Cultural Implications,” in Cannabis and Culture, ed. V Rubin, The Hague: Mouton, 1975.

3.      Leson G, Pless P, Grotenherman F, Kalant H, ElSohly MA. Food products from Hemp seeds: Could their consumption interfere with workplace drug testing J Anal Toxicol, Accepted, 2000

4.      Bosy TZ, Cole KA. Consumption and quantitation of D9 tetrahydrocannabinol in commercially available Hemp seed oil products. Anal Toxicol, 7:562-6, 2000.

5.      Kris-Etherton PM, Taylor DS, Yu-Poth S et. al. Polyunsaturated fatty acids in the food chain in the United States. Am J Clin Nutr, 71:179S-88S 2000.

6.      Eaton SB, Eaton III SB, Konner MJ. Paleolithic nutrition revisited: A twelve-year retrospective on its nature and implications. Eur J Clin Nutr 51:207-216, 1997.

7.      Brousseau ME, Schaefer EJ. Diet and Coronary Heart Disease: Clinical Trials. Curr Atheroscler Rep 2:487-493, 2000.

8.      Siscovic DS, Raghunathan TE, King I et. al. Dietary intake of long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and the risk of primary cardiac arrest. Amer J Clin Nutr, 71:208S-212S, 2000.

9.      Kang JX, Leaf A. Prevention of fatal cardiac arrhymias by polyunsaturated fatty acids. Amer J Clin Nutr, 71:202S-207S, 2000

10.  Fan YY, Ramos KS, Chapkin RS. Modulation of atherosclerosis by dietary gamma-linolenic acid. Adv Exp Med Biol 469:485-91, 1999.

11.  Hornstra G, Kester AD. Effect of the dietary fat type on arterial thrombosis tendency: systemic studies with a rat model. Atherosclerosis 131:25-33, 1997

12.  Moghadasian MH, Frohlich JJ. Effects of dietary phytosterols on cholesterol metabolism and atherosclerosis: Clinical and experimental evidence. Amer J Med 107:588-94, 1999.

13.  Vartek S, Robbins ME, Spector AA. Polyunsaturated fatty acids increase the sensitivity of 36B10 rat astrocytoma cells to radiation-induced cell kill. Br J Cancer 77:1612-20, 1998.

14.  Kenny FS, Pinder SE, Ellis IO, et. al. Gamma-linolenic acid with tamoxifen as primary therapy in breast cancer. Int J Cancer 85:643-8, 2000

15.  Robbins M, Ali K, McCaw R, et. al. Gamma-linolenic acid-mediated cytotoxicity in human prostate cancer cells. Adv Exp Med Biol 469:499-504, 1999.

16.  Rizzo MT, Regazzi E, Garau D, et. al. Induction of apoptosis by arachodonic acid in chronic myeloid leukemia cells. Cancer Res 59:5047-53, 1999.

17.  Southgate J, Pitt E, Trejdosiewicz LK. The effects of dietary fatty acids on the proliferation of normal human urothelial cells in vitro. Br J Cancer 74:728- 34, 1996.

18.  Awad AB, Fink CS. Phytosterols as anticancer dietary components: Evidence and mechanism of action. J Nutr 130:2127-30, 2000.

19.  Fenstrom JD. Effects of dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids on neuronal function. Lipids 34:161-9, 1999.

20.  20.Youdim KA, Martin A, Joseph JA. Essential fatty acids and the brain: possible health implications. Int J Dev Neurosci 18:383-99, 2000.

21.  Yehuda S, Rabinovitz S, Carrasso RL, Mostofsky DI. Essential fatty acids preparation (SR-3) improves Alzheimer’s patients quality of life. Int J Neurosci 87:141-9, 1996.

22.  Leventhal LJ, Boyce EG, Zurier, RB. Treatment of arthritis with gamma-linolenic acid. Ann Intern Med 119:876-873, 1993.

23.  DeLuca P, Rothman D, Zurier RB. Marine and botanical lipids as immunomodulatory and therapeutic agtents in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Rheum Dis Clin N Am 21:759-77

24.  Zurier RB, Rossetti RG, Jacobson EW, et. al. Gamma- linolenic acid treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. A randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Arthritis Rheum 39:1808-17, 1996.

25.  Kruger MC, Coetzer H, Winter R, et. al. Calcium, gamma-linolenic acid and eicosapentaneoic acid supplementation in senile osteoporosis. Aging 10:385-94, 1998.

26.  Wright S. Essential fatty acids and the skin. Br J Derm 125:503-515, 1991.

27.  Horrobin DF. Essential fatty acid metabolism and its modification in atopic eczema. J Am Clin Nutr 71:367S-72S, 2000.

Essential Fatty Acids

PerriconePromiseThis is what Dr. Nicholas Perricone has to say about Essential Fatty Acids in his book, “The Perricone Promise :

“Of the two dozen fats essential to human health, only two cannot be made by our body and must be obtained from foods. Accordingly these two nutrients are called Essential Fatty Acids. Omega-6 EFA, called Linoleic Acid (LA), is abundant in cooking oils. The other, Linolenic Acid (LNA), is an Omega-3 EFA. Among their many functions, each type of EFA is critical to immunity, brain function and the structure and integrity of cell membranes. Cell membranes are a key part of the body’s defense system and increased permeability – which can result from a diet deficient in EFAs – can have devastating effects, allowing free radicals and toxins a passageway into the cell, where they can wreak the kinds of havoc that weaken immunity and accelerate aging. The stiffening of the cell membrane results in decreased flexibility, which reduces nutrient intake and also desensitizes important hormone receptors for insulin and other hormones.

EFAs also nourish the skin, hair, mucous membranes, nerves and glands and help prevent cardiovascular disease. The polysaccharide peptide food that I recommend owes its wonderful skin-beautifying power to the fact that it is a very rich and very bio-available form of these Essential Fatty Acids. These Acids are the major building blocks of the fats in human bodies and foods and important sources of energy.

EFAs are also he precursors to the hormone-line compounds prostaglandins, which regulate many body function on a moment-by-moment basis”.

Hemp Seed Oil may benefit Eczema symptoms

Medical researchers at the University of Kuopio, Finland, have found evidence of the positive effects of Hemp Seed Oil on Eczema

Researchers, led by Dr. J Callaway, at the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Clinical Nutrition at the University, followed a group of patients with atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, which is a type of allergy that causes dry and itchy skin and often requires medical treatment.

“We are still processing some of the biochemical data,” said Dr Callaway, “but the subjective results from the patients are already in and they have been correlated with the diagnostic reports from the dermatologist.

“In short, we saw a remarkable reduction in dryness, itching and an overall improvement in the symptoms of these patients while they were using the hemp seed oil, and no significant change at all while they were using the olive oil. We also noticed a reduction in the frequency of influenza when these patients were taking the hemp seed oil,” continued the researcher.

The patients orally consumed two tablespoons of oil a day for two months in a randomised, double-blind crossover design. The other oil in the study was cold-pressed olive oil, and a two month washout period separated the two oil intervention periods.

Previously, these same researchers investigated the effects of hemp seed oil in a group of healthy volunteers and subsequently found elevated blood levels of GLA (gamma-linolenic acid; a naturally occurring fatty acid).

“This is a good thing because decreased GLA is thought to be associated with several chronic health problems, such as allergies and other disorders of the immune system,” said Dr Callaway. Over the last 10 years, numerous anecdotal reports have claimed that hempseed oil improves skin integrity, strengthens finger-nails and thickens hair. “In a way, this all makes sense because skin, hair and nails are all formed from the same line of dermal stem cells,” said Dr Callaway.

While hemp seed oil is relatively new to the modern Western palate, it has been used as an inexpensive substitute for butter in most Eastern European cultures in the past, particularly in Russia. Hemp Seed Oil is more than 90 % polyunsaturated and, for this reason, should not be used for frying.

“Hemp seed oil is an exceptional source of EFAs; the essential fatty acids that we must obtain from our daily diet because, like vitamins, we can’t produce them on our own. Judging from the fatty acid profile of hemp seed oil, the numerous anecdotal reports over the years and now the results of our initial clinical investigations, I’d have to conclude that this is probably the healthiest oil on the market,” said Dr Callaway.

“Clearly, this is an important and useful discovery that will need to be investigated further,” added Dr Callaway.

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Ain’t Hemp Great Bait!

EPSON DSC picture

Ever since the Belgians introduced English anglers to the miracle seed , Hemp has been revered for it’s magical fish pulling powers everywhere.

Hemp hasn’t lost it’s appeal with anglers. But what makes it so irresistible to certain fish? Some say that it drugs the fish and gives them an appetite while others say it looks like small snails that fish feed upon. Personally I believe that fish, like other animals, feed by instinct and know that the nutrients contained in Hemp are most beneficial for their diet.

You only have to look in the health food shops and on the net at Hemp products to see that you can get everything from Hemp nutria-bars to Hemp beer. The list is endless and I think that we will see a lot more developments in the industrial Hemp market in the future.

My only concern is that it pushes the price of the seed up so high and because of the demand that the anglers, are paying for it. In the fishing industry they have seen a shortage over the last 3 years and the price jump by 150%.

HEMP TIP … If you don’t have time to cook your Hemp, you can save time by putting the seed in a flask and covering it with boiling water (leave some air space at the top for expansion). Add a little sugar and a teaspoon full of backing powder to turn it a dense black colour. Next morning you will have perfectly cooked Hemp seed and a sweet smelling liquid for adding to your ground bait. If you are using cooked Hemp on a hot sunny day you can stop it from drying out by covering it with water in your bait tub or pour on a few drops of Hemp Seed Oil.