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Hemp Seed Oil

Hemp Seed Oil

What is Hemp Seed Oil?

Hemp seed oil, often referred to as “hemp oil,” is a clear, green oil harvested by cold-pressing the small hemp seeds. It is not to be confused with cannabidiol (CBD) oil, which is an extract of the cannabis plant and utilizes hemp flowers and leaves for its production. Although the hemp and the cannabis plant belong to the same plant family, Cannabis sativa L, they are two different plants and have different compositions. The biggest difference between them is the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) present in each plant. While the hemp plant’s THC concentration does not exceed 0.3%, the cannabis plant has high THC levels (up to 28%). THC is the psychoactive portion of the cannabis plant responsible for giving humans the sensation of feeling “high.” Thus, this makes products derived from the hemp plant very unlikely to create a “high” and the reason why it's mainly used for medicinal purposes. Hemp oil is often unrefined, can have a nutty flavor and has numerous health benefits.

 

Origin

The hemp plant and humans go way back: The first agricultural crop of hemp began more than 10,000 years ago in the region that is modern-day Taiwan. It’s possible that the cultivation of hemp served as the foundation of a sustainable civilization. By 6,000 B.C., evidence shows the hemp plant was cultivated in modern-day China. It’s been known that ancient Chinese used the hemp stalks for building materials, but they also made clothing and shoes from the hemp cord, and they would press hemp seeds and stalks to make hemp oil and salves. This civilization was a pioneer in discovering that hemp seeds are high in protein, vitamins, essential fatty and amino acids and was an ideal source of food and nutrition.

The world’s first recorded history of using hemp as a medicine is found in the “Pen Ts’ao Ching” (written in the First Century A.D.) which compiled herb investigations carried out by Chinese Emperor Shen-Nung. According to legend, Emperor Shen-Nung is considered to be the father of Chinese medicine and pharmacology (approximately 2695 B.C.) since he was known to be a master agriculturist and noted for tasting, experimenting and documenting as much as 365 herbs in his lifetime. The emperor would use the female hemp plant to make teas and was attributed to making hemp medicine by extracting hemp oil from the plant’s seeds. One of his most valuable discoveries on hemp seed oil was that when made into a tea it was helpful as a natural pain treatment, as well as creating what could possibly be the first topical hemp oil that he applied to the skin for rashes and irritation. In addition, he used hemp oil to treat symptoms of rheumatic pain, intestinal constipation, disorders of the female reproductive system and malaria.

During the period between 2000 and 800 B.C.E., Egyptian writings in the Ramesseum Papyri, an ancient Egyptian medical text, show use of hemp oil as an ingredient for eyewash. Fast-forward to 1500 C.E., hemp was grown in England, and it’s been proven that King Henry VIII fined his constituents if they did not grow hemp because of its high value. Hemp was a primary source of clothing material for Europeans prior to the development of cotton, so it’s no coincidence that settlers in North America brought hemp seeds with them and began cultivating the crop in Jamestown around 1616. They would use the hemp fibers for clothing, building materials, sails and weapons. This is the reason why in 1619 the Virginia Assembly established that all citizens were required to grow hemp. The plant was even accepted as legal tender in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland and by 1776 hemp was cultivated in Kentucky. Most of the newly formed United States were cultivating industrial hemp on large scales by 1800. As medicinal uses of the plant were becoming more apparent, in 1851 the third edition of the United States Pharmacopeia listed hemp extract among its medicines. In the same year the United States Dispensatory (a less restrictive medical guide that included drugs not recognized in the pharmacopeia) included hemp extract and medicinal cannabis. 

 

Nutritional & Health Benefits 

Clearly the discovery of the medicinal qualities of the hemp plant are not recent. Even though the seeds do not contain the same levels of compounds as the plant itself, they  still have a rich profile of nutrients, unsaturated fatty acids, protein and useful bioactive compounds; this according to a study from 2014 that analyzed the lipid profile of the hemp seed oil.

Hemp Plant

Award-winning pediatrician Dan Brennan notes that “the many health benefits of hemp seed oil come from its high content of three polyunsaturated fatty acids: linoleic acid, alpha-linolenic acid and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). Additionally, its ratio of omega-6 (linoleic acid) to omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acid) fatty acids is 3:1. Experts agree that this 3:1 fatty acid ratio is ideal for health benefits in humans.” Full-spectrum hemp oil that also contains plant matter may add other effective compounds. Hemp seed oil can also be used as a carrier oil for an essential oil mixture. As a matter of fact, one tablespoon (15 milliliters) of hemp seed oil contains 125 calories, 14 grams of total fat, 1 gram of saturated fatty acids, 2 grams of monounsaturated fatty acids and 11 grams polyunsaturated fatty acids. Now, let’s break down these benefits a little bit more in detail. The omega-3 fatty acids can help lower blood pressure in people that suffer from hypertension. Additionally, it serves as a beneficial supplement during pregnancy as it supports healthy brain and eye development for the fetus and it may help prevent perinatal depression. Meanwhile the linoleic acid (omega-6) has been proven to reduce “bad” cholesterol which reduces the risk of coronary heart disease. In turn the gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) has been shown to reduce inflammation; this can be very effective in relieving symptoms of inflammatory conditions such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and irritable bowel syndrome while simultaneously encouraging new cell generation. On the whole hemp seed oil whether applied topically or ingested can help bring health benefits inside and out!

 

Topical Benefits for Hair & Skin

According to a research article published in 2015 the use of hemp seed oil topically can protect hair from damage by preventing excessive water absorption which can cause hygral fatigue. This damage is caused when the hair follicles swell from the excessive moisture; highly porous hair is the most susceptible to hygral fatigue. It can also help to prevent the penetration of certain substances that could be harmful for your hair. Hemp seed oil can prevent hair breakage by enhancing lubrication on the shaft while reducing the combing force of wet hair. As we mentioned above hemp seed oil has been proven to be rich in omega-3, omega-6 and antioxidants, all known to provide moisture, strengthen hair, prevent hair loss, improve hair diameter and density as demonstrated by another 2015 study. The abundance of vitamins and fatty acids present in hemp seed oil are essential in nourishing the skin and keeping it healthy by protecting it from oxidation, preventing breakouts and other causes of aging. Hemp seed oil is also an emollient so its most well-verified benefits are leaving the skin feeling soft and supple. Its anti-inflammatory properties not only work when the oil is ingested as it also works when used topically. It can even reduce the symptoms and appearance of clinical atopic dermatitis.

When using hemp seed oil to make our natural soap bars, it is combined with other oils in a process called saponification. Adding hemp seed oil helps to give our bars that luxurious feel so many of you love!


Tip: Massage some hemp seed oil into your scalp to strengthen brittle hair strands and add shine and moisture to the hair while promoting thicker hair growth (be sure to try a small amount first to test for skin irritation). Or make some homemade hemp oil pesto sauce by following this recipe.
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Green Clay

Green Clay

Green clay, also known as French green clay, is quarry-mined from naturally occurring deposits of clay located in southern France, but it has also been found in some areas of North America such as Montana, Wyoming and even in China. It was used in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome to treat a variety of skin problems and digestive disorders. After the clay has been mined, it’s prepared by crushing and spreading it in the sun to remove excess water as it sundries; it’s untreated, with a beautiful light green color and soft texture. Green clay is by far one of the most majestic, most effective and commonly used mineral skin clays found in the world. It belongs to a subcategory of clay minerals known as illite clays, the other two major groups being kaolinite and smectite clays. Unlike other clays where key elements work in symbiosis off of each other, green clay contains several elements which act as their own “body,” meaning that each element is responsible for working the outer epidermis (outermost layer of skin cells) in its own way and in dispensing its biological constituents as best as possible. The luxurious green clay’s coloration comes from the very cycles of life that the earth uses to regenerate itself, which is why it’s sometimes called sea clay. In other words, it owes its natural green tones to two very important factors: iron oxide and decomposed plant matter, mostly kelp seaweed and other algae. The other components of green clay include a mineral known as montmorillonite, as well as dolomite, magnesium, calcium, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, aluminum, silicon, copper, selenium and cobalt.


Skin & Topical Benefits

Green clay has enormous absorbent powers due to the constitution of its micro molecules. It can be used on oily skin and acne-prone skin because it literally “drinks” oils, toxic substances and impurities, removing them from the epidermis. Green clay exfoliates your pores and removes the dead cells revealing a new layer of skin with a refreshed and healthy glow. As the clay dries on the skin, it causes the pores to tighten and the skin to feel firm. This toning action stimulates the blood flow on your skin which helps to clear and heal occasional skin blemishes. It can be used daily on those trouble spots, or weekly just as part of a complete facial treatment. Some practitioners maintain that the plant matter in green clay has anti-inflammatory as well as antiseptic or bactericidal properties, this is supported by a study published in 2008. This wonderful clay can even help to soothe and facilitate the healing of cuts, scrapes, minor burns, insect bites and allergies. As well as treating arthritis, sore muscles, sprains, bruises, and mineral baths for stress relief.

Hair Benefits

On hair, green clay has been used topically for its clarifying properties as it effectively eliminates dirt, product build-up, dandruff, and toxins. It helps clean excessive oils without completely stripping the natural oils that help maintain a healthy oil balance on your scalp environment. It also enhances circulation on the scalp attracting blood to the skin’s surface which in turn helps with healthy cell turnover. Combining the clay with hydrating ingredients, such as aloe, can help prevent the clay from drying out your skin, much like how we crafted our Nature’s Medicine Bar Soap. Also, due to our unique soap making process (hand-milling), the green clay we use in Nature’s Medicine is completely unaffected by the saponification process, giving you more of it’s raw benefits!


FTR Tip: Save some money and craft your relaxing day at the spa right at home by mixing some green clay powder with water and your favorite carrier oil and essential oil duo until it becomes a paste. Apply it to your entire body, let dry a bit, then buff off and enjoy some soft exfoliated skin!



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Water

Water

For millennia we've been told that water is “good for the body,” (but this explanation just falls short!). Actually, water holds the key to good health and overall well-being! In this post we will explain in a nutshell the great impact that water has in our lives, why it's so good for us and why it's vital for the survival of all living beings on this Earth.

Water and life on Earth

In order for us to understand what the big deal is with water, we need to go all the way back to the beginning of life on our planet. It's no coincidence that one of NASA's guiding policies in their search for alien life in other planets is to simply “follow the water.” The reason for this is that whether it was in hydrothermal ponds, ice sheets or deep down at the bottom of the ocean, scientists now know that the first living organisms on Earth would've needed H2O to be able to grow, divide and evolve.

Water is literally EVE👏🏽RY👏🏽WHERE👏🏽 from vast oceans to the invisible molecules that make up vapor in the air. While we can see the physical properties of water, it also has many chemical, electrical, and atomic-scale properties that affect all life and substances on Planet Earth. With its unusual structure it serves as a mediator of life's chemical reactions; one of water’s most impressive reactions that we can visually enjoy is the refraction of light (this creates rainbows!) Refraction put in simple terms is just water bending light. The light that comes from the Sun, known as white light, is composed of all different colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet). So when this colorful light passes through the water droplets present in the clouds the light bends inside of the droplets and all of the colors are scattered. The light keeps reflecting itself through the water thus creating a rainbow. So the next time you’re watching a rainbow in wonderment remember that without water this magical spectacle of natural beauty would not be possible.

Water and the human body

Now, we've all heard that the human body is 60% water. Well, this statement is not exactly right, since not all humans have the same percentages of their bodies made up of water. Tiny humans, a.k.a. babies and kids, have more water percentage than adults. Get this: A baby is about 78% water at birth!

But in adult women that percentage drops to about 55%. The reason for that is that fat tissue doesn't have as much water as lean tissue. Since women have breasts (and they are mostly composed of fat tissue) women's bodies have more fat tissue to make up their body than men. Therefore, in adult men the water percentage is about 60% of their entire body.

But the impact that this molecule has in our body is far greater. Often referred to by scientists as "the molecule of life,” water serves a multitude of essential functions that sustain our bodies every day. It's a vital nutrient in the life of every cell since it acts as a building material and it allows them to grow, multiply, and survive. Our brains need water in order for it to manufacture hormones and neurotransmitters. Water also acts as a shock absorber for the brain, spinal cord, and the fetus during gestation. Water helps deliver oxygen all through our bodies, helps mucosal membranes stay moist, and lubricates our joints. 

But wait ... there's more! 👁👄👁

Water also helps our body in the process of digestion by converting the food we eat into the components needed for our survival. These components are essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals that perform hundreds of roles in our body — like converting food into energy, healing wounds, and repairing cellular damage. Our saliva, which also aids in the digestion process, is formed by water, too. Water is also responsible for regulating the temperature of our bodies through perspiration and respiration and it flushes our organs of harmful toxins and waste mainly through urine.

So it's no surprise that water is the major component of most of our body parts. This molecule is in our blood, our brain, heart, lungs, kidneys, muscles, bones, and skin.

Water and skin health

Let's not forget that skin is the largest organ of the human body. So we should take the way our skin looks as a direct response to our bodies’ overall health. Experts, physicians, and scientists unanimously agree that drinking a generous amount of water on a daily basis is beneficial for skin cells. Water hydrates the skin and enhances our natural complexion; when the skin doesn't receive a sufficient amount of water the dehydration will cause it to look dull, flaky, and dry.

If our skin is dry it loses elasticity, has less resilience, and it is prone to wrinkling. Cold water can minimize skin's redness; it can tighten pores and prevent them from being clogged, which is one of the main causes for acne. Compresses of cold water underneath the eyes can prevent and help reduce puffiness in the area. Meanwhile warm water helps open the pores of the skin and helps to remove the dirt.

Water and hair health

Dehydration, or just not drinking enough water, also affects our hair. Water supplies the hair with strength in our roots so they can grow and it maintains the levels of keratin — which increases the hair volume and it darkens our hair color. When the body detects a shortage of water it will start to borrow water from different parts of the body. Unfortunately this leads to hair loss, breakage, and thinning of hair strands. Not only that, water keeps our hair clean while it reduces the dirt and oil build-up on the scalp, making our hair look shiny and feel strong.

As mentioned above, we highly recommend starting off your wash with warm water, as it opens up your hair cuticles and the pores in your scalp, which helps in the removal of sweat, dirt, and oil that can accumulate but also rinsing out your shampoo with warm water as well (make sure your hair is completely suds-free). Then a final rinse with cold water, this step is especially important since open cuticles absorb oil and moisture faster. Cold water helps with closing these cuticles and tightens your pores which protects your scalp from clogged pores (which can slow down hair growth). Additionally, closed cuticles make your hair feel and look smoother, this can make the hair look shiny and glossy all on its own without the need of extra products.

Summary

Water (“the molecule of life”) serves a multitude of essential functions that sustain our bodies every day. It's a vital nutrient in the life of every one of our cells since it acts as a building material and it allows them to grow, multiply, and survive. Water is the major component of most of our body parts: it’s in our blood, our brain, heart, lungs, kidneys, muscles, bones, and skin. Water hydrates the skin and enhances our natural complexion; when the skin doesn't receive a sufficient amount of water the dehydration will cause it to look dull, flaky, and dry.

Dehydration, or simply not drinking enough water, also affects our hair as water supplies the hair with strength in our roots so they can grow and it maintains the levels of keratin. This leads to hair loss, breakage, and thinning of hair strands. Not only that, water keeps our hair clean while it reduces the dirt build-up on the scalp, making our hair look shiny and feel strong. This is the reason why water is always an indispensable main ingredient in all our soap bars and aloe vera the principal ingredient in our hydrating hair mists (since aloe vera is 99% water). We should consider proper hydration a key to our overall good health, a well-hydrated body is able to carry out every day functions and provide you with healthy brain activity, so you can always give your best!

Tip: Ocean water, which is highly rich in nutrients, can cleanse, repair and detangle the hair strands because it contains sea lettuce and red algae particles. This cleanses the hair without excessive drying or stripping of its natural oils. Remember, ocean water should always be rinsed out with fresh water because the salt can dry out your scalp and hair over time. Also, people with dyed hair should be cautious because their hair is more prone to damage from ocean water. Avoid chlorinated water though; we always recommend the use of hair caps before fun in the pool.

Sources and more information:
  • Dunbar, B. (n.d.). Water: The Molecule of Life An Interview with Philip Ball. NASA. Retrieved from: https://www.nasa.gov/vision/universe/solarsystem/Water:_Molecule_of_Life.html.
  • Jordan , S. (2020, November 14). Origins of life: new evidence first cells could have formed at the bottom of the ocean. The Conversation: academic rigor, journalistic flair. Retrieved from:  https://theconversation.com/origins-of-life-new-evidence-first-cells-could-have-formed-at-the-bottom-of-the-ocean-126228
  • Mitchell, H.H., Hamilton, T.S., Steggerda, F.R., & Bean, H.W. (1945). The chemical composition of the adult human body and its bearing on the biochemistry of growth. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 158, 625-637. Retrieved from: https://www.jbc.org/article/S0021-9258(19)51339-4/pdf
  • Sargen, M. (2019, September 26). Biological Roles of Water: Why is water necessary for life? Science in the News. Retrieved from: https://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/uncategorized/2019/biological-roles-of-water-why-is-water-necessary-for-life/. USGS science for a changing world. 
  • Top 8 Benefits Of Water For Skin And Hair. The Berkey. (n.d.). Retrieved from: https://theberkey.com/blogs/water-filter/top-8-benefits-of-water-for-skin-and-hair.
  • USGS| science for a changing world. (n.d.). The Water in You: Water and the Human Body. Retrieved from: https://www.usgs.gov/special-topic/water-science-school/science/water-you-water-and-human-body
  • Water Science School. Water Basics | USGS.gov. (n.d.). Retrieved from: https://www.usgs.gov/special-topic/water-science-school/science/water-basics.
  • Wells, S. (2016, October 19). The Science of Rainbows. Smithsonian Science Education Center. Retrieved from: https://ssec.si.edu/stemvisions-blog/science-rainbows.
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