Hempseed and Oil – the ancient No. 1 of ‘functional food’.

Hempseed is an oil-fruit consisting of approximately 30 % oil, which is considered the most precious edible oil there is. ”Its unusually well-balanced profile of fatty acid means that a person could live an entire life on hemp oil alone without suffering a shortage of essential fatty acids (EFA).

Its content of gamma linolen acid makes it unique among edible oils. It is nature´s most perfectly balanced oil,” says nourishment scientist Udo Erasmus, speaking of oils and fats in his book ‘Fats that heal, Fats that kill’ (Vancouver 1993).

Besides hempseed, only one single foodstuff containing gamma-linolen acid exists, and that is mother´s milk.

It is due to fatty acid, necessary for hormone build-up, that hemp oil possesses excellent qualities for the therapy of skin diseases. Even the old Romans used hemp oil liniments for rashes. But when the firm ‘HanfHaus’, located in Berlin, marketed edible hemp oil for the first time in 1996 and at the same time reprinted a press article in its catalogue about a mother who had cured her infant of ecxema with hemp oil, it received an official warning because of unfair competition. The claim that foodstuffs could have curing effects is considered illegal publicity – even if, speaking of gamma linolen acid, this effect has scientifically been proven many times over.

Besides this therapeutically precious substance, hemp oil contains all essential fatty acids the human organism needs. They have the byname ‘essential’ because the body itself does not produce them and depends on food to receive them. It was known long before the modern science of nutrition rediscovered it, that the great amount and perfect balance of its vital fatty acids, and the additional content of proteins, make hempseeds an ideal foodstuff. In the Middle Ages soup made from hempseed was called the ‘soup of the poor’ and gourmet aristocrats wrinkled their noses in contempt – but the population that depended on that food enjoyed far better health than their masters living on partridge and quail. When the black plague was raging, in the ordinary population by percentage, fewer lives were lost than in higher classes - medicinal historians attribute this to their being better supplied with essential fatty acids – and an accordingly better immune system. An 18th century dictionary notes that a handful of hempseeds per day ‘make a good preservation against the pestilence’.

Regarding its content in protein, in the realm of plants hempseed is only outdone by the soybean, but its essential fatty acids make sure that no other food on earth can even come close to its nutritive value. ”The use of cannabis,” as medics William Eidleman  and Lee Hamilton of the University of California in 1991 say, ”promises us unheard-of health and the possibility to solve the nourishment problems of the world in no time.”

Extracts from hempseed can, the same as soy, be processed in different ways, from tofu to pastes and spreads; milled or rough-ground hempseed is used like flour, fresh hemp sprouts or peeled seed, available on the market again in recent times, are the very best our planet offers for stomach and palate.

 

 

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