Hooray for Hemp Oil

Hooray for Hemp Oil

Hemp oil has been getting much more attention in recent years, thanks to a dedicated group of people wanting the right to legally grow industrial hemp, but there’s still some confusion between the various products available from this plant genus.  Let’s look at the differences.

Hemp Oil vs CBD oil vs Marijuana

Hemp & marijuana both come from the Cannabis Sativa plant, however they are different varieties with differing levels of chemical compounds.  Marijuana used for psychoactive properties is higher in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which when heated (through smoking or cooking) is what gives the “high” normally associated with this plant species. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the 113 cannabinoids found in this plant and CBD oil is what most people are talking about when they refer to “medicinal marijuana”, which is used to alleviate anxiety, pain & depression.  Some cancer patients also find it useful.  It is generally made using the whole plant, utilising a solvent such as alcohol to extract the CBD, with the alcohol mostly removed through heating.  This results in a thick, resinous oil that is higher in CBD & low in THC. Hemp, on the other hand, contains lower amounts of THC and other cannabinoids, so does not produce psychoactive effects.  Hemp oil is pressed from the seeds, resulting in a clear green oil with a distinctive grassy aroma & taste that contains no THC, CBD or other psychoactive compounds.

Benefits of Hemp Oil

Hemp seed oil is rich in essential fatty acids that our body needs to maintain cell wall structure, maintain an effective skin barrier, regulate cholesterol production and maintain hormonal balance.  Hemp seed oil has the perfect balance of omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids to modulate inflammation in the body. Hemp oil can be used both internally and externally, although there are different laws around the world regarding the ingestion of hemp products.  In fact, eating hemp foods has only been legal in Australia since November 12th, 2017, whereas previously hemp was covered by the same prohibitive laws as marijuana.  The range of hemp foods on the market now includes not only hemp seed oil, but hemp seeds, hemp powder, vegan protein powder with reishi mushroom & hemp protein, even a kombucha homebrew kit with hemp seed oil.

Benefits are skin deep

As a woman in her mid-40’s that has lived with eczema & sensitive skin for most of those years, I just want to share the benefits hemp oil has on the skin and the experiences I’ve had using it.

Taken internally, hemp seed oil has been shown to both reduce skin dryness & itching in atopic dermatitis (eczema) and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, dryness & atrophy (thinning) of skin.  I’ve also been using hemp oil products externally & have found them to be non-irritating (YAY!), deeply moisturising and effective in soothing breakouts of eczema quickly.  The skin on my face has a dewiness I hadn’t seen in years.

I had the pleasure of visiting Teresa McDowell from Hemp Hemp Hooray when I visited her shop in the Adelaide Hills earlier this year.  She has been involved in lobbying governments and educating people on the benefits industrial hemp for many years.  After her first child was born, she worked in aromatherapy before going on to study therapeutic massage.  As someone who is passionate about the environment, she learnt about the many benefits of hemp as a crop and after the birth of her third child, opened a shop in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia 12 years ago, blending hemp oil with essential oils to complement her massage business.  Upon moving back to South Australia, she learnt to make emulsions and her business has grown from there.  She still blends all of her products in small batches in a specially designed room at the back of her store which visitors can view through a large window, so she has total control over the quality of the products.  There are no artificial ingredients, no petroleum oils, no allergens & no synthetic fragrance.  Just beautiful, effective natural ingredients combining the therapeutic effects of organic hemp oil and pure essential oils.

 

 

Her range is simple but effective, utilising a 2-step process to care for skin.  First, there is a Cleansing Cream that reminds me a little of the cold cream I remember my Mum and Grandmother using when I was young – albeit in a pump bottle and made without the mineral oil and synthetic fragrance.  It easily removes make-up and can be used in combination with the hemp fibre face washer to gently exfoliate the skin.  The face washer is also great to use all over the body when showering.

Step 2 is your choice of moisturiser.  The Night Cream is a really rich moisturiser that gives you an extra boost of skin nourishment at night, or it can be used in the day if you have super-dry skin, which is what Teresa does.  With jasmine, frankincense and palmarosa essential oils, it is also balances your skin, so is equally suited to those with irritated or greasy skin.  The Vitamins A, D, E & F are particularly helpful for sun damaged skin.  Because it is so rich, you only need a tiny amount, so a jar lasts for ages.

The Daily Moisturiser is great for normal/dry/aging skin, combining hemp oil, almond oil and shea butter with the therapeutic benefits of rose and patchouli essential oils.  This is the one I like to use best and it’s great under mineral make-up, ensuring there are no dry patches of skin. Finally, there’s the Skin Soothe cream.  This has a witch hazel base, so is great for oily and combination skin, as well as those prone to acne (check out the Natural Acne Care Pack). The astringent properties of the witch hazel also make this cream a great aftershave moisturiser and many people (including myself) have found it fantastic on eczema, burns, skin ulcers, chicken pox and other compromised skin conditions.  It’s one of those multi-purpose creams that is a must-have in your home first aid kit.

If you want a specific eye cream, Teresa has just released her Precious Eye Emulsion with hemp seed oil, shea butter, aloe vera & chamomile to refresh & revitalise tired eyes (you can read more about it HERE).  She’s also created her ‘Floral Fire’ Body Lotion with a nurturing blend of organic hemp oil, jojoba, apricot kernel oils, shea and cocoa butters, along with certified essential oils of lavender, geranium & patchouli to relax the body, balance hormones & soothe dry, itchy skin.

I’m one of those “canaries in the coal mine”, often reacting to “hypoallergenic” products that other people seem fine with, but this range has been brilliant & I can’t recommend them highly enough.  As a bonus, you can get them HERE at 20% off RRP until the end of November 2018. Just click ‘Log In’ on the page to create your free account before you add products to your cart, and check your emails after signing up as you’ll receive a message with a discount code for Free Shipping if you spend $99+ on your first order. With Christmas only a couple of months away, these products also make beautiful gifts for teens through to great grandparents.  Be sure to have a look at some of the other things available in-store while you’re there.

 

MEDICAL DISCLAIMER

Unity Wellness provides health-related information to assist people in making their own choices.  While we have exercised due care to ensure the accuracy of the information on this site, it is not intended to be used as medical advice and it is not intended to be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes or as a substitute for your own health professional’s advice.  Unity Wellness does not accept any liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred by use of or reliance on the information provided on this website.

AFFILIATE & ADVOCATE LINKS

This post/site may contain Affiliate links or links to my Independent Advocate store. By clicking these links, you pay no more for the products/services, but I will receive a commission on purchases to keep this site running & support my family (thank you!).  I will never promote any products or services that I would not be happy to use myself.

This website is owned and operated by an independent InnerOrigin Advocate and is not endorsed by InnerOrigin Pty Ltd or InnerOrigin Australia Pty Ltd or any of their respective associated companies. Any opinions expressed on this website are made by, and are the responsibility of, the individual Advocate and should not be construed as a representation of the opinions of InnerOrigin Pty Ltd, InnerOrigin Australia Pty Ltd or any of their associated companies.

The Dark Side of Chocolate

The Dark Side of Chocolate

 

Pretty much straight after Christmas, the shops start filling their shelves with Easter goodies – usually starting with hot cross buns, but the chocolate easter eggs & rabbits are never far behind.

While I prefer to avoid those that are filled with sugar & soy lecithin, or the brands that are not Fair Trade &/or support child slavery, I’m certainly not immune to the temptation of the cacaophany (see what I did there  ;-)) of cocoa-based offerings.

However, I was reading a report recently which showed that many brands of chocolate contain heavy metals like lead & cadmium.  Of 70 products tested in an independent laboratory, 45 of them had levels of lead &/or cadmium at levels higher than allowed under Californian law (Prop 65), including some organic brands (brands that are available not only in the US, but here in Australia & other countries).  Although heavy metal contamination of soil is not uncommon these days, there is no known safe level of lead for children or pregnant women.  Some of the health effects of lead toxicity include:

  • neurological damage, sometimes irreversible
  • lowered IQ
  • kidney damage
  • developmental delays, both psychological & physical, including ADHD that can persist into adulthood
  • decreased blood haemoglobin levels, which reduces the oxygenation of blood
  • increased risk of hypertension
  • interferes with Vitamin D, which affects multiple processes including cell maturation & skeletal growth
  • anaemia
  • abdominal pain
  • immunotoxicity
  • impaired fertility

The other metal of concern is cadmium, a known human carcinogen, which is also correlated with:

  • kidney dysfunction
  • gut irritation – nausea, vomiting, salivation, abdominal pain & cramping, diarrhoea
  • anaemia
  • decreased bone density
  • endocrine disruption
  • chromosomal damage

Heavy Metal Easter | www.unitywellness.com.au

Source – www.freakingnews.com

Although eating a bit of chocolate is unlikely to result in the worst outcomes of chronic lead exposure – coma & death – it is important to reduce over-all exposure, especially for children. This is why it is so important to have ‘truth on labels’.  Good health comes from making informed choices. Although lead & cadmium exposure can happen at any point, from “bean to bar“, I find it interesting that with the products tested, there were different results (some passed, some didn’t) from different products made by the same brands, which would presumably use the same source of cocoa for their products & use the same processing facilities.  That being said, there are some brilliant health benefits to eating small amounts of quality chocolate & there are obviously some reputable sources of chocolate available.  Part of my mission is to seek out & promote with those companies who hold your health at the core of everything they do.

Rather than panicking about “heavy metal chocolate” this Easter, here are some alternatives:

 

Make Your Own

Making your own chocolate is rewarding & super-easy (especially if you have a Thermomix or similar)!  You could either do some sneaky chocolate making “Easter bunny style” while the kids are at school or sleeping, or you could get them involved in the process of making goodies for friends & family.  I have some great childhood memories of helping my Mum to make chocolates as gifts for Easter & Christmas!

As well as traditional molded chocolate & eggs, there are plenty of ways to show your creative flair – think chocolate bark with different combinations of nuts, seeds & dried fruits….bliss balls made with raw cacao & medjool dates then shaped like eggs & rolled in coconut or finely chopped nuts (DIY Ferrero Rochers!)….Rocky Road with macadamias & home made marshmallows.

One of my favourite recipes is Jo Whitton’s Dairy-free raw chocolate on her Quirky Cooking blog.  To make it, you’ll need:

  • 200g Raw cacao butter (you can use coconut oil for a more budget-friendly option, or a combo of the two, but the chocolates must then be stored in the fridge so they don’t melt)
  • 50-60g Raw cacao
  • 100g Raw honey, pure maple syrup or rice malt syrup
  • Vanilla bean paste or natural extract
  • Fine sea salt

You can find the instructions here.

Chocolate Making Ultimate Pack | www.unitywellness.com.au

There’s also a fantastic special from Changing Habits available which you can use to make your chocolates, or give it as a gift!  Treat yourself to the Chocolate Making Ultimate Pack with all the ingredients & instructions you need to make your own healthy, delicious chocolate at 20% off RRP!

 

Drink It

As an alternative to solid chocolate, give a gift that can be enjoyed right through the cooler months, long after Easter has passed. Perfect for those wanting or needing to avoid sugar such as diabetics, there’s now a superfood hot chocolate powder available that combines the well-known benefits of chocolate with hormone-balancing maca & immune-boosting reishi mushrooms.

After Midnight Dark is organic, non-GMO & low-GI/low carb as it’s sweetened with xylitol.

Another great chocolatey drink option is the Changing Habits Cacao Quick Hunger Fix. High protein, low GI and full of essential nutrients like magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, zinc, copper & dietary fibre.  It’s also Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free, Egg Free, Grain Free & Vegan.  You can read more about the ingredients & buy it here.

Both powders are also great to use when making other snacks like bliss balls, chia puddings, raw slices, biscuits, etc or mixed into smoothies.  In my experience, coconut milk or coconut cream make the best tasting chocolate drinks & coconut water is fabulous in smoothies, but you can use any liquid you prefer .

 

Wear It

Cacao doesn’t only have benefits when consumed. Having a higher antioxidant capacity than green tea, black tea, or red wine, raw cacao helps to prevent against free radical damage in the skin & has UV protectant qualities when used topically.  It also helps protect collagen in the skin & increases blood flow, giving skin a brighter, more youthful appearance.  Skin hydration & elasticity improves & your skin loses that dry, scaly look.

One skin product I LOVE that contains cacao is the Zk’in Brightening & Hydrating Masque.  I remember the first time I tried it.  I’d just used their Clarifying Exfoliator which has coffee grounds in it & although I don’t like to drink coffee, the combination of the coffee aroma with the mandarin essential oil was DIVINE!  I was already in Heaven from the smell of that when I opened the Masque. O…M…G!  It was like liquid chocolate covering my fingers.  I smoothed the silky, chocolately gel with soothing aloe vera & hydrating Tasmanian seaweed extract across my face & just inhaled deeply for 10 minutes.  After rinsing it off with water, my skin was deliciously soft & smooth.  I think it would make a gorgeous Easter gift either on it’s own, as part of a smaller gift set with the Exfoliator & brilliant Line Smoothing Serum, or the amazing ‘Complete Pack For Her‘.

Here’s a video so you can see the chocolately goodness for yourself:

So as you can see, there are many options for a healthier Easter, free of heavy metals & sugar comas.  I’d love you to share this post so we can get this information out to as many people as possible & feel free to comment below if you have any questions or have tried any of these products yourself.  I love to hear feedback so I can keep providing you with value & bringing you information that positively impacts you & your family.

Ny xx

The Dark Side of Chocolate | Heavy Metals & healthier alternatives | www.unitywellness.com.au

Sources

http://www.asyousow.org/our-work/environmental-health/toxic-enforcement/lead-and-cadmium-in-food/

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs379/en/

https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/csem/csem.asp?csem=7&po=10

https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp5-c3.pdf

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadmium_poisoning

https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/csem/csem.asp?csem=6&po=10

https://draxe.com/reishi-mushroom/

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2012/906252/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4145303/

http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/amazing-benefits-of-cacao-for-skin-hair-and-health/#gref

 

MEDICAL DISCLAIMER

Unity Wellness provides health-related information to assist people in making their own choices.  While we have exercised due care to ensure the accuracy of the information on this site, it is not intended to be used as medical advice and it is not intended to be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes or as a substitute for your own health professional’s advice.  Unity Wellness does not accept any liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred by use of or reliance on the information provided on this website.

AFFILIATE & ADVOCATE LINKS

This post/site may contain Affliate links or links to my Independent Advocate store. By clicking these links, you pay no more for the products/services, but I will receive a commission on purchases to keep this site running & support my family (thank you!).  I will never promote any products or services that I would not be happy to use myself.

This website is owned and operated by an independent InnerOrigin Advocate and is not endorsed by InnerOrigin Pty Ltd or InnerOrigin Australia Pty Ltd or any of their respective associated companies. Any opinions expressed on this website are made by, and are the responsibility of, the individual Advocate and should not be construed as a representation of the opinions of InnerOrigin Pty Ltd, InnerOrigin Australia Pty Ltd or any of their associated companies.

About Me

Nyree Yali

Nyree Yali

Hi, I'm a former Naturopath-turned-unschooling-parent to a toddler & a tween living in the beautiful South of Tasmania. I'm now helping others on their own journey to wellness & abundance through connecting with their community. I look forward to getting to know you better!Read more...

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Nyree Yali - Independent InnerOrigin Advocate
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