Plant

Wellness is on a high with light-headed therapy

CBD added to tea

Dope, no, Cannabis-based therapy, yes.  Wellness is trending towards therapeutic drugs.

One day its Tumeric lattes, now CBD treatments are all the rage advocated by Jennifer Aniston and, of course Gywneth Paltrow. CBD or cannabidiol is a natural ingredient, extracted from agricultural hemp. It can be added to many a spa treatment, laced in chocolate, packaged as a spray for your bag and purchased over the counter in Harrods as well as other stores.

A derivative of the marijuana plant, CBD oil is legal in the UK as long as it does not contain more than 0.2% of THC, the crucial component that gives cannabis its psychotic effects. Cannabis can be divided into three sectors – recreational, medical and wellness. The latter is the most widely available through products that use CBD oil, a product that does not make users high. Today it is used in beauty products and dietary supplements.

Since becoming legal in the UK last year, it is popping up everywhere. Raw, CBD reportedly is bitter so adding it to products helps. You can nibble on CBD petit fours – try cannabis and grapefruit marshmallows and a Green Monkey soft drink.  It’s a key ingredient of salads and cakes served in a Brighton restaurant which offers a full menu of CBD dishes. There are Wellness Cafes in London such as Kalifornia Kitchen. And check out your shakes and juices, chocolate and mints all rumoured to have therapeutic effects with this “wonder“ingredient.

CBD is one of at least 85 cannabinoid compounds found in cannabis and is popular for its medicinal benefits.  These include the antioxidants within CBD which help to neutralise free radicals and treat signs of ageing. Scientists believe its anti-inflammatory properties can calm inflamed acne. The fatty acids within CBD can soothe itching and inflammation from eczema and psoriasis by combating the excessive water loss of the conditions. Other reported benefits of CBD include pain relief, reducing anxiety and depression and improving cognitive function and memory.

With so many benefits, this natural oil is appealing to those who care about what they eat, drink or apply to their skin. Now that we have climbed out of the cannabis closet we can look forward to high afternoon teas with cannabis chocolate brownies which will give more than a sugar rush. But of course we need to follow the weed etiquette which is now available. CBD is a natural way to wind down, a calorie free option to replace  alcoholic and calorific effects of a glass or two of wine, a soothing way to relax physically and mentally. It’s a form of meditation and a catalyst for creativity. But as is the norm, good things come with a warning – inhaling CBD be harmful to lungs and some edibles can be poisonous.

Rudding Park in Harrogate is one of the first spas in the UK to introduce a range of treatments using Cannabidiol products. The hotel and spa has collaborated with MariPharm, a supplier of high quality CBD products, to create a range of experiences which could assist with pain relief, promote anti-ageing, reduce anxiety and depression and support overall positive mental health. All MariPharm products are of pharmaceutical grade and are produced using a unique extraction process, guaranteeing the highest quality at all times.

Outside the UK, the effects are more heady. Welcome to Medical Marijuana. Last year Canada became the second country to legalise recreational marijuana. America’s Colorado, Florida and California have relaxed laws but consuming weed for pleasure is still illegal. Brands are jumping on the bandwagon to cater to a discerning wellness cannabis scene. Marijuana which contains the psychoactive THC and CBD, the non-intoxicating compound derived from the cannabis plant is now becoming part of a wellness lifestyle. According to the California Dept of Public Health cannabis can only be purchased at retail outlets licensed by the California Bureau of Cannabis Control. The city of West Hollywood has licences for upscale cannabis lounges – around Sunset Strip and Santa Monica Boulevard.

Read here for medicinal plants

Medicinal: Bird’s Nest Fern

plant 4Uses:

An infusion of the leaves has been used to ease labour pain by an aboriginal tribe in Malaysia. The Malays also use the leaves to obtain a lotion to treat fever.

Family: Asplniaceae

Genus: Asplenium

Medicinal: Sea Hibiscus

plant 8Uses:
In Malaysia and Indonesia, the leaves are considered cooling and thus are used in controlling fever. The leaves are also used as a soothing agent and to remove phlegm from the respiratory passages. In the Philippines, the mucilaginous water, obtained by soaking fresh bark in water, is prescribed for dysentery.

Common Name: Sea Hibiscus

Family: Malvaceae

Genus: Hibiscus

Medicinal: Setawar Hutan

plant 7Uses:

The rhizome has been used to treat fever, rash, asthma, bronchitis, and intestinal worms. It is also mentioned as an ingredient in a cosmetic to be used on the eyelashes to increase sexual attractiveness. It is used to treat kidney problems and other urinary problems in Mizo traditional medicine.

The showy flowers emerge from between dark red to reddish purple bracts on pinecone-shaped, terminal inflorescences

Vernacular Name: Setawar Hutan
Family: Costaceae
Genus: Cheilocostus

Medicinal: Ambong Ambong

plant 6Uses:
The Malays eat the leaves from this plant when they have indigestion and apply a poultice to the head to cure headache. The roots are used as an antidote to eating poisonous fish and crabs in Indonesia.

This seashore shrub or small tree has white flowers whose corolla tube is split open along the upper side

Vernacular Name: Ambong Ambong
Family: Goodeniaceae
Genus: Scaevola

Medicinal: Bunga Tanjung

plant 5Uses:
In Malaysia, the bark is used to treat fever, pimples and diarrhoea and the leaves for headache. The Indonesians smoke the leaves to get relief from asthma and apply the bark to treat itch, rheumatism and gonorrhea.

Family: Sapotaceae
Genus: Mimusops

Medicinal: Tongkat Ali

plant 3Uses:

E. longifolia has been widely commercialized. Has been used as the basis for supplements, anti-malaria and drink additives. As a supplement, it has been marketed for the supposed benefits of sexual health improvement, as an energy and stamina booster, for improving blood circulation, and as a testosterone booster. Also commercialize as “Tongkat Ali Coffee”.

Vernacular Name: Bird’s Nest Fern

Family: Asplniaceae

Genus: Asplenium

Medicinal: Curculin

plant 2Uses:
Curculin is a sweet protein that was discovered in Curculigo Latifolia. Like Miraculin, Curculin exhibits taste-modifying activity; however, unlike Miraculin, its also exhibits sweet taste by itself. After consumption of Curculin, water and sour solutions taste sweet. The sap from the pith is used to treat cuts and wounds.

Benefits:
It has the potential to make unpleasant tasting substances, such as medicine, palatable. Cancer patients undergoing Chemotherapy can sometimes experience the unpleasant side effect of food tasting metallic. Miraculin has been used, with some success, to relieve this side effect, however it does not work in every case. Curculin could be investigated as a possible alternative.

It comes from the fruit of Curculigo latifolia from Malaysia.

Vernacular Name: Tambaka
Family: Hypoxidaceae
Genus: Curculigo

Medicinal: Straits Rhododendron

plant 1Uses:
The leaves are used for wounds. The whole plant is used to reduce high blood pressure. Roots are taken as mouthwash and are used to relieve toothache. The root can be given to woman after child birth to aid healing and womb strengthening or to alleviate rheumatism, arthritis and tenderness in the legs.

Common name: Straits Rhododendron
Scientific name : Melastoma malabathricum
Vernacular Name: Senduduk
Identification: A shrub up to 2 meters.
Distinguish Features : Attractive purple flowers. Dark purplish edible fruit.