Welcome to the World of Natural Healthcare
For Health & Longevity
Plants and People Evolving Together
A Brief Introduction
We eat to avoid hunger, to enjoy the taste, and to comfort ourselves—and less often—to be healthy. For societal reasons, including fast food dining and supermarket choices dominated by the corporatization of food, we have accepted the reality of pesticides in produce, steroid hormones and antibiotics in our meat, hormones in milk, as well as too many added chemicals in our processed foods, and the amount of salt and sugar (especially corn syrup) being consumed. At the end of the day, there is far too much room for all of us to be getting our food choices all wrong.
Unfortunately, our everyday societal eating habits, as well as the number of pharmaceuticals prescribed daily, has created a state of mind that lacks a critical understanding about the relationship between what we eat and our health and longevity. We enjoy our food, and our drugs will fix it. But our human biology is more complex and precious than that and put in our mouth’s matters. And there is not enough (if any) education about this in our schools, at home, or even easily accessible online information where corporate interests and hyped-marketing ads get the attention.
This is a big problem that continues to result in serious and far reaching consequences for human health in this country and the world. So, for those of you who are looking for a better, more life-sustaining relationship with your food—those of you who want to live long and avoid pharmaceuticals as much as possible, for as long as possible—we at AKESO want to share some of our insights with this brief history on how human life has evolved with plants as food and as medicine. Our hope is that you will keep this
information front of mind during your day when making your food and dietary
supplement choices and will begin to learn more.
Plants and People
In the very real sense of the word, the human body is miraculous. The biological complexity of our bodies allows us to experience the existence of all things through our 5 senses, and to think, to digest food, to move around at will, to whistle, to write, do a math problem, build the smallest and largest things, play basketball, swim, jump out of an airplane, design a house, and every other possible thing else available to us. Add to that, we also have access to the more subtle layers of existence by expanding consciousness, growing wisdom through experience, increasing vitality and energy within, our creativity, and to express a full spectrum of feelings. With the healthy integration of all this, we each get to make decisions about how we want to spend our time, explore the planet, and in so doing, to evolve as humans.
With all of this in play, we have the opportunity to be intelligent well beyond what we currently know and understand, and well beyond how we are behaving.
The first thing that went right in this journey to discover ourselves, happened about 2 billion years ago when the initial bacteria that lived on this planet split into two groups. The new group, called eukaryotes, became the beginning of all plants, hominids (including extinct and modern humans), animals, fungi, and protozoans. Eukaryotes were much larger in size and had more genes in the DNA than the original bacteria and were uniquely able to switch on or off certain gene segments, thus editing themselves. This evolutionary leap upped the odds of survival and initiated the possibilities for the destiny that we have become.
Now, nearly 2 billion years later, there are over 500,000 plant species, and interestingly enough, only one human species. The leap into biodiversity is still not clear, however, a global network of researchers has reconstructed the evolutionary data of key innovations in the plant kingdom that happened well before mankind. The most challenging transition for plants was when they moved from water to land environments, and then when they began to flower. It is still baffling how flowers evolved so spectacularly, but scientists have discovered that the evolutionary step of flowering plants is what allowed them to become the most abundant and ecologically successful group of plants on Earth.
Ecology (the relationship between living things and the environment), and biology (the study of all forms of life) are the systems represent the diversity and interactions of plants, animals, water, land and air (including temperature), as well as the biological relationship of plants and humans.
What has taken 2 billion years to unfold and mature is now part of “the earth” or “our world” that needs to be functioning in harmony for life to sustain itself—at least life that includes humans. And it is not hard to see that what we get from plants, land, sea and animals is lifesaving to us humans, and how we destroy any of that is also destructive to ourselves. Over 50 nutrients (vitamins and minerals) are needed to sustain human life—some are classified as essential and some “non-essential”. Non-essential nutrients are also essential, the term simply means that they are nutrients made by the body, so we don’t need to ingest them from an outside source. Essential nutrients, however, means that it is essential that we consume them through our food in order to sustain a healthy functioning body. There are about 30 vitamins, minerals, and other dietary components (like essential fatty acids and amino acids) that our body needs but cannot manufacture on its own in sufficient amounts. This includes 13 vitamins and 16 minerals that play an essential role in every functioning of the body, and the list of important jobs performed in the body by these nutrients literally includes every bodily function—for example, to have skin, to produce blood cells, grow muscle and bone, have vision, have oxygen move through us, heal wounds and fight illness, digest food, carry messages along thousands of miles of nerve pathways so that different parts of the body can
communicate with each other, and so much more.
Unfortunately, when we take the functioning of our body for granted, we stop concerning ourselves with what we throw into it. This is a spectacular oversight on our part.
Plants are autotrophic, which means they have the ability to obtain the basic elements they need from the land and then synthesize the full spectrum of organic molecules required to support their own growth and propagation (a natural process of breeding and spreading). In contrast, humans require the same basic elements as plants, but we lack the ability to produce the organic essential micronutrients, which is what makes us dependent upon plants as a main dietary source of food. In fact, our nutritional health relies on plants as food either directly or indirectly (through eating animals that have fed on plants).
And here is a special little caveat, we cannot assume that plants have taken a passive role in this relationship. It may be important to think about how humans historically migrated to where plant foods were available and then how plant communities adapted to human community needs. For example, coffee and chocolate—which today are two of the most consumed foods on the planet. Among other positive effects of these two foods, chocolate impacts our hormones and boosts the production of endorphins, the “feel-good” chemical, in our brains. The same with coffee, which causes the noticeable effect of alertness, managing to defeat drowsiness and boosting mood. In exchange, we humans are responsible for spreading the seeds of these all over the world and consider them indispensable.
Having the knowledge that plants keep us alive longer in a healthy condition, it is important to consciously integrate plants (vegetables and fruits) into our diet. And we’ll take this one step further to say that it is important to eat organic fruits and vegetables. The pesticides and toxins found in conventionally grown foods, as well as unhealthy hormones, antibiotics, and heavy metals in animal food, is a reason to insist on organic so that you can say you’ve played a role not only in your own long healthy life, but also in a healthier world for future children and families.
Now we advance to our favorite subject—plants as medicine. If plants supply the food nutrients that we need, and illness is the result of being out of balance or deficient in what we need, then it makes sense that plants also play a major role in healing. There is archeological evidence that shows the practice of herbal medicine dates back to 60,000 years ago. But looking at the past 5,000 – 6,000 years of more recorded history, we can learn about the oldest known medicine—Ayurveda [the word means “life knowledge”]. The plant knowledge that was used in Ayurvedic traditional medicine practices, and later Traditional Chinese Medicine, are essentially true for all times and have not changed from age to age. This wisdom had an understanding of the specific outcome that each plant provided, as well as looking at the whole person to be treated, and not just their symptoms.
For a very longtime ancient herbalists, and now current herbalists and nutritionists, have understood a small group of plants known as “adaptogens”. Today, adaptogens are
well-studied scientifically and known to help the body resist stressors of all kinds, whether physical, chemical or biological, by balancing the system, and are known to have no side-effects.
Akeso Health Sciences formulates based on the intelligence of the human body and what is found in nature that directly supports the health and balancing of the human body. Both of our MigreLief and Condition Specific lines of complex, expertly formulated products provide the effective support of plant adaptogens, targeted plant constituents, as well as the vitamin and mineral nutrients that work in harmony with them, in scientifically known to be effective daily amounts so that you can respond to the health issues that concern you.
We would also like to add that as our concern for worldwide food shortages grows, we believe that there is an obvious need for the distribution of dietary supplements that can play an important role in addressing immediate nutritional deficiencies. This is especially true for large at-risk populations in countries where many consume single staple diets that lack the spectrum essential nutrients people require.
Akeso Health Sciences Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Curt Hendrix, MS, CCN, CNS, has an unwavering commitment to help people with chronic health issues. Curt holds advanced degrees in chemistry and clinical nutrition and has dedicated his life to the research and development of innovative natural medicines. Curt’s innate understanding of the profound link between human biology and the chemistry found in nature allows us all to be proud of the products we offer.