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Hemp: Plant of many uses

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Hemp: Plant of Many Uses
Hemp: Plant of Many Uses

Hemp is more often than not referred to as industrial hemp. With its origin in Central Asia, a centuries old crop, hemp cultivation has fed more mouths than one can imagine. A plant of many uses, hemp, widely known as industrial hemp, justifies the tag as well as possible. A plant of the cannabaceae family, parts of hemp plant that primarily contribute to its industrial uses are its bast fiber(found in the stalk), its edible seeds and its flowers. With China leading in industrial hemp farming, accounting for 20 percent of the world’s hemp production, Canada is the leading producer of indutrial hemp seeds.

In India, the mention of hemp has been done as early as in the Vedas. In this article, we look at various facets of hemp plant and how it has proved to be an useful resource for various industries, thus being an asset for countries’ economy.  

1. Hemp vs Cannabis

More often than not, hemp is confused with cannabis and marijuana. Before, we dive into understanding the uses of the plant, let us clear this confusion. While, hemp, cannabis and marijuana are derived from the same species, Cannabis sativa L., their phytochemical composition, genetic functioning and method of cultivation varies. All the three plants are different strains of the same species, having different uses. With cannabis and marijuana, still not legal in various countries, NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) Act, 1985 states that cannabis with

THC(tetrahydrocannabinol) lower than 0.3% can get legal approval for commercial cultivation as a right under the state list. With concentration of THC in hemp being less than 0.3%, it was an easy pass for hemp.

2. Hemp and its uses

Hemp plants require almost no specific conditions for their growth and cultivation. Except Antarctica, where hemp plants cannot thrive in the cold conditions, they grow naturally across the world. From wide ranging uses in industries such as textiles, shoes, food, paper, rope, even biofuel and bioplastics – hemp, is a plant of many uses  as well as a very important raw material.

Mansi Shah of Hemp Fabric Lab, says, “The modern hemp industry in India is at a highly nascent stage, even though, paradoxically, the use of hemp fibre and seed for a range of applications – rope, fuel, food – has been commonly acknowledged for several centuries in India’s rural communities.”

With hemp plant having no intoxicating effect, let us discover how the plant has been an asset for the Indian economy.

2.1 Food and Nutrition

Since hemp is highly nutritious, hemp based food products are umpteen. Starting from hemp based CBD oil, an extremely useful oil for treating medical ailments, to hemp milk, hemp plants have contributed significantly to the food sector due to its properties. From being nutritionally superior to flax, chia, or fish Oil and having a balanced ratio of Essential Fatty Acids, hemp oil and hemp seeds have been regular as part of nutritious diets.    

2.2 Fiber and Fuel

Hemp, a naturally occuring, durable fiber has been the first choice as raw material for many fiber industries. Hemp was first used for weaving nets, making carpets, sacking etc. Upon observing its quality, it was then discovered that fibrous stalks of hemp were great to be weaved into cloth. With cotton coming into the picture, usage of hemp in the textile industry saw a decline. However, a report on The Statesman writes, “…hemp has 2 or 3 times more productivity than cotton, and the fiber is longer, stronger, more insulating and absorbent than cotton fiber.” Due to these properties, hemp is making a comeback in the organic, modern textile industry in India, says Mansi Shah.

Biodiesel from the hemp seeds and biofuel from the fibrous stalks of hemp, makes fuel production a by product of hemp cultivation. Hemp fuel obtained from the stalks is a form of cellulosic ethanol. However, there has not been much study into the same and requires further investigation.

2.3 Plastic and Paper

Hemp based platics fall into the category of bioplastics, and could prove to be extremely safe in today’s world where we’re facing a plastic crisis.

Beyond textiles, hemp has also found its usage in paper manufacturing. The bast fiber of hemp is primarily responsible for paper production. Studies suggest that paper made from hemp has far better quality than the paper we use now.

2.4 Pet food

Since hemp seeds contain several healthy proteins and can also improve the skin condition, they are given as dietary supplements to dogs, cats, cows, horses, as well as birds. These seeds contain all ten essential amino acids, making it a full proof protein. They also make pets’ skin healthy and shiny.

2.5 Construction Material

Pulpy wood-like center of hemp’s stalks is blended to make Hempcrete, something that could be used as a construction material. It is a biocomposite of hemp hurd, mixed with lime and water. Hempcrete is also mold-resistant, carbon-negative, and works as an insulator. With no synthetic components and great structural strength, hempcrete is a viable and conventional alternative as a construction material.

Takeaway

As you saw above, hemp, a plant of many uses, has several other uses as well that are not mentioned in this article. With hemp cultivation experiencing a shift, let us hope that it is encouraged in the coming years, as the plant seems to be able to do-it-all.  

References

https://homegrown.co.in/article/803605/7-indian-companies-on-the-forefront-of-the-hemp-revolution

https://www.hempbasics.com/shop/general-hemp-information

https://premiumjane.com/blog/10-amazing-things-you-can-use-hemp-for/

https://www.greenentrepreneur.com/article/331065

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Kameshwar Modaka: An ideal formulation for chronic IBS (GRAHANI)

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Kameshwar Modaka for IBS

Abstract: Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a burden to both patients and the healthcare system as it requires high-cost medicines, frequent clinical visits, disturbed personal and professional schedule, anxiety, and depression in the patient. This chronic disorder causes abdominal pain or discomfort and is characterized by abnormal defecation that presents mainly as either constipation or diarrhea symptoms.  There is no standard allopathic treatment available for such a complex condition; the plan of treatment differs from person to person, doctor to doctor. 

In such a situation most patients turn to Ayurveda that describes this disorder as “GRAHANI” in its texts as it offers a promising treatment for patients suffering from IBS and improves his/her quality of life. Kameshwar Modaka is one such miraculous formulation that has been long lost in the Ayurveda texts. This study highlights the use of Kameshwara Modaka in the treatment of Chronic IBS (GRAHANI) and also proves how it can be the ideal formulation of choice for GRAHANI treatment.  

This is a case of a 32-year-old female with a history of mixed constipation and diarrhea bowel pattern for the last few years and how Kameshwar Modaka helped her overcome her complaints gradually.

Ayurveda Perspective 

According to Ayurveda, Grahani is a disorder that affects our Majjadhara and Pittadhara Kala. An ideal formulation for the treatment of Grahani would be having the properties of being ‘Grahi’ ‘Deepana’  ‘Pachak’. The Vijaya in the Kameshwar Modaka reassesses the inner dialogue in the affected person and induces calm and peaceful sleep. Which in turn helps to cure the ‘Mandagni’ cause due to mental stress. 

The formulation overall serves to give promising results in Grahani as it acts as AGNIVARDHAK and GRAHI for the physical impacts of the disease, and also the MEDHYA guna of cannabis helps the patient to overcome the mental disturbances he/she undergoes while having Grahani (IBS).

 Introduction

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a common disorder that affects the intestine. Signs and symptoms include episodes of unexplained constipation and diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramping, bloating, etc. It is a chronic condition that one needs to manage in long term. 

The cause of IBS isn’t well understood. A diagnosis is often made based on symptoms. Moreover, there is no test to definitively diagnose IBS either. This makes the diagnosis and management of the disease an arduous task for healthcare professionals. 

IBS affects an individual physically as well as mentally as it refrains you from doing even the easiest things on the schedule as you never know when the complaints kick in.

Case Report

Today Vaidyas prescribe Kameshwar Modak in the treatment of Sexual Dysfunction and it has gained popularity in that field due to its promising and instantaneous results.  A very few of us know that Kameshwar Modak has been mentioned as a formulation that can be used in the effective treatment of GRAHANI roga and more analysis suggest that it can be an ideal drug for the treatment of GRAHANI.

Patient description

A 32-year-old female was presented with complaints with a history of mixed constipation and diarrhea bowel pattern. She reported that she ‘either can’t go or can’t stop going to the bathroom’. A few years ago (roughly 5 years) she complained of having long durations of constipations with lower abdominal pain but as time went by her symptoms progressed. The duration of constipation and intensity of pain gradually started to increase and it could turn worse with stress.

Case history

She was referred to a Gastroenterologist by a General Practitioner 2 years ago who did a full workup including blood testing and ultrasound examinations and also colonoscopy. All tests were unremarkable. She was diagnosed with IBS with constipation and started treatment with laxatives. 

Over the past year, she has developed intermittent diarrhea every 10 days and followed by a few days of constipation and complaints of having 3-5 episodes of watery or semi-formed stools.

Lately, she has been training and has had a sense of incomplete evacuation with lower abdominal cramping and bloating.  She has no celiac disease. She is moderately anxious.

Dietary & Lifestyle Habits

The patient has been eating healthy food but the complaints persist no matter what she eats. She does not consume alcohol nor does she have any other ‘habits’. She has a good overall routine and makes sure she gets 8 hours of sleep.

Previous treatment 

She used milk of magnesia or Castor oil when she was constipated and used TAB LOMOTIL (Diphenoxylate and Atropine) on rare occasions when she had diarrhea. 

Treatment plan

Medicines to be used – Kameshwar Modaka. She was prescribed Kameshwar Modaka 250 mg every day after food sublingual.  She was also asked to make dietary modifications and practice Yoga (certain asanas) as a part of her daily routine. 

Expected outcome of the treatment plan

It was expected Kameshwar Modaka would be able to help the patient ‘manage her situation’ better with time. 

Actual outcome

As expected the patient got little relief within a week. She did not have an episode of constipation and she was less anxious overall.  She was keen to continue her treatment and felt hopeful for the first time during her treatment period of 2 years that her life would be close to normal again.

Discussion

The treatment was decided considering the mentions of Kameshwar Modaka as one of the treatment drugs for Grahani in the Ayurveda literature. 

Grahani Roga should be primarily treated for AGNIVARDHANA CHIKITSA with the help of drugs that have the quality of DEEPANA and PACHANA. Kameshwar Modak as a formulation has the aforementioned qualities and serves to be an ideal drug of choice for the treatment of GRAHANI. 

Conclusion

This case study shows that GRAHANI can be successfully managed with Kameshwar Modaka. It is supportive for further research, as Grahani Chikitsa is one of the most challenging chikitsa Vaidyas face even today!

Dr. Sameer Paranjpe, Consultant Ayuvedacharya

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Ayurveda has a solution for your Migraine

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Ayurveda has a solution for your migraine

Abstract: This case study demonstrates the use of Trailokya Vijaya Vati highlighting its main ingredient cannabis in the treatment or prophylaxis of Migraine. A Migraine is a strong headache that often comes with nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. It can last hours or days. It is a headache of varying intensity and can cause throbbing pain or a pulsating sensation in one particular area. The pain sometimes can be so severe that it interferes with your daily activities.

There is mounting evidence that the endocannabinoid system can directly reduce migraine pain when activated by naturally produced cannabinoids or medical cannabis taken by patients. Cannabis can help to reduce inflammation in the protective dura mater tissue covering the brain and minimize the release of pro-inflammatory substances, both of which contribute to the onset of a migraine. Also, there is a presence of cannabinoid receptors in the brain. These receptors interact with the cannabinoids in the formulation and help to strengthen the body’s ability to reduce pain sensation.

This is a case of a 35 yr old female with a history of Migraines for the last 20yrs (since she was 15-16 yrs old). She has been taking anti migraine medicine every time she has had an attack for relief. Her migraines have changed in nature (intensity has fluctuated) over the last 20 years. In her teens, they were at their worst. She used to panic, her professors in college didn’t really understand the severity of it and often would think that she was trying to get out of the class. She was often misunderstood. After trying out many medicines available in the market for her migraines she decided to opt for Ayurveda / Herbal remedy for her sufferings.

Ayurveda Perspective

According to Ayurveda, migraine is termed ARDHAVABHEDAKA and is mainly caused due to imbalance of VATA DOSHA. The increased VATA DOSHA hence causes SHOOLA. The most defining symptom is ARDHASHIRSHA VEDANA meaning pain in half the region of the head.

Vijaya is having Tikta Rasa Ushna Virya it has laghu Tiksnha Guna and Katu Vipaka. Hence it pacifies the Vata Dosha and helps in the treatment of any kind of SHOOLA. The VATASHAMANA action of Vijaya eases the migraine and the sedative action helps the patient with substantial rest required after a triggered panic.

Introduction

For those who regularly experience migraines, life carries unique challenges. Absolutely harmless sensory stimuli like bright lights, strong fragrances, or loud noises can trigger unbearable pain. Stress or even jet lag can set a crippling migraine in motion too! This agonizing pain can be accompanied by a loss of sensation, nausea, or alarming visual changes. The disruption associated with chronic migraines can be so persistent it can even erode one’s sense of self.

Although drugs commonly prescribed for the prevention and treatment of migraines help some individuals, they don’t offer relief for all the ones suffering from migraine! Similar to many heavy-hitting medicines, a host of unwanted side effects may evolve with use. However, the evidence is accumulating that Cannabis may be an effective treatment for migraines and chronic headaches.

Case Report

Patient description

This is a case of a 35 yr old female with a history of Migraines for the last 20yrs (from since she was 15-16 yrs old). She has been taking anti migraine medicine every time she has had an attack for relief. Her migraines have changed in nature (intensity has fluctuated) over the last 20 years.

Case history

She has had migraines for the last 20 years. The frequency of migraines was more in her teens and gradually decreased and she could go for months without an attack. But in the past 1 year, the frequency of attacks has increased to a minimum of 1 attack per week. For her the worst aspect of migraines has been their unpredictability – “One moment you could be cycling down the street, the next, I can’t see!” she described. She has had aura symptoms and is unable to tolerate light and sound when she had an attack. This was having a huge impact on her professional and personal life. She has been prescribed almost every medicine available in the market from sumatriptan to almotripan to zolmitirpan and even combinations.

Physical examination results

She was brought by her husband just after she got a migraine attack which was the third attack in the last 10 days. She was unable to open her eyes fully and insist on the doctor to speak in a low voice. She was unable to understand the questions asked to her and was dizzy.

Treatment plan

Medicines to be used – Trailokya Vijaya Vati . She was prescribed Trailokya Vijaya Vati only when she would feel migraine-like symptoms were aggravating. She was also asked to keep a tap on the factors that were aggravating her migraines. 1 tablet was to be taken when she would experience even mild headaches for the next month and then only when there is a pulsating or throbbing headache or other likely symptoms.

Expected outcome

It was expected not immediately but over time that the patient would find relief with her migraines and also that frequency of the migraines would decrease gradually.

Actual outcome

The patient came for a follow up after 15 days. There was an improvement in her symptoms. There was a significant reduction in the frequency of attacks and the duration of pain. She took a tablet every time she left even the mildest of the symptoms and would feel relieved within 15-20 minutes of taking the tablet. She has been sleeping well and was not feeling panicky anymore.

Discussion

The treatment was decided on the basis of the predominance of VATA DOSHA involvement. The Vijaya as mentioned has anti-inflammatory properties and is also an effective VATASHAMANA herb. It helps in reducing the pain gradually. The VATASHAMANA action of Vijaya eases the migraine and the sedative action helps the patient with substantial rest required after a triggered panic.

Conclusion

This case study shows that Migraine can be successfully managed with Trailokya Vijaya Vati. While science is supporting the use of Cannabis (Vijaya) in the treatment of migraines, practical knowledge regarding how – how much, and when to dose still requires further research.

Case Study shared by Dr. Radhika Mohite, Consultant Ayurvedacharya Published by HempStreet

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Trailokya Vijaya Vati: A solution for multiple ailments

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Trailokya Vijaya Vati

Abstract: This review summarizes the evidence for the use of Trailokya Vijaya Vati in the Pain encountered in Ureteric Calculi with Hydronephrosis and indigestion.

Stones can cause splitting pain in our bodies. A lot of people suffer from stones and the condition affects a number of people every year due to our unhealthy and improper diet. Research says that 1 out of 10 Indians will experience having a Stone in their lifetime. As far as the stone is in the kidney there are certain complaints, but definitely not alarming.

The real set of complaints arise when the stone starts to pass from the kidney downwards out of the urinary tract. Passing a stone can be very very painful. Small stones may form and pass on their own without causing any symptoms. However, most medium and large stones are extremely painful to pass and require medical attention, especially for pain management.

Indigestion occurs when stomach acid comes in contact with the sensitive and protective lining of the digestive system. The stomach acid breaks down the lining leading to irritation and inflammation which can be very painful.

Patient Details

Patient 1 – This is a case of a 35 yr old male with complaints of ‘jumping pain’ in his lower abdomen radiating towards the groin. He was apparently alright till morning and started experiencing this pain after traveling (for about 50 km). USG suggested that it was ureteric Calculi about 8.4 mm in left ureter.

Patient 2 – A 26 yr old female with the complaint was brought by her husband who complained of indigestion and burning pain in her chest, pain in the back and abdomen. She was vomiting food and water when ingested. She required immediate pain relief.

Introduction

Pain is the alarm of the underlying diseases. A symptom that announces that something is wrong with our body. Today, pain management in various conditions or diseases is a newer concept with an approach to managing only and only pain in the list of complaints to give a feeling of ‘being alright’ to the patient and gradually treat the condition without disturbing his/her routine.

Medical Cannabis is an increasingly popular alternative against opioids, other traditional drugs, or even against modern medicine.

How does Cannabis work in Pain Management?

The Cannabidiol (a component of Cannabis) stimulates the brain’s cannabinoid receptors and reduces inflammation and pain levels.

Side effects of Medical Marijuana use are minimal especially as compared to opioids or modern medicines and they as not as addictive as opioids as well. Over years, Cannabis has shown significant promising results in pain management.

Case Report (Patient 1)

Patient description

This is a case of a 35 yr old male with complaints of ‘jumping pain’ in his lower abdomen radiating towards the groin. He seemed to be apparently alright till morning and started experiencing this pain after traveling (for about 50 km).

Case history

USG was done immediately which showed Left Ureteric Stone 8.4 mm with Hydronephrosis. The patient was a healthy individual with no co-morbidities.

Physical examination results

The gait of the patient was antalgic and he was restless. He represented typical loin to groin pain.

Treatment plan

Medicines used – Trailokya Vijaya Vati. He was prescribed Trailokya Vijaya Vati SOS after the onset of pain, as he insisted on pain relief as a primary expectation. He has also prescribed medicines for the management of Ureteric Calculi.

Expected outcome of the treatment plan

Immediate pain management.

Actual outcome

The patient rested in the clinic until she was free from pain. She was advised to rest and opt for LAGHU AAHAR. After about 30 mins of ingestion, the patient felt relief from pain.

Discussion

Pain management was the only target outcome of the treatment. But in the case of indigestion, Trailokya Vijaya Vati served both the purposes

  • Pain management
  • Disease management due to its VATAGHNA, DEEPANA, PACHANA, and AGNI VARDHANA properties

Conclusion

As evident from the above case, nature is the best combinatorial chemist and has possible answers to all diseases for mankind. Medicinal plants and their formulations especially Cannabis formulations play a vital role in pain management with minimal, easily manageable, and reversible side effects. Modern medicines give results but come with undesirable side effects that may sometimes cause permanent damage to an organ or a system. To increase the acceptability and awareness amongst the people regarding herbal formulations there is a need for plenteous research.

Case study shared by Dr. Neeraj Kamathe, Consultant Ayuvedacharya

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