American farmers in the 1600’s who did not grow hemp went to jail. By contrast, American farmers today that try to grow hemp will go to jail! The criminalization of marijuana has left our fields hempless, but we are not hopeless.
We are just now beginning to see the true value of this resplendent herb as over 450,000 pounds of seeds and 331 pounds of oil enter our country each year. The annual retail sale of hemp-based products in America exceeds $350 million.
Hemp was, at one time, as American as apple pie. The first currency was printed on hemp paper. Hemp flour, hemp oil, hemp seeds and hemp fiber were an invaluable part of American society. The English colonists at Jamestown cultivated hemp in the 1600’s and used the fiber for rope, clothing, linen, rugs and even sails. No doubt hemp seed and oil were an integral part of the early settlement kitchen and medicine cabinet. Thomas Jefferson and George Washington both grew hemp.
From a nutritional perspective, hemp is a powerhouse. Containing all 20 amino acids, including the 9 that we cannot produce and all the essential fatty acids, hemp can truly sustain human life. The lifesaving hemp seed can ward off heart disease, cancer, diabetes, ease the pain of inflammation, help with depression and attention deficit disorder. Hemp has a perfect balance of vitamin E, carotene, calcium, magnesium and the B vitamins.
Hemp oil is a bountiful vegetarian protein that builds the immune systems and keeps toxins at bay. Research indicates that the nutritional value of hemp can help anyone who suffers from an immune system suppression illness. The phytonutrients in hemp protect the bloodstream, skin and organs from disease.
Hemp is a natural appetite suppressant and can be an integral part of any weight loss program. Adding a few tablespoons of hemp seeds to your breakfast can reduce food cravings all day long. Hemp also provides an abundance of energy which makes getting to the gym that much easier.
This amazing plant has certainly lived up to its name through the ages, becoming the most utilitarian of plants on the planet. Hemp smoothie anyone?
– The Alternative Daily