Plants: The Sacred Medicine

Courtesy of CMushroom Gourmet

Ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates (called the father of medicine), has been credited with the quote, “Let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food.” Indeed, there is tremendous preventative and therapeutic value in various plants and fungi. As human beings, we evolved with these species in the Earth’s ecosystem. Since prehistoric times, people have gathered herbs and mushrooms for medicine and healthy food.

Mushrooms are an excellent source of medicine. They can be either eaten as food or used to produce extracts. Shiitake mushrooms (Lentinula  edodes) are native to East Asia and are used in the cuisine of many Asian countries as well as medicine in traditional medicine. Shiitake kills cancer cells, has hypolipidaemic (fat-reducing) effects, supports immune function, and prevents cardiovascular disease. Turkey tail mushrooms (Trametes versicolor) prevents and treats influenza and the common cold, combat breast cancer, and aids digestion. They also have been found to treat the Human Papilloma Virus and help patients with HIV/AIDS. A turkey tail extract known as PSK is used to fight cancer.

Many herbs have medicinal properties. Aloe vera helps with cuts and scrapes, sunburns, insect bites, as well as overall skin care. Garlic has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. It also kills cancer cells and intestinal parasites. St. John’s wart (Hypericum perforatum) helps with anxiety, depression, skin care, nerve pain, lupus, and many other ailments.

Hemp and Cannabis (Cannabis Sativa) are some of the most beneficial medicinal plants. The differences between the two, although the same species, include the ratio of two phytocannabinoids, THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). Cannabinoids are chemicals that bind to certain receptors of cells throughout the body. These cannabinoid receptors make up the endocannabinoid system, consisting of CB1 and CB2 receptors. This system helps preserve homeostasis (balance) in the body. CB1 receptors are found primarily in the brain and nervous system. CB2 receptors are found in the immune system and are responsible for anti-inflammatory effects. THC primarily bind to CB1 receptors while CBD bind to CB2 receptors. Cannabis or more commonly known as marijuana, have a high THC to CBD ratio and creates a euphoric “high”, aids in appetite for cancer and HIV/AIDS patients, provides pain relief, protects brain cells from trauma, aids sleep, and many other benefits. It is a schedule I drug at the U.S. federal level and is illegal in most jurisdictions. Many U.S. States as well as many nations have legalized Cannabis for medical and recreational purposes. Hemp has a high CBD to THC ratio and is used to create CBD oils and extracts. CBD is legal in all 50 States in the U.S. CBD elevates nausea, relieves pain and inflammation, fights cancer, reduces anxiety, has antipsychotic effects, treats seizures,and promotes cardiovascular health.

Written by Tom Howard

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Put The Green Back In Food.

In the last sixty to seventy years, cancer and inflammatory diseases have skyrocketed. Much evidence points to the consumption of animal based foods as the cause of this. However, this was not always the case.

Before cannabis prohibition in the 1930’s, feral hemp once bloomed on the grazing fields of farms. This hemp contained cannabidiol, a phytocannabinoid with tremendous health benefits. The animals would eat this hemp thus the meat, eggs, and dairy products they produced would contain cannabidiol. The American diet at that time had large amounts of meat, eggs, milk, butter and cheese; yet cancer and other degenerative diseases occurred much less frequently than today. This all changed when the U.S. government eradicated feral hemp from the land as part of cannabis prohibition.

Today we have many cannabidiol products available. Vape oil, drops and gummies are in health food stores and the internet. By consuming this substance that was common in the human food chain, we can turn back the clock to a much healthier time.

Written by Tom Howard

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Finding Balance II

As stated before in the previous article, Finding Balance, people are increasing drawn to cannabis due to a deficiency in endocannabinoids, chemicals produced by the body that are similar in structure and function to the active ingredients found in cannabis (such as Tetrahydrocannabinol, popularly known as THC, and Cannabidiol, known as CBD) and that are important for maintaining homeostasis (balance of the body’s regulating chemicals).

Along with stress, sedentary lifestyle, and lack of sleep, the imbalance of the ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids consumed in our diets are to blame. Omega-3 fatty acids are the raw material that the body uses to produce endocannabinoids. The proper ratio of Omega-6 and Omega-3 should be 1 to 1. The average North American diet consists of a ratio of 15 to 1. We consume far too much Omega-6 and not enough Omega-3, promoting inflammation and leading to degenerative diseases, like heart disease, cancer, and muscular sclerosis. The popular diet of processed grains and white potatoes, fried in Omega-6 rich oils such as corn oil, together with meat from grain feed livestock, is the culprit. We must change our diet to maintain proper health.

Ironically, the same plant that provides us with phytocannabinoids, cannabis, provides us with hemp seed. Hemp seed oil is rich in α-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of Omega-3 fatty acid. Flax seed and green leafy vegetables are also great sources of ALA. The human body can convert ALA into the other types of Omega-3, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), however this is not as efficient as directly consuming DHA and EPA. DHA and EPA are produced in marine algae and phytoplankton, and are found in fatty fish like salmon, and sea vegetables, such as edible seaweed.

We must unchain ourselves from the junk food matrix and eat as our ancestors did. Whole foods, like seafood and fresh vegetables, must be our staple. Otherwise we condemn ourselves to disease and decline.

Written by Tom Howard

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Finding Balance

There is an underlying illness that plagues us today. Many people feel unwell, irritable, and lack sleep. Physicians write record numbers of prescriptions to patients. It is as if there is a giant energy sink sitting over us draining our vitality. What can explain this?

The Endocannabinoid System is a system of receptors in the human body. It is a vital molecular system for helping maintain homeostasis. Homoeostasis is the property of a system within the body in which a variable, such as hormones or temperature, is actively regulated to remain very nearly constant, preserving the balance in the body. In the modern world, many environmental pressures damage this vital system in our bodies. Stress, food additives, and pollution name a few of them.

Some researchers think that one of the reasons why there has been a steady increase in the number of people who have used cannabis or use it regularly is to supplement for a deficient endocannabinoid system. Either for the pleasurable sensation called a “high” or for the physical relief of ailments, people seemed to be drawn to cannabis.

There are many products available now that supply phytocannabinoids (sourced from plants) that help substitute for endocannabinoids (sourced from the body). CBD oil (cannabidiol) is great to use daily, helps promote health and mental clarity, and does not have the “high” that cannabis gives when used. It is legal in most jurisdictions and becoming increasingly available at health food stores, head shops, convenience stores, and online.

Written by Tom Howard

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The Nutrition Deficit

Pundits and correspondents alike sound the warning about the fiscal and trade deficits that threaten the future of our respective nations. However, there is a more subtle, yet more immediate, threat confronting our lives. That threat is the lack of proper nutrients in our diets. Even in lands of plenty, the food consumed have inadequate nutritional value necessary to fuel our lives. The result is increased occurrence of chronic diseases, obesity, fatigue, and a general feeling of malaise in the population.

Food has become mass produced in industrial farms, using herbicides, pesticides, and chemical fertilizers; depleting the soil of vital nutrients. The produce from these farms are heavily processed, harmful chemicals are added, and it is shipped off to distant places. There is no connection to the natural land and soil for the consumers. This leads to ailments our medical establishment treats with toxic medicines leading to side effects, keeping the Industrial-Food-Medical complex going. Without sick consumers, they can not profit.

The key is knowledge. Knowing what foods to eat, and how they should be produced. Knowledge of natural treatments and cures of ailments. With proper understanding of nutrition and health, we can transcend to better living for ourselves and our prodigy.

Written by Tom Howard

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The Role Nutrition Plays In Spiritual Wellbeing

You are an interrelated system consisting of body, mind, and spirit. All three parts of you affect one another. If one of them is deficient, the other two parts can not operate at their maxima.

The health of the body affects the spirit as well as the mind. Certain states of spiritual being are not possible when one’s health is in distress. For example, it is difficult to meditate when you are uncomfortable from pain or malaise. One can not channel good vibrations when one is ill.

Proper nutrition is extremely important to health. Your body is a biological organism that needs the proper nutrients to perform at it’s optimum. However, our modern food production and distribution systems degrade the nutritional value of the food we consume. Food is mass produced, with quantity being maximized at the expense of quality. Furthermore, food is stored for long periods of time and transported long distances, further degrading the nutritional value. The selection of foods are also important, but have been undermined by the marketing of inexpensive foods made up of processed cereal grains and meats. The rising costs of healthy food make getting the proper nutrition difficult.

By taking vitamin supplements that have wholesome ingredients and selecting the right mix of plant-based foods, we can obtain the nutrition that the body-mind-spirit system needs.

Let’s start with the B complex vitamins. They help maintain proper metabolism, so you can have energy. They are also essential to the skin, hair, red blood cells, the immune and nervous systems. They can be obtained by eating a balanced diet consisting of wholegrain cereals, fruits and vegetables. Vitamin C is essential for immunity from illness. It can be found in citrus fruits, bell peppers, dark leafy greens, broccoli, berries, tomatoes, peas, kiwis and papayas. Vitamin D is essential for absorbing calcium, and it also reduces depression. It is called the sunshine vitamin, because moderate exposure to ultraviolet light of the body produces it. Other sources include sun-dried fruits and vegetables. Vitamin E reduces inflammation in the body, a common cause of disease. It can be found in vegetable oils (such as wheat germ, sunflower, safflower, corn, and soybean oils), nuts (such as almonds, peanuts, and hazelnuts/filberts), seeds (such as sunflower seeds), and green leafy vegetables (such as spinach and broccoli).

It is important to eat wholesome plant-based foods, however the cost and availability of these foods can sometimes be prohibitive for some. That is why taking a multivitamin supplement is important. We must make sure that the supplements we take have only wholesome, natural ingredients. Stay tuned for more articles on this blog about nutrition and health. I’ll recommend some supplements produced naturally.

Written by Tom Howard

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You Are What You Consume

Ever hear of the idiom, you are what you eat. It’s true. You are the product of what you consume. Whether it’s food, drink, mental, emotional, or spiritual, what you eat, drink, feel, hear, read, or watch make up who you are.

Would you like to eat something made by nature, or made by man? Would you want to consume the saintly, or the vile?

By keeping a keen eye on what we and our children consume, we can be on our way to living a better life.

Written by Tom Howard

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Find True Joy

Addiction to substances and behaviors take their toll. They create in the user a temporary and faux joy. When they wear off, the user needs more to feel as good again, starting an endless, vicious cycle consuming more and more of the user’s time, energy, and life; lowering oneself to a low vibration.

One must ask yourself, “How do I live a better life?” The trick is to find real joy. Joy that results from positive, beneficial activities. Being with the ones you love, exercising, and playing music are some of the many wholesome things we can do in lieu of self-destructive behavior. They harmonize our spirit into a higher vibration. Meditation heals the mind and mimics the soothing effects of most substances and alcohol.

By having inner joy and peace through spiritual growth, one can break the chains of addiction.

Written by Tom Howard

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