Article By: Sharon Letts When I was 24 years old I knew I wanted to be a gardener. Unable to learn in a traditional academic setting, I felt most at home outside working in a garden, or doing crafts – making things with my hands. My Aunt Janice helped me with a down payment for […]

 In Opinion, Patient Resources

Article By: Sharon Letts

When I was 24 years old I knew I wanted to be a gardener. Unable to learn in a traditional academic setting, I felt most at home outside working in a garden, or doing crafts – making things with my hands.

My Aunt Janice helped me with a down payment for little red Nissan truck, and via word-of-mouth, I eventually had more than 30 clients I designed, planted and maintained flower beds in high-end neighborhoods where I grew up in the South Bay of Los Angeles.

I raised my daughter eating out of the garden, but didn’t realize until later that when they told us to eat our fruit and vegetables, they should have told us it was a matter of life and death, because it is.

We grew our own food, but I didn’t fully understand the importance of what it means to the well-being of our bodies to eat an abundance of produce, herbs, and spices to prevent major illnesses until I moved up to Humboldt County and presented with breast cancer.

From Pharma to a Plant

Because I was working in media in the cannabis capital of the world, I was lucky enough to be given cannabis oil by longtime Southern Humboldt farmer and remedy maker, Pearl Moon, of The Bud Sisters.

The first night I took the oil I didn’t need the sleeping pill I’d relied on for years; the next day I no longer needed the painkillers for chronic pain from a partially disabled knee. In two and a half weeks, upwards of ten prescription medications and supplements were no longer needed; with the cancer gone in two and a half months.

This made me look at all beneficial plants in another way, as I learned about super foods – plants with numerous benefits covering a wide spectrum of healing. I also learned that there’s a plant out there to remedy just about anything.

Meanwhile, back in the garden…

Soon, chamomile was added to my plant cornucopia, with the ability to replace the valium I had needed for anxiety. It also quelled pain when used as a topical – in the same way CBD (cannabinoid) only or cannabis salve would. A study found indicated chamomile is also an antioxidant, killing cancer cells in a lab study; with yet another study showing an ability to combat depression.

I take a chamomile concentrate daily, as needed for anxiety and at night preventing hormonal depression from Thyroid Disease with menopause. I take a cannabis cap each night, replacing sleeping pills and keeping the cancer and pain at bay.

The next plant to come into my radar in a big way was super food, stinging nettles. During a trip to the Southern Baja desert, I was suffering greatly from a bout of allergies that drove me to bed. After asking for help on social media, I was enlightened to nettles, and steeped some dried flowers in gin. After making a tonic on ice with lots of lemon, my sinuses were cleared up in literally minutes.

Before synthetic formulations were patented by pharmaceutical companies, we used plants to heal. Apothecary, the method of making remedies from plants was used around the world, not pharma. With the knowledge of the healing benefits of superfoods, or super plants, silenced and eventually distrusted. “Better Living through Science,” was the mantra echoed via the Industrial Revolution for decades.

Beyond CBD

With the realization that other plants might be able to help me as well as cannabis had, this past summer I was given a new product to try from Emerald Health Bioceuticals, said to feed the endocannabinoid system (ecs) that accepts the beneficial compounds from plants into our biological systems in the same way cannabis does.

With the tagline, “Beyond CBD,” the product compounds contain complex superfood benefits that prevent numerous negative ailments, including  inflammation and infection, as well as antioxidant properties – preventing against cancer; adjusting blood sugars and regulating hormones.

To test this product I decided to forgo the chamomile cap at night and began taking two caps of Endo Bliss, a combination of beneficial herbs said to promote a “positive mood outlook,” while supporting the ecs.

Main ingredients in the Bliss formulation include Saffron powder, and “PhytoCann” complex; a proprietary blend of six proven herbs and botanicals to activate the ecs in the same way cannabis or CBD does.

As listed, the complex includes, clove oil, black pepper, ginger, echinacea, peony, and magnolia.

BCP, the other beneficial compound

A few years ago I did a story on cloves and its abundance of beta-caryophyllene or BCP, as noted in the following excerpt:

Cannabis also contains a little known compound called Beta-caryophyllene or BCP, said to nearly mimic CBD with no psychoactive properties, found in the most fragrant herbs and spices, such as oregano, black pepper, and cinnamon.

In a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences July of 2008, a team of pharmacology and neurology experts from Switzerland, Italy, and Germany reported that BCP is in fact a dietary cannabinoid, responsive to both CB1 and CB2 receptors within the Endocannabinoid System.

The findings named BCP as a “potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment of inflammation, pain, atherosclerosis, and osteoporosis.”

The paper goes on to state, since the team knew Cannabis strains vary wildly – especially in oil delivery preparations – five “commercial” Cannabis essential oils lacking CBD were tested in young mice during this controlled study.

The conclusion stated that BCP, taken with a daily intake of 10 to 200 mg. “could be a dietary factor that potentially modulates inflammatory and other pathophysiological process via the Endocannabinoid System.”

The first day of taking two of the Endo Bliss capsules, I felt as uplifted as I had with the chamomile in a very short amount of time, and I didn’t need to take a chamomile cap in the daytime, as needed for anxiety.

I continued to take two a day until the bottle was gone, or about 30 days. Then, I purposely didn’t take the chamomile cap to note the difference. In no time my anxiety and a lower mood reared its ugly head, and I resumed taking the chamomile concentrate in capsules.

I can assuredly say, the product worked for me. Other proprietary combinations by Emerald Health Botanicals include, Endo Sleep, Endo Inflame, Endo Calm, and Endo Brain – providing clarity of mind, focus and cognition, to name a few positive benefits.

Botanica South of the Border

I live in Mexico, where plant-based remedy is common, and botanica shops are my go-to for herbal combinations for a myriad of ailments.

Curious about a sleep combination in a bag filled with pieces of bark and leaves from lilac, orange blossom, purple toronjil, orange leaves, and pyracantha, I brought it home to experiment.

Instructions said to steep in water for a strong tea to aid in sleep. I decided to make some capsules using the same alcohol reduction recipe for cannabis oil, using a 96 percent alcohol sold in Mexico ($7 U.S. a liter).

The results were nothing short of astounding, as just one capsule knocked me out, inducing a deep sleep, with no negative side effects, as I woke up feeling refreshed and ready to face the day.

Walk down a tea isle in the U.S. and it’s a cornucopia of scents and flavors, but Americans don’t really look to the isle for remedy.

In Mexico, there are but a handful of teas on market shelves – all medicinal: chamomile, lemon balm, hibiscus, and my favorite, Siete Azores, or Seven Blossoms – with seven beneficial plants in one tea, used as prevention and remedy.

For optimum health and prevention, humans need to get back into the garden. Cannabis is great and it’s beneficial compounds cover many basis; but, it’s also just another super food – a gateway drug to other plants that heal.

 

Photos by Sharon Letts

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