Introducing the Powerful Synergy of Hemp and Healing Herbs- By Lisa Ganora
Hemp may be the most famous healing herb, but it certainly isn’t the only one! CBD-rich Hemp oil is a perfect partner for formulating with adaptogens and other medicinal herbs. As a “polycrest” remedy (one that has many useful actions) Hemp oil works synergistically with traditional botanicals to support, empower, and rebalance all of the systems of the body. The cooperative synergy between organic Hemp and other healing herbs truly embodies the regenerative potential of natural medicine: the harmonizing of personal, community, and planetary health.
Plants live in complex communities just like we do. When the soil and all the symbiotic organisms it supports are healthy, the healthier are the plants we grow and the stronger their healing powers. First Crop formulas combine restorative premium Hemp oil with the highest quality organic herbs. This powerful synergy allows the herbs to reach their full potential as allies in our journey to a healthier, happier, more balanced lifestyle.
The art of formulation has been developed over thousands of years in Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine, and Unani Tibb – the Greek / Arabic tradition at the root of modern Western herbalism. A well-crafted formula considers the multiple actions and energetics of each herb, balancing and counterbalancing them, combining actions and harmonizing energetics to create a potent, targeted, and effective whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. Combined with a modern scientific understanding of herbal constituents (phytochemicals), this approach allows First Crop to offer unique formulas that engage the powerful synergy of Hemp oil and other botanicals from time-honored traditions. These well-focused formulas are designed with the goal of broad-spectrum support and healing for the body, mind, heart, community and planet alike.
How to use the formulas
When used as directed, the First Crop formulas deliver their herbs in amounts supported by modern research studies and traditional use. While each individual may have different requirements, these formulas have been designed to be safe and effective at the given doses. Start lower and titrate up as needed, while keeping in mind that more is not always better. Give the formulas some time to work – you can think of them as being more like vitamins and minerals: nourishing, supporting, and restoring the system without being too dramatic or pushy. But like vitamins and minerals, you can also overdo it – pay attention to your body’s feedback and back off if appropriate. As with any potent botanical, consult your physician before use if you are pregnant, nursing, have or suspect a medical condition or are taking any medication.
In these anxious times, so many things can conspire to throw us off balance and disturb our sense of being grounded, steady, and confident. Calm is an herbal formula combining Hemp, adaptogens, and restorative nervine herbs to help us regain a sense of emotional and mental resilience. Calm is relaxing but also refreshing – grounding yet still supportive of focused energy and activity. This formula features Milky Oat (Avena sativa), an herb traditionally revered as a “nervine trophorestorative”: one that steadily, gradually, and reliably works to restore harmonious function of an over-stressed nervous system.
The restorative power of Milky Oat is combined with the adaptogenic action of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), an stress-relieving herb that enhances mental clarity and focus. Along with the support of the fragrant Linden flower (Tilia cordata – an herb to heal the heart, both physically and emotionally), and the uplifting energy of Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis), Milky Oat and Ashwagandha focus on relieving those hectic thoughts and feelings and restoring a sense of calm focus and peaceful awareness. Add the relaxant influence of Hemp oil on mind and body, and we have a formula that restores and rebalances what Chinese medicine calls the “Shen” – one of the “Three Treasures” of life: the spirit of vitality and consciousness that supports radiant physical and mental health.
There’s nothing quite so satisfying as a good night’s sleep. With so much to do and so many distractions, it’s easy to slip into that fitful tossing and turning that can rob us of restorative rest. Science tells us that not only is good sleep important for mental clarity and emotional balance, but it’s also needed to maintain an alert immune system, an efficient detoxification system, and a well-tuned metabolism. First Crop’s Sleep formula has been designed to relax and calm the mind and body, easing us into that peaceful receptive state where our entire system gently yields to a deep, natural sleep.
Hops (Humulus lupulus) is most famous for flavoring beer, but as a medicinal herb it has long been respected for its reliable ability to invite sleep. Western herbalism calls Hops a “hypnotic” herb, one that relaxes and soothes without excess sedation. With its touch of bitter action, Hops activates the parasympathetic “rest and digest” nervous system – the opposite of the “fight-or-flight” reaction. Hops works hand-in-hand with Valerian (Valeriana officinalis), another trusted hypnotic that warms and relaxes both mind and body. This classic herbal pair is supported by the steady calming action of comforting Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) and the settling and soothing effect of Lavender (Lavandula vera) on a busy mind. Chamomile and Lavender are also anti-inflammatory, and together with Hemp oil they help quiet the aches and pains that can disturb our ability to relax into a sustained night of restorative sleep.
Inflammation is a complex character: a little bit is an effective tool of the immune system, helping to kill germs and promote tissue healing; but too much for too long can be painful and detrimental to health. Numerous studies support the ability of antioxidant herbs to modulate inflammation and support its intelligent management by the body. First among these is Turmeric (Curcuma longa), rich in constituents like curcumin that calm chronic or systemic inflammation without disturbing immune function. Pairing Turmeric with Ginger (Zingiber officinale), a close botanical relative, results in a dream team with unbeatable antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power that supports and accelerates healing. The absorption of their constituents is enhanced by Black Pepper (Piper nigrum), long used for this purpose in Ayurvedic formulas. In fact, Pepper also enhances the absorption of the soothing cannabinoids in Hemp oil as well.
To round out our formula and support the inflammation modulators, we add Vana Holy Basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) – a remarkably effective adaptogen with a lovely fragrant personality. Vana Holy Basil completes the action of the other herbs while adding an empowering, energizing activity of its own. It is traditionally known for enhancing mental clarity, restoring sustained energy, relieving mental and physical stress, supporting healthy immunity and even aiding detoxification. Vana Holy Basil, rich in flavonoids, works synergistically with Hemp oil to restore, repair, relieve and revive after a demanding day of activity – whether mental, emotional, physical or all three at once.
A note on adaptogens
We have a wide variety of adaptogens in our modern herbal Materia Medica. Some are more relaxant, others more stimulant. Some focus more on restoring energy, supporting adrenal function and empowering the cellular energy factories called mitochondria. Others have an affinity for the mind and emotions, helping to repair the effects of stress on the nervous system and restore mental and emotional balance. Yet other adaptogens are particularly good at repairing tissue, modulating inflammation, and supporting physical healing. Each adaptogen has something in common with the others, yet is an individual with its own special abilities. The adaptogens chosen for our formulas have a certain type of herbal personality: they are moderate yet powerful; well-balanced in their stimulant and relaxant properties; and are steady, reliable, and restorative herbs that harmonize with the actions of Hemp oil. The actions and energetics of each adaptogen have been specifically selected to enhance the focus of the First Crop formula in which it is used.
~ Lisa Ganora, Founder of the Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism and author of Herbal Constituents.