Herbal remedies have been around for millennia. So, it’s kind of interesting that we would rather pop a synthetic pill prescribed by a doctor than trust ancient wisdom or simple home-made, natural treatments.
When we get sick or have a chronic condition, we assume the latest advancements in medicine will be more effective than a natural treatment used for generations. If there is no known cure in Western medicine, we simply accept our fate.
The truth is modern medicine doesn’t have all the answers. Researchers around the world continue to seek the holy grail of health and the cure for many diseases.
Why do we dismiss natural therapies and home remedies as merely old wives’ tales? Most western medicines are synthetic forms of natural compounds, usually made with higher concentrations of chemicals for maximum potency. Rather than reinventing the plant, maybe the question we should ask is: can the plant do it better?
Spotlight on alternative medicines
Could natural, food-based treatments provide better health outcomes for patients compared with synthetic drugs? Could they be more effective, cheaper and cause fewer side effects?
The upcoming documentary series on SBS – Medicine or Myth – poses this precise question. A team of scientists and medical sceptics review dozens of ancient and alternative therapies and then put some of them to the test in clinical trials.
One such alternative treatment featured on Medicine or Myth is a drink made by combining Hemp and the fermented tea beverage, Kombucha, presented by John Leith, the founder of Hemp Oz and the inventor of Australia’s first Hemp Kombucha. John discovered his Hemp Oz Kombucha helped him manage symptoms Type 2 Diabetes. Type 2 Diabetes is an epidemic in Australia, and is the fastest growing chronic condition, eclipsing other chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
Just like the ancient hemp, Kombucha also dates back many thousand years, thought to originate in China. This combination of hemp and Kombucha probiotics is thought to have synergistic effects on both the gut and blood glucose levels, which gives the drink a powerhouse of health-boosting properties.
Hemp could be exactly what modern medicine has been searching for.
For decades, many dismissed or completely overlooked the superfood, wonder plant hemp. But now researchers and health experts suspect it may have genuine healing powers!
Hemp is a prime candidate for medical research, especially in light of its incredible nutritional profile. Dietary hempseed is particularly rich in the omega-6 fatty acid linoleic acid (LA) and contains elevated concentrations of the omega-3 fatty acid α-linolenic acid (ALA). Health experts know these fatty acids are beneficial for our cardiovascular health.
Hemp is an ancient crop and has been a staple of human diets for thousands of years. Yet to date, there has been very little clinical research about the health benefits of hempseed.
The reason this wonder food was overlooked in the past was all a big misunderstanding which led to decades of legal prohibition. With its botanical familial ties to Cannabis, many wrongly attributed psychotropic properties to hemp and scientists feared this would complicate any research conclusions. However, hemp is now legal, and we now know it has no psychotropic effect. As the research emerges, scientists are excited about the potential for hemp to hold the key to some of the world’s most challenging health issues.
Hempseed for heart health
Researchers are beginning to explore and understand how hemp can provide the key to better health for people with hypertension (high blood pressure) or at risk of cardiovascular disease.
One study identified Hempseed Protein had significant anti-hypertensive effects and could lower blood pressure more effectively than a commonly prescribed drug (Girgih, Udenigwe, Li, Adebiyi & Aluko, 2010).
This superfood could also be a game-changer for cardiovascular patients. In a literature review (Rodriguez-Leyva and Pierce, 2010), the researchers found hempseed, which contains all the essential amino acids including arginine, has the potential to help treat heart disease. A diet of Arginine-rich foods was found to significantly reduce the risk of heart disease.
Tune into Medicine or Myth to find out more about Hemp Kombucha and other alternate medicines challenging conventional medical wisdom.
Medicine or Myth: SBS Monday 20th May 8.30pm or on SBS On Demand!