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Hemp seed: An Ayurvedic medication

1. Introduction

Cannabis sativa L. has had a tumultuous history in terms of its use. Cannabis sativa is one of the sacred plants that is divided into two types: drug-type (marijuana) and non-drug-type (cannabis) (hemp). The former is commonly used for medicinal and recreational uses, while the latter is crucial for the food and fibre sectors. Hemp cultivation peaked between the late 1800s and the early 1900s when it was used as a raw material for drying oil in the painting industry, textile apparel, and fuel.

2. Hemp seeds and nutrition

Hemp seeds, having been a part of India’s history, are a unique legacy that the Himalayas have passed down to humanity. Hemp seeds have been utilised for a variety of purposes since then, from tying livestock to curing diseases.

Hemp is a part of the Rasayana Tantra, which is one of Ayurveda’s eight therapeutic areas ( the knowledge of rejuvenation). The nutritional qualities of hemp seeds have made it possible for them to be a great source of protein, and as a result, it is highly regarded by human society.

Due to its therapeutic characteristics and effective results, Cannabis sativa is being employed in Ayurvedic treatments and cosmetics.

2.1. The following are the nutritional properties

  • Improve immunity
  • Smoothens muscle functions
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Boosts hormonal balance
  • Aids cardiovascular health
  • Helps in weight loss

Hemp seed oil is high in Vitamin E, Vitamin D, Vitamine B1, and Vitamin B2, important fatty acids, and minerals.

Hemp fibres are not only beneficial as a therapeutic aid, but it also benefits the skin and hair.

Hemp seeds and hemp seeds oil are particularly useful for the Vata (space and air) dosha and for balancing the Pita (fire and water) dosha, according to Ayurvedic medicine. According to Ayurvedic belief, these doshas are the various sorts of energy that form the foundation of existence.

Despite the lack of THC, hemp seeds have tamasic (sedative) properties that make you feel invigorated by releasing serotonin and causing deep sleep. Hemp seeds are also more nutrient-dense than flax and chia seeds. Hemp seeds, as ayurvedic medicine, have more to offer than just nutritional value

3. Extraction methods of Hemp seeds

3.1. Cold-press method

Because cold-pressed oil is extracted without the use of an organic solvent or heat, it preserves its beneficial bioactive ingredients, such as natural antioxidants, and is free of chemical contamination, which can occur with solvent extraction. 

The hemp seed oil has a dark greenish colour due to its high chlorophyll content. Cold-pressed oils have a longer shelf life due to the presence of antioxidants and other compounds that stabilise them.

3.2. Steam distillation

Steam distillation has been used to extract essential oils from plant material for ages. It’s a basic technique that separates essential oil from plant material using heat in the form of steam. A jar filled with water is placed on a stove in this method. It will have an exit that will flow into a flask containing plant material (hemp seed). An input and an outlet are located on the flask containing the plant material.

Essential oil vapours are generated as steam rises from the container via the plant material, such as hemp seeds. The vapours from the essential oils are collected in a condenser tube, which condenses them into a hydrosol. This hydrosol is made up of essential oil and water. The oil is then extracted from the hydrosol.

3.3. Solvent extraction

In terms of efficiency and complexity, solvent extraction outperforms steam distillation. Solvents are utilised instead of steam to extract the essential oils from the seeds. When the solvents react with the seeds, the essential oils from the plants are extracted and mixed with the solvent. Essential oils have traditionally been extracted from plant sources using alcohol. 

Hemp seeds are soaked in an alcohol solution and extracted. By evaporating the alcohol from the hemp seed extract, the hemp seed oil is created.

3.4. Hexane extraction

Hexane extraction, which is the most effective oil extracting agent, can also be used to extract hemp seed oil. The dried seeds were crushed and immersed in three volumes of hexane for 24 hours while stirring in this process. The extract was filtered, and the extraction process was performed twice more with residue in between. The solvent was then ejected.

4. Hemp and its medicinal values

When it comes to traditional folk medicine the acceptance of hemp products is now emerging. Cannabis leaves and hemp products have alpha-linolenic acid and omega-3 fatty acids. Hemp products are available in a variety of forms such as hemp milk, hemp protein powder, and hemp seed flour. Baking with hemp seeds is also very common.

There is a wide range of benefits of hemp seed. The ayurvedic formulations help with diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, blood pressure, and heart disease. The concentration of hemp seed is diluted according to the mixture of hemp fibres. There are plenty of misconceptions and chaos around hemp as people feel it kills a person inside out and slowly drains the entry energy out. 

The remedy would be hemp seed milk; it improves brain health. Hemp milk also boosts the immune system, helping you combat various diseases. In case of fever, you can mix the ingredients of a cannabis plant, smash them together, and have it as a medicine. 

Consumption of hemp seed is proven effective to be used as a blood pressure medicine. There are different names for cannabis to understand its significance. Compounds in hemp seeds have salt-soluble globulins or edestin and water-soluble albumin in them. Hence, cannabis-based medicines are now commonly being used.

5. Cosmetic benefits of Hemp Seeds

5.1. Inflammation moisturising and soothing

Moisturization is thought to be the most important and well-documented use that hemp seed oil may provide. Hemp seed oil is emollient, meaning it moisturises and softens the skin. 

Linolenic acid (GLA), one of the omega-6 fatty acids found in hemp oil, functions as a potent anti-inflammatory agent while also supporting new cell development. 

This can assist with acne and psoriasis by reducing inflammation and irritation while also nourishing and hydrating the skin. Anti-inflammatory flavonoids in hemp oil may help to lessen skin inflammation.

5.2. Atopic Dermatitis

Hemp oil can be used to treat skin disorders such as atopic dermatitis. Vitamin E and beta-carotene aid in the maintenance of healthy skin. 

Allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) is type IV delayed hypersensitivity reaction driven by T lymphocytes and different cytokines and chemokines in response to an allergen.

5.3. Anti-aging properties

Hemp seed oil offers anti-aging qualities in addition to hydrating and relaxing the skin. The application of hemp seed oil prevents fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of ageing. Hemp oil contains linoleic and oleic acids, which are not generated by the body but are important for skin health and anti-aging.

Hemp oil has the highest concentration of vitamins A, C, and E3. These compounds are necessary for reducing cell damage caused by radicals and reactive oxygen species. Discolouration of the skin is common during skin illnesses.

Hemp seed oil’s antioxidants aid to speed up cell growth and recovery, resulting in more youthful-looking skin. Hemp oil encourages the production of collagen (a protein that keeps the skin smooth and elastic).

5.4. Acne

The hemp seed oil contains fatty acids that may assist in balancing the skin and reduce acne-causing irritation. CBD oil, on the other hand, may have an effect on the sebaceous glands in persons with chronic acne, resulting in reduced sebum production and maybe assisting in the clearing of the skin or preventing acne breakouts.

5.5. Natural UV protectant

Hemp seed oil has exhibited UV and UV-C absorbance with an SPF of 6, indicating that it could be used as a low broad-spectrum UV protectant. The extracts give natural sun protection because the plant (like other plants) is capable of producing its own UVR protection.

Importantly, hemp seed oil helps deflect certain UV rays without interfering with vitamin D absorption, which is critical because vitamin D is essential for human health.

6. Ecology of Hemp

In this section, we’ll learn how hemp interacts with other components in its environment and examine the growing conditions for hemp.

6.1. Location and topography

In the sense that it is an annual crop, industrial hemp is a one-of-a-kind plant. It’s one of the fastest-growing plants and doesn’t require pesticides at all.

Ideal locations for a good hemp harvest are those that are farther from the equator and closer to the poles. It’s best to stay away from steep elevations of more than 400 metres above sea level. Hemp grows well on flat fields with good per-location, hot days, and cool nights.

Hemp can be grown on as little as one hectare.

6.2. Soil

Industrial hemp is a versatile crop that thrives in a variety of soil conditions. The crop prefers a pH of 6 or above and sufficiently deep, well-aerated soil. This is in addition to the ability to retain moisture and nutrients.

Rich black mollisols, brown steppe, and brown rendiza soils have a favourable water balance, strong water permeability, and high nutrient-accumulation potential.

6.3. Nutrients

Nitrogen is the most critical nutrient for hemp. Hemp is a nitrophilic crop that requires a constant supply of easily available nitrogen during its vegetative phase. The first 6 to 8 weeks are the most demanding for nitrogen intake. However, an excessive amount of nitrogen might degrade the quality and quantity of fibre.

Potassium and phosphorus are the next two essential elements of hemp. They are required for fibre cell elasticity and tensile strength, as well as fibre quality. During the flowering and seed production processes, these nutrients are consumed in large amounts.

The Bottom Line

Hemp seeds, which are used in Ayurvedic medicine, might cause mild diarrhoea and hinder platelet production. These are just a few side effects of hemp seeds, as with anything else in life. As a result, it’s best to check with your doctor before starting to take it on a regular basis or incorporating it into your medicine.

When it comes to consumables and skincare items, customers must be aware of mislabeling activities and keep an eye out for legitimate products. You must be able to tell if you’re buying hemp fabric or fibre when purchasing fabric and fibre items.

As we’ve seen, hemp fabric spun in various ways produces a variety of fabric textures. Unfortunately, this leaves leeway for non-hemp cloth to be passed off as hemp.

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