Hemp is one of the oldest plants on the planet. The cultivation of this culture began about ten thousand years ago in the territory of modern Taiwan. Even ancient farmers noticed that this grass significantly improves the quality of the soil on which it grows, and its stems have for centuries been the raw material of strong natural fibers. Archaeologists have found artifacts confirming the use of hemp cord 8 thousand years ago. At one time, the Chinese grew this herb not only for fiber, but also as a source of protein, vitamins, essential fatty acids and amino acids. Hemp oil and balms were made from pressed stems and seeds. Many centuries ago, a man realized that hemp oil has healing properties. What is known about this product today?
What it is
Hemp oil is a product derived from hemp. And immediately it is worth saying that theoretically it can be made from all plants of the Cannabis genus, but, as a rule, only industrial plant varieties are used for this purpose. We are talking about varieties of cannabis, which do not contain psychoactive substances that affect the nervous system and brain function. Also, do not confuse edible hemp oil and made from other types of hemp with narcotic properties. In the second case, hashish or narcotic cannabis oil is obtained, which are dangerous to humans. The raw material for hemp oil is the seeds of some types of hemp, with a negligible content or complete absence of psychotropic components.
Depending on the methods of production and processing, different types of hemp oil may differ slightly in appearance and taste. By cold pressing the seeds, a product is obtained which, in unrefined form, has a green color, a grassy taste with a nutty flavor. After processing, the (refined) oil becomes almost colorless, but retains a characteristic aroma well. It is believed that it is more useful to choose unrefined varieties as a food product, and refined ones are better suited for external use and massage.
The oil contained in hemp seeds consists of 75-80% of the so-called good fats (polyunsaturated fatty acids), and only 9-11% of the composition is saturated fatty acids less desirable in the human diet. Hemp product is considered to be the most unsaturated among other vegetable oils.
The essential fatty acids that make up the product are one of the most important components for humans. They are important if only because they are involved at the cellular level in the production of vital energy. By the way, many of us are deficient in these fatty acids and, on the contrary, are getting excessive amounts of animal fats.
In nutrition, hemp oil is known as the most balanced in nature. And all because the substances Omega-6 and Omega-3 are presented in proportions that are useful to humans - 3: 1. In addition, there are three more important PUFAs in the product: gamma-linolenic, oleic and stearic acids. And I must say, this combination is unique among all edible oilseeds.
Thanks to the omega-3 hemp product is able to prevent inflammation, reduce cognitive function, it is useful for the heart and healthy metabolism. Omega-6 protects the body from allergies, improves energy production and heart function, helps the body quickly restore strength.
In addition to omega-substances and other fatty acids, hemp seed oil provides a person with a sufficient amount of antioxidants, including in the form of vitamins A and E. In addition to them, the product contains reserves of vitamins B, D and C, phospholipids, phytosterols, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, potassium, phosphorus, chromium, as well as a small amount of iron and zinc. In addition, crude hemp oil is a good source of chlorophyll.
Studies have shown that many common human diseases are caused by a lack or imbalance in fatty acid intake. On the contrary, people, in which the diet contains fatty acids in the right amounts, are distinguished by strong immunity and healthy skin.
Benefits for the human body
Hemp oil has several health benefits. And not least due to the rich presence of essential amino acids. If the body lacks these substances, mutations at the cellular level and the development of cancer are possible. True, scientists still argue about the anti-cancer properties of hemp oil.
In addition, hemp oil is also known for other properties. For example:
This product is good to eat:
- for the treatment of anemia, asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis, skin diseases;
- to improve the functioning of the cardiological and immune system;
- to improve lactation;
- with gastric ulcer, enteritis, colitis, cholecystitis, hemorrhoids, gallstone disease;
- for the treatment of inflammation in the genitourinary system;
- with hypertension;
- to improve arthritis or osteoporosis;
- with tuberculosis;
- for the treatment of renal failure.
Role in the body
Maintains hormonal balance
Hemp is the only edible seed that contains gamma-linolenic acid. And it, getting into the body, turns into prostaglandin, which regulates the hormonal background in the body.
Useful for people with diabetes.
Due to its low carbohydrate and sugar content, hemp oil, rich in valuable substances, is extremely beneficial for people with diabetes. In addition, the nutrients contained in the product maintain a stable level of sugar in the blood.
A product rich in Omega-substances strengthens the immune system, including by improving the intestinal microflora. Increases the body's resistance against germs.
Protects nerve cells
The essential fatty acids found in this product are essential for maintaining a healthy cell membrane structure. The use of oil prevents the destruction of the myelin sheath (the membrane that protects nerve cells).
Prevents varicose veins
Like other products with a rich content of Omega-3, hemp oil can thin the blood, preventing the formation of clots in it, and thereby protects against the occurrence of varicose veins.
Hemp seed oil contains a number of substances that are beneficial to the skin. In particular, fatty acids nourish and moisturize the skin. For this reason, many face and body creams contain hemp oil as the main ingredient. Massage with its use makes the skin healthy, toned, fresh color. This product has anti-aging properties, smoothes wrinkles, moisturizes very dry skin. In addition, hemp oil is useful for eczema, psoriasis, acne. But it is worth noting that oil is used not only externally to treat skin. Studies have shown that eating the product also eliminates the symptoms of eczema and other skin problems.
Hair also feels the benefits of hemp oil. Many curl care products contain herbal ingredients, including hemp. This oil improves blood circulation, thereby accelerating hair growth. Shampooing with shampoos with the addition of this product improves the structure of the hair, supports the health of the scalp, and treats dandruff. Vegetable oil masks are useful for maintaining the health of hair follicles.
Source of alpha-linolenic acid
Hemp oil is an excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid. This substance is important for the proper functioning of the body. Interestingly, in its structure, this fatty acid is very similar to the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil. Therefore, hemp product, like fish, is useful in preventing heart disease, arthritis, and depression. It helps reduce the amount of low density lipoproteins (bad cholesterol) in the body that clog arteries.
Rich source of protein
Hemp oil is 25% high quality protein. It provides a person with amino acids in almost such quantities as meat or eggs. Due to its special structure, hemp protein is easily digested by the body and quickly absorbed. By the way, this protein is often used to make protein powders for bodybuilders. For this reason, hemp oil is useful to take after training - for faster recovery, accelerate muscle growth and improve the tone of the musculoskeletal system. Compared to other oils, hemp provides a person with the necessary proteins and amino acids, without adding extra calories.
Improves the reproductive system
This product is useful for men and women to improve the reproductive system. In particular, the benefit for women is to alleviate the condition with PMS, menopause, and also during pregnancy. For expectant mothers, oil is useful as a source of vitamins and essential fatty acids, as well as to prevent edema. For men, the product is important for the prevention of prostate adenoma, cancer, sexual impotence.
Many, having heard the name "hemp", immediately recall addiction. In fact, in industrial varieties of this plant there are no psychotropic substances that could harm the body. And I must say, every year more and more people realize this and introduce hemp porridge and oil into their diet, which were still held in high esteem in Russia.
Hemp fats in many countries are used in cooking and pharmacology. This product is considered one of the most beneficial for humans. However, it is important to recognize that abuse of it can cause side effects.
It is important to know that hemp oil is not suitable for frying. It can be used only in those dishes that do not heat more than 50 degrees Celsius. At higher temperatures, polyunsaturated fats break down into harmful substances. Thus, this product is well used in salads, to give dishes a special flavor, but not for frying.
Excessive enthusiasm for hemp product can affect the digestive system. For example, there is reason to consider it the cause of diarrhea. Although for people with intestinal motility disorders, chronic constipation, this oil can be very useful. In addition, too large portions of hemp seed fat can cause abdominal cramps, nausea, and exacerbation of certain diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Do not use this product before surgery, as it contains substances that worsen blood coagulation.
By the way, the recommended daily norm of hemp oil is from 14 to 28 ml, which corresponds to 1-2 tablespoons of the product.
The use of hemp fats
One of the classic uses for hemp oil is the production of cosmetics. This product is often an ingredient in soaps, shower gels, skin care products. Hemp oil is often combined with other oily bases to create dry skin care products. This hemp product improves blood circulation and nourishes the skin with beneficial substances, which is why it is often used as a massage tool. In industry, this product is used for the manufacture of paints, and also as biofuel - an environmentally friendly alternative to oil.
How to choose and store
The shelf life of unrefined hemp oil is very short. It will quickly bitter if you do not keep the product in a dark cool place. Unrefined product is better to buy in small portions. Store in tightly closed bottles in the refrigerator or in the freezer.
Traditional medicine recipes
And if today most of us know very little about the beneficial properties of hemp oil, then our great-grandmothers actively used it for treatment.
To enhance the protective abilities of the body, herbalists were advised to drink a tablespoon of oil on an empty stomach. It was used to prevent spring vitamin deficiency. For this, traditional healers advised drinking a teaspoon of oil three times a day.
A mixture of hemp oil and egg whites, taken in equal proportions, can heal burns. This natural medicine has an analgesic effect and reduces inflammation. And mixed in equal parts, oil from seeds and starch is useful to apply to the place of abscesses.
Take hemp oil, sour cream, oatmeal in equal proportions. If the mask is intended for dry or normal skin, add egg yolk to the mixture, if for oily - protein. Mix thoroughly, bring to body temperature and apply on face skin for 15-20 minutes. If you apply the mask at least once a week, you can get rid of dryness and peeling, refresh your face and even out its tone.
Mix a tablespoon of carrot juice and honey, 2 tablespoons of hemp and 2-3 drops of lavender oil. Apply the resulting mixture to the hair, wrap it with cling film and insulate with a terry towel. After 2 hours, the hair can be washed. This tool is useful for damaged hair, dandruff, to activate hair follicles.
Mask against baldness
The basis of this tool is hemp oil, which will need about 5 tablespoons (the amount depends on the length of the hair). Add 2-3 drops of rosewood, chamomile and coriander essential oils to the base. Massage the oil mixture into the scalp. Warm with a towel and rinse after 2 hours.
Hemp in 1961 in all republics of the USSR was outlawed. And all its varieties. And only recently, researchers recalled that not all plant species from the cannabis genus are undesirable. So it turns out that many of us have to get acquainted with hemp oil in a new way - a product that was considered one of the most useful in Russia.