- Alternative & Natural Medicine
Benefits of Hemp Oil
Hemp oil is an oil extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant, which is scientifically known as Cannabis sativa. Hemp seeds contain a high amount of nutrients including vitamin E antioxidants, insoluble fibers, omega 3, omega 6, polyunsaturated fatty acids and proteins. They also contain a variety of micro-nutrients like chromium, arsenic, thorium and strontium as well as mineral nutrients such as magnesium, phosphorous, calcium, zinc, iron and potassium. Hemp seeds and oil have been called ‘Nature’s Perfect Food for Humanity’ by some due to the high nutritional value that comes with a variety of health benefits. Hemp oil along with its products has several benefits, some of which are discussed below.
1. Hemp oil benefits for hair:
Many hair products including hair conditioners, shampoos, oil, lotions etc are made using hemp oil. This stems from the fact that hemp oil can help improve circulation of blood and oxygen in the brain. In addition, hemp oil helps improve the texture of hair and prevent or eradicate dandruff on the scalp. Using hemp oil on your hair and scalp can also help reduce scalp infections, hair loss and other hair problems. As such, hemp oil is very beneficial if used for hair care.
2. Hemp oil benefits for skin:
In addition to offering several benefits in hair care, hemp oil is also beneficial to the skin. For starters, hemp oil contains fatty acids that moisturize and nourish the skin in the right and sufficient manner. Moreover, hemp oil almost has no side effects on the skin. It’s no wonder therefore many beauty products like body and face creams contain hemp oil. Massaging the skin with hemp oil leaves your skin looking young and held together. Regular use of hemp oil also helps slow down the aging process and appearance of signs of ageing. It can also prevent the onset of skin disorders such as dry skin, acne, eczema and psoriasis.
3. Protein content:
According to research conducted at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, hemp oil contains 25% high quality protein, which is the building blocks of muscle. This amount of protein is enough to provide the amount of amino acids that comes from eggs and meats. Its structure is also easy to digest. Compared to other oils and foods, hemp oil provides the body with a sufficient amount of proteins and amino acids without the risk of calorie intake.
4. Super polyunsaturated fatty acids:
As noted, hemp oil contains a high amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids, particularly stearidonic acid and gammalinolenic acid. While these are not exactly essential fatty acids, they go a long way in helping reduce and eradicate the symptoms of skin conditions like atopic dermatitis among others. It’s however important to note that the amount of these fatty acids varies depending on the quality of hemps seeds that the oil was extracted from.
5. Alpha-linolenic acid:
Alpha linolenic acid refers to an omega-3 fatty acid that promotes proper body function and hemp oil contains plenty of it. It is more or less like the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and comes with a variety of benefits including reducing the risk of depression, arthritis and heart disease. In addition, scientific studies have shown that alpha-linolenic acid found in hemp oil can help reduce the amount of low density lipoprotein cholesterol thus reducing clogging of the arteries.
6. Hormonal balance:
Believe it or not, hemp is the only edible seed that also comes with plenty of alpha-linolenic acid which after digestion is digested to prostaglandin PGE1, a protective hormone that promotes menopausal health and regulates hormonal balance in the body.
Did you know?
The first hemp seed cooking oil was made by a couple in Devon in the UK. The husband and wife team (Henry Braham and Glynis Murray) discovered that hemp grows well in the warmer climate of southwest England while they were experimenting with different types of cereal crops.
7. Prevention of varicose veins:
Like other foods and oils that contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, hemp oil has the ability to thin the blood thus reducing the risk of varicose veins as well as blood clots.
8. Demyelination of the nervous system:
Hemp oil contains various essential fatty acids that are instrumental in maintaining a healthy cell membrane structure. In addition, these fatty acids help protect the myelin sheath from destruction, a process known as demyelination. The myelin sheath is the membrane responsible for protection of nerve cells.
Did you know?
Hemp was used as part of the war effort during WWII. In 1942 the film Hemp for Victory encouraged farmers to grow hemp to make up for the short supply of traditionally made rope. Produced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the film shows various hemp products, how hemp is grown and how hemp ropes are made.
9. Boost immunity:
With a high content of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, hemp oil goes a long way to help regulate the intestinal flora while boosting the immunity of the human body. By doing so, hemp oil improves the resilience of the body and builds a natural barrier against harmful microbes.
10. Regenerates and energizes the protective layer of the skin:
The high quantity of omega-3 and omega-6 acids means that hemp oil has a composition that is more or less similar to that of skin lipids. This makes the oil a great moisturizer and natural emollient. It’s therefore great for tired, dry or dehydrated nails and skin. It has the ability to increase water retention capacity of the skin as well as its elasticity.
While it does have innumerable health benefits, hemp oil is not recommended for people who take blood thinners or patients suffering from prostate cancer. Other precautions that one should keep in mind before and when using hemp oil include:
- Hemp oil should not be heated as high temperatures can transform the unsaturated fats to saturated fats.
- There are several studies that indicate hemp and hemp oil can be beneficial in the treatment of cancer. While some well respected organisations like the American Cancer Society and Cancer Research UK are encouraged by the results of these studies, most remain very cautious, and strongly encourage anyone diagnosed with cancer to follow the advice of medical professionals in relation to treatment.
- The results of some studies suggest hemp oil can increase the risk of prostate cancer because it creates the optimal conditions for cell regeneration. This can promote growth of tumors, particularly prostate cancer cells. While scientific research is yet to provide conclusive results on this issue, medical professionals advise that it’s best to avoid using hemp oil if you have an increased risk of prostate cancer or are already suffering from it.
- Hemp oil can cause abdominal cramps and diarrhea especially if used in large doses. This is why hemp oil must kept out of children’s reach. The recommended daily dosage of hemp oil is 14-28 ml, which is equivalent to 1-2 tablespoons. This quantity will provide you with 3-6 grams of omega-3 and 8-16 grams of omega-6 fatty acids.
- Hemp oil is an anti-coagulant which means that it can have an anti-clotting effect on blood. It should therefore be avoided by people who are already suffering from heart diseases or those who take blood thinners.
The benefits of hemp oil can be summarised as follows. Hemp oil can:
- Benefit the hair
- Benefit the skin
- Provide protein (25% high quality)
- Provide super polyunsaturated fatty acids (helps reduce and eradicate some skin conditions like dermatitis)
- Provide alpha-linolenic acid (helps lower cholesterol)
- Help with hormonal balance
- Help prevent of varicose veins
- Help with demyelination of the nervous system (protect the nerve cells)
- Boost immunity
- Regenerate and energize the protective layer of the skin.
But the following cautions should be noted:
- Hemp oil is not recommended for people who take blood thinners or patients suffering from prostate cancer
- High temperatures can transform the unsaturated fats in hemp oils into to saturated fats
- Medical professionals advise that it’s best to avoid using hemp oil if you have an increased risk of prostate cancer or are already suffering from it.
- Hemp oil should be avoided by people who are already suffering from heart diseases or those who take blood thinners.
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© 2016 Simon Collins