Update: Hempseed Oil for Hair Regrowth (and what about Oil Pulling?)


This morning I received a very nice comment on a previous post about how hempseed oil can help with hair loss/regrowth. It’s always nice to see such wonderful testimonials! Below is the comment:

I have been giving myself hemp oil massages morning and night, as well as using it for oil-pulling. Within a few weeks of starting this regimen my eyebrows began to grow back. They were half gone and now they are 80% there! It’s very obvious. Also, My usually very gray hair roots have a lot more of my naturally dark hair in them. They used to be more gray than dark, and now they are nearly 50/50 in ratio. My eyes can’t lie.

I love testimonials like this!

In case you didn’t read the former post, you can see it here.

Now, for those who are not aware of what oil pulling is: oil pulling is a safe, natural way to boost one’s health and immunity, and helps with dental/gum health.

Interestingly, many diseases originate from the mouth! Periodontitis, heart disease, diabetes – it is said that all of these originate from the mouth. Here is some insight I found on webmd.com:

Your Mouth, the Gateway to Your Body:

To understand how the mouth can affect the body, it helps to understand what can go wrong in the first place. Bacteria that builds up on teeth make gums prone to infection. The immune system moves in to attack the infection and the gums become inflamed. The inflammation continues unless the infection is brought under control.

Over time, inflammation and the chemicals it releases eat away at the gums and bone structure that hold teeth in place. The result is severe gum disease, known as periodontitis. Inflammation can also cause problems in the rest of the body.

Back to oil pulling. Simply put, oil pulling is swishing oil in the mouth for 20 minutes, not much less than that and not more than 20 minutes. The oil needs to cover the teeth, gums, tongue, and all crevices.

Yes, I know, it sounds a bit horrid. But let’s continue.

Because hempseed oil is so healthy, I would recommend it (although other oils may work just as well; just remember, hempseed oil must be refrigerated because it can go rancid quickly if not kept chilled).

Oil pulling must be done in the morning, BEFORE eating or drinking anything. About 1 tablespoon is all it takes, so be brave, grab your tablespoon of hempseed oil, and start swishing!  Pull the oil between the teeth as well; it works best if it is thoroughly spread about.

So now you are swishing and massaging for 20 minutes – but remember, do not swallow it! The oil is drawing out the bacteria, and you do not want to ingest it.

After your 20 minutes is up (which for some might seem like an eternity), spit it into a paper towel or trash can. You really don’t want the oil to go into your drainage system, so the trash is the best way to avoid that.

After removing the oil, immediately rinse out the mouth and gargle, again, not swallowing. Some people rinse with warm water, some choose salt water. You might want to repeat this a few times, then brush and go on about your day!

This can be done safely every morning. Also a good thing to remember: clean out the sink after you’ve spit out the gargle water. You want to make sure there is no lingering bacteria.

Now we know how to DO it, but how does it actually WORK?

Hempseed oil has antibacterial properties and is anti-inflammatory.  Swishing the oil in the mouth guarantees that the oil goes into the gum pockets, where most of the bacteria lies. The oil draws out the bacteria, especially where toothbrushes and floss cannot reach. The oil also can reduce inflammation from the bacteria.

*This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace care by a dental professional.

photo credit: Helga Weber via photopin cc

Menopause: Hemp vs. Soy


Menopause

Menopause.

For some, the M word brings up thoughts of felonious females flirting with fiery flashes of fitful frustration.

However, not every woman experiences menopause in the same way.

As I stated on an earlier post, some common symptoms of menopause are (this is a partial list):

  • Hot/cold flashes
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Night sweats
  • Dizziness/loss of balance
  • Mood swings
  • Bloating
  • Confusion
  • Hair loss/weakened fingernails/dry skin
  • Depression/panic disorder
  • Headaches
  • Tingling in hands and feet
  • Digestion problems
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Aching joints

The changing levels of estrogen and progesterone can last a few months, or they can last a few years.  Some women may experience all of these symptoms, some may not.

HRT (hormone replacement therapy) is another way, but more women are avoiding that avenue, since HRT has been shown to be associated with increased rates of heart attack, stroke, and breast cancer.

One way to manage symptoms is with nutrition and diet. For quite a while soy has been one of the dietary staples of menopausal women, especially those who wish to avoid HRT.  It has been widely thought that soy isoflavones helped prevent menopausal bone loss, but according to JAMA, “Conclusions  In this population, the daily administration of tablets containing 200 mg of soy isoflavones for 2 years did not prevent bone loss or menopausal symptoms.” (http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1106084)

I am seeing more often articles and stories debunking the benefits of soy.

Many menopausal women turn to soy to stave off nasty effects, like decreased bone density and hot flashes, because estrogen therapy is associated with risks for breast cancer and heart attack. But now researchers are calling for alternatives because a new study showed soy might not even work.” (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-20090000-10391704.html)

The vast majority of soy at your local market is not a health food. The exception is fermented soy, which I’ll explain more about later and even worse GMO soy that is contaminated with large pesticide residues as the reason it is GMO is so they can spray the potent toxic herbicide Roundup on them to improve crop production by killing the weeds.

Unlike the Asian culture, where people eat small amounts of whole non-GMO soybean products, western food processors separate the soybean into two golden commodities—protein and oil. And there is nothing natural or safe about these products.

Dr. Kaayla Daniel, author of The Whole Soy Story, points out thousands of studies linking soy to malnutrition, digestive distress, immune-system breakdown, thyroid dysfunction, cognitive decline, reproductive disorders and infertility—even cancer and heart disease.” (Mercola.com)

Today, depending on which source you go by, 86-94% of soy planted and grown in the U.S. is genetically modified. That is reason enough to avoid soy altogether.

If soy were to be avoided, what would be an alternative? HEMP.

Hempseed is a natural anti-inflammatory. It also helps to balance and restore the cellular structures.

Hempseed is a natural source of GLA, and is one of the few plants that contains GLA. This is important, because during menopause the body’s ability to convert LA to GLA is lessened.

The Omega 3 fatty acids found in hemp are the perfect ratio for the human body, and it is especially important for women to have a sufficient intake of them.

Low levels of Omega 3s are associated with inflammation, and inflammation is the root cause of many disorders and diseases. Hemp can reduce the effects of muscular pain, hot flashes, headaches, cardiovascular problems, hair and skin dryness and nail strength.

Hemp has been shown to reduce the effects and decrease the instances of depression and memory loss. The brain is mainly comprised of fatty acids, and having enough Omega fatty acids will help improve memory and brain function.

Osteoporosis, another symptom of menopause, is helped by the intake of hemp and Omega fatty acids. The essential fatty acids in hemp help with absorption of the calcium and vitamin D and aid in bone growth and calcification, and reduce calcium excretion in the urine (calcium loss and excretion through the urine can also cause kidney stones).

Hemp seeds are also rich in vitamin E, which is also important for those suffering from menopause.

One last note:

Hemp protein vs other proteins:

The edestin protein in hemp is one of the most easily digestible proteins.  It is very similar to human globulin.

Omega fatty acids help reduce bad cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and may lessen the possibility of stroke or heart attack.

Hemp does not contain phytoestrogens. Soy does. These hormones mimic estrogen and have been linked to cancer. Soy also contains natural toxins that hinder protein digestion.

There are no known allergies to hemp. Hemp is safe for anyone to consume, from toddler to octogenarians and beyond.

photo: Angry Woman by Vera Kratochvil

Hemp ~ The Natural Way To Reduce Cortisol


Physical and emotional stress cause cortisol levels to rise in the body. It is an important hormone and helps regulate insulin, blood pressure, immune function, inflammatory responses, and glucose metabolism.

Cortisol is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands, and is often known as the ‘stress hormone.’ It is beneficial when a sudden burst of energy is needed (for example, in a ‘fight or flight’ situation), helping memory, or giving the immune system a boost.

Constant high levels of cortisol, however, are NOT beneficial. When cortisol secretions remain at unsafe levels they can cause many complications (for example, in situations of chronic stress):

  • High blood pressure
  • Increased abdominal fat
  • Loss of bone density
  • Loss of collagen
  • Increased gastric acid
  • Counteracts insulin and elevates blood glucose levels (excess cortisol may be a factor in appearance of diabetes)
  • Blocks cells from producing chemicals that regulate immunity
  • Suppressed thyroid function
  • Impaired cognition
  • Fatigue/weakness
  • Inhibits reproductive system

In the case of chronic stress, the body is not allowed to go back to the normal, relaxed stage; this results in constant high levels of cortisol.

There are many stress management techniques that can be implemented:

Removing the stressors

Learning to adapt to the stressors

Spend more time in nature

Adopt a healthy lifestyle – this includes exercise, sufficient sleep, avoiding excessive caffeine/sugar and intake of sufficient nutrients.

Nutrition has been known to play a large part in helping the body stay at optimum healthy levels – physically, emotionally, and mentally. Some of the most important nutrients are Omega Fatty Acids.

Omega fatty acids are anti-inflammatory. They also help the central nervous system. One way they do that is by ‘feeding’ the myelin sheaths that protect the nerves (myelin sheaths are high in fatty acids), and Omega fatty acids are known to, to some extent, repair the myelin sheaths. Myelin sheath damage and degeneration is what causes MS, or Multiple Sclerosis.

Omega fatty acids also aid with those suffering from depressions and Alzheimers. Omega fatty acids nourish and soothe the cells, and because they are anti-inflammatory, they may help decrease the effects from chronic stress.

Hempseed and hempseed oil are one of the best sources of Omega fatty acids. Hemp has the perfect ratio of Omega fatty acids needed by the human body. Hemp has a high concentration of fats, but they are GOOD fats. Not only is it rich in Omega fatty acids, it is also very nutrient dense – hemp is a complete protein and has vitamins and minerals needed by the body.

Hemp, combined with a healthy lifestyle and diet, is a great way to reduce cortisol…and avoid the problems that arise with elevated cortisol levels.

How Hempseed Can Slow Premature Aging Due To Chronic Inflammation


Inflammation. We have all experienced it.  For the most part, inflammation is GOOD, it is part of the immune response system that tells us when there is infection, stress, illness, or injury.  We then (usually) take the steps necessary to remedy the condition that caused the inflammation in the first place.

Chronic inflammation, however, is a key cause in disease and premature cellular aging. Below is a partial list of diseases causes by inflammation:

  • Colitis
  • Arthritis
  • Lupis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Diabetes
  • Crohn’s
  • Parkinson’s
  • Neuropathy

Inflammation can be chronic, and linger for months, even years.  In some cases, the immune system sees the inflamed tissues as “foreign.”

Sometimes, chronic inflammation may persist even without significant infection – either because the inflammation response has become too sensitive or because the immune system begins to perceive some of the body’s own tissues as foreign. As it turns out, aging is associated with the increase in both of these unwelcome forms of chronic inflammation. As we age, we tend to develop autoimmune conditions as well as other forms of chronic inflammation. The majority of older people have some degree of low-grade inflammation and/or mild autoimmune disorders (and some have moderate or severe forms, of course). It is no wonder that chronic inflammation contributes to the aging process because it floods tissues with free radicals and promotes the destruction of normal cells. Like most mechanisms of aging, chronic inflammation creates a vicious cycle. The aging process tends to increase the level of chronic inflammation and that, in turn, accelerates aging.  While chronic inflammation contributes to the aging of many tissues, it is particularly prominent in the aging of the cardiovascular and nervous system – the two systems most vital to our survival. Inflammation is now recognized as one of the key risk factors for heart disease and stroke, an even bigger risk factor than high cholesterol or homocysteine, according to some estimates. ~ smartskincare.com

The question now is, “How do I keep inflammation under control?”

First, you will need to know the factors that contribute to inflammation – injury, illness, stress, toxins, smoking, hazardous chemicals, environmental pollution, poor nutrition, and even chemicals in foods that we eat.

Second, you will need to (as much as you can, if possible) reduce the stressors that cause the inflammation.  Some of the most obvious remedies are to stop smoking, learn to de-stress, and improve nutrition.

Proper nutrition is only one way to combat inflammation. More specifically, eating hempseed and hempseed oil. Hempseed has the perfect ratio of Omega fatty acids required by the human body.  Omega fatty acids are the key nutrients in reducing inflammation. They feed and rejuvenate the cells, help with new cell growth, and keep the cellular structure strong and pliant. Omega fatty acids also improve the cell’s ability to use the nutrients that are ingested.

Hemp is also rich in antioxidants – oxidation is also one of the key factors of cellular aging.

Incorporating hemp into the diet is only one of the steps that one can take to reduce inflammation and premature aging, but it IS a delicious step.

Inflammation, Cancer, and How Hemp May Be Able to Prevent Them


Cancer. It’s one word that no one wants to hear in their diagnosis. It is certain that most of us in one way or another have been touched by cancer or know someone who has. However, cancer is no longer a guaranteed early death sentence.

Cancer research has come a long way. There are medicines that help treat cancer or kill it. An IMPORTANT factor in cancer recovery is nutrition. And what better way to beat cancer than with the world’s most perfect, healthy plant?

Cancer can be caused my numerous factors. Some say there is a genetic link – that some cancers run through family generations. Poor diet, smoking, injury, illness, environmental toxins, inflammation – these can all have a hand in the appearance of cancer.

Studies have shown that inflammation is the cause of many diseases and illnesses, including cancer.

This study by researchers at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center — Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC — James) found that inflammation stimulates a rise in levels of a molecule called microRNA-155 (miR-155).

This, in turn, causes a drop in levels of proteins involved in DNA repair, resulting in a higher rate of spontaneous gene mutations, which can lead to cancer.” (www.sciencedaily.com)

Chronic inflammation is a major cause of cancer in the world because it releases powerful oxidants which both stimulate cell division and are mutagens.” (users.rcn.com)

What is inflammation?

Inflammation is part of the complex biological response of vascular tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants.  Inflammation is a protective attempt by the organism to remove the injurious stimuli and to initiate the healing process. Inflammation is not a synonym for infection, even in cases where inflammation is caused by infection. Although infection is caused by a microorganism, inflammation is one of the responses of the organism to the pathogen.” (Wikipedia)

Below are some causes of inflammation:

Immune reactions

Infection

Physical injury

Toxins

Trauma

Irritants (chemical, abrasive, etc.)

Burns/cuts/scrapes

Bacteria

Anxiety/depression

Poor diet

All of the above conditions can affect the immune system, and when the immune system kicks in this is what can happen:

Pro-inflammatory cytokines are part of our immune systems that attack and kill cells with oxidative chemicals. If they don’t stop their attacks, they will start killing cells our bodies need. Unchecked inflammation is now thought to be responsible for cardiovascular disease and cancers.” (http://www.mnwelldir.org)

It is also believed that chronic inflammation is the result of low oxygen in the cells.

So, you may be asking, where does hemp come into play in all this?

If you recall, above I mentioned that poor nutrition can be a factor in inflammation. If the cells are not getting the nutrients they need they become unhealthy.

For example, hemp has the perfect ratio of Omega fatty acids. Fatty acids work to keep the cells healthy and strong, and keep the membranes supple for nutrients to easily pass in. Omega fatty acids are also the components in hemp that have anti-inflammatory properties.

Hemp has edestin protein, the protein closest to human globulin (and it is easily digested by the body). Edestin protein boosts the immune system by building what are called immunoglobulins,  edestin works to repair cells, and also maintains cell DNA.

When the DNA in cells is damaged, that can cause cancer. When those damaged cells multiply, they cause cancer to grow.

Hemp is a complete protein and is one of the most nutrient dense plant sources on the earth. Because it is so nutrient dense, it makes it a perfect addition to the diet to improve and sustain health. It has been shown that in some instances poor nutrition have a hand in the occurrence of disease; proper nutrition with plenty of Omega fatty acids, protein, fiber, and micronutrients found in hemp can be the turning point to good health (along with wise diet choices, exercise, and removing as many toxins as possible).

It is a known fact that a nutrient-rich diet can treat or reverse disease. Can hemp cure cancer? Some say yes.

Does a diet rich in hemp help strengthen the body and immune system? That is a definite yes.

Acne? Try Hemp!


Acne is a very common skin condition, and it’s not a condition that is only experienced during the puberty phase of growth. From teendom and onward, almost anyone at any age can suffer from acne. It can be a painful (and esteem-lowering) condition.

Acne is the blockage of follicles due to over secretion of cells. The blockage is sebum, or oil, that is present in the skin. These blockages then allow bacteria growth, which in turn cause the appearance of whiteheads, blackheads milia, inflamed patches, pain, and scarring.

Acne that appears during puberty is normally the result of increased amounts of testosterone (yes, females have testosterone as well).  For most people acne diminishes when they reach their early 20s, but for some people the acne will continue on into 30s, 40s or even 50s.

Hempseed and hempseed oil are excellent for healthy skin. Hempseed oil is rich in protein and Omega fatty acids, and both are great for the skin. The essential fatty acids in hemp hemp with healing and cellular growth.

Hemp is anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial (antiseptic), and nutritive for hair and skin.

Adding hempseed and hempseed oil to the diet will help most skin conditions (I noticed that my skin felt fresher, cleaner, more alive); applying it topically can also be beneficial. There are several hempseed oil based skin products on the market.

*I personally use Versativa’s Hemphoria on my skin. It is meant to be taken internally, but I experimented and put it on my face at night (not a good idea to put it on in the morning, it is orange-colored). Hemphoria is a product with whole hemp, astaxanthin, orange, passion fruit, pomegranate, sweet lime, rose, and frankincense. Not only does it make my body feel incredibly fresh when taken internally, but after using it on my face for 3 nights I noticed my skin was smoother, fresher, younger-looking, and my minor acne had disappeared. I had a few lesions on my face as well, and they were reduced by half after 3 days.

**This post is based on my own research and personal experiences. It is not mean to be used as professional medical advice. If you are on medication for severe acne and have questions, please contact your medical care provider.