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Mental and physical benefits of hempseed oil

Things to do with hempseed oil

Dressings of bread and spider webs: 17th-century antibiotics?

Pan Zagloba's Medicine Chest

Jan Onufry Zagloba, one of the heroes of Henryk Sienkiewicz's With Fire and Sword, The Deluge, and Colonel Wolodyjowski, was not actually a physician and nothing on this page constitutes medical advice. At least two of his remedies, though, have scientific fact behind them. Note that Sienkiewicz, a nineteenth-century author, could not have known about antibiotics or the health benefits of unsaturated oils.

Mental and physical benefits of hempseed oil

In the movie verion of The Deluge, King Jan Kazimierez asks Pan Zagloba why he is so cunning. Zagloba answers that the secret is to have a supply of hemp seeds and eat them regularly. (The seeds do not, incidentally, contain the mind-altering substance that is associated with other parts of this plant.) He adds that wine, of which he is fond, causes the oil to rise to the head.

15 ml, or about 0.5 ounce, of hempseed oil contains:
  • 2.5 grams of Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oils now associated with HDL or "good" cholesterol)
    • comparable to a six-ounce serving of salmon
  • 8.0 grams of Omega-6 fatty acids
  • 2.0 grams of Omega-9 fatty acids
A Google search on "omega," "serotonin," and "depression" yields a large number of pages that suggest that omega-3 oils are required for the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter. A deficiency can result in depression and other problems. (Recall the reputation of fish, another omega-3 source, as "brain food." If you are a member of Sam's Club, Omega-3 capsules (and salmon) are available at a very low price.
References also warn against too high a ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 oils (note that hempseed oil does contain a lot of omega-6).
Some references, however, say that omega-6 oils reduce LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol, which is the "bad" kind.
It is now known that hydrogenated vegetable oils (e.g. hydrogenated cottonseed and soybean oils) are no good at all. Trans-fatty acids increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Things you can do with hemp seed oil
  • Baked potatoes: use hemp seed oil instead of butter or sour cream
  • Brussels sprouts sauteed in hemp seed oil
  • Corn on the cob: use hemp seed oil instead of butter
  • Rice: use hemp seed oil instead of butter
In all cases, the hemp seed oil is very flavorful (nutty taste) and it contains NO saturated animal fats!

Dressings of bread and spider webs
Pan Zagloba mentions a wound dressing of bread and spider webs in With Fire and Sword, and the movie version of The Deluge shows such a dressing being applied to Andrei Kmicic.

A Google search for "moldy bread" and "antibiotics" produces some very interesting results. The penicillium mold is among those that grow on bread.
  • "My uncle, who comes from Slovakia, was telling me that in the old country the villagers would let bread go moldy. They would then apply the moldy bread over a wound to prevent infection. Little did these villagers know but they were making their own penicillin." (source)
  • "Folk medicine is replete with accounts of the use of various materials for the treatment of bacterial infection (moldy bread, moldy cheese, plant and animal preparations), which we now assume were effective due to the presence of some unknown antibacterial agent." (source)

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