Welcome to the World of Natural Healthcare for Health & Longevity
Plants and People Evolving Together
A Brief Introduction
Most if us are not concerned about being hungry, so when we eat we mostly make decisions based on what is going to taste good and comfort our souls —with less attention on being healthy and living a long life. Fast foods and supermarket choices are easy choices, which means we have silently accepted having pesticides in our produce, unhealthy fats and corn syrup in many (if not most) processed foods, steroid hormones and antibiotics in our meat, hormones in milk, as well as too many added chemicals, salt, and sugar in our food. Simply said, we have a lot of room to get our food choices all wrong.
These everyday common eating habits, combined with the number of pharmaceuticals prescribed daily, has created a systemic healthcare issue that lacks the crucial understanding about the relationship between what we eat, our health, and our longevity. Generally, we enjoy our food and when the need arises there will be a drug to fix our ailments. But our human biology is more complex and precious than that. What we put in our mouth’s matters, and there is not enough education on this topic in our schools, at home, or even easily accessible online where corporate interests and hyped-marketing ads get the glory.
This is a big problem that has resulted in serious and far reaching consequences for human health in this country and worldwide. So, for those of you who are looking for a more life-sustaining relationship with your food and thus living longer and avoiding pharmaceuticals as much as possible for as long as possible, we at AKESO want to share some of our insights about how human life has evolved with plants as both food and medicine. Our hope is that you will keep this information front of mind during your day when making food and dietary supplement choices.
Plants and People
In the very real sense of the word, the human body is miraculous. The biological complexity of our body allows us to experience existence through our 5 senses, to think, to digest food, to move around at will, to whistle, to write and do a math problem, build the smallest and largest things, play basketball or surf, jump out of an airplane, design a building, and every other possible thing. Add to that, we also have access to the more subtle layers of life that provide pathways for expanding our consciousness beyond what is known, achieve wisdom through experience, increase vitality and energy within, be creative, and experience a full spectrum of emotions. With all of this integrated within, we each get to make decisions about how we want to spend our time, explore the planet, and in so doing, evolve as humans.
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 our journey toward who we are today, 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 possibility 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. What caused the plant-life leap into biodiversity is still not clear, however, researchers have reconstructed the evolutionary data of key innovations in the plant kingdom that happened well before mankind arrived. 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 that represent the diversity and interactions of plants, animals, water, land and air (and temperature), including the biological relationship of plants and humans.
What has taken 2 billion years to unfold and mature is now known as “life on our planet”, and it all needs to be functioning in harmony for “life” to sustain itself—at least life that includes humans. It is not hard to see that what we get from plants, the land, the 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 nutrients and some non-essential nutrients. Non-essential nutrients are those made within the body, so it is not essential that we ingest them from an outside source. Essential nutrients, however, are those that are essential for us to consume 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. The list of important jobs performed by essential nutrients literally includes every bodily function, for example, the renewal of skin, the production of blood cells, muscle and bone, our vision, the ability of oxygen to move through us, the healing of wounds and our ability to fight illness, digest food and assimilate other nutrients, and carry messages along thousands of miles of nerve pathways so that different parts of the body can communicate with each other, plus so much more.
Plants are autotrophic, which means they have the ability to obtain the basic elements they need from the land, sun, and water, and then they synthesize the full spectrum of organic molecules required for them to support their own life and propagation (the 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 and wonderful caveat: we cannot assume that plants have taken a passive role in their relationship with us. It is advantageous to remember how humans historically migrated to where plant foods were available and then how plant communities adapted to human community needs. Two good examples are coffee and chocolate. Today these are two of the most consumed foods on the planet, and among many other positive effects of these two foods, chocolate impacts our hormones and boosts the production of endorphins, the “feel-good” chemical, in our brains, while coffee causes the noticeable effect of alertness, managing to boost mood and defeat drowsiness. In exchange, we humans have spread their seeds all over the world and consider them indispensable.
It was smart of nature to keep us so intimately joined with the plant kingdom for our survival, which requires us to make choices to protect the Earth’s ecosystems. Unfortunately, we are discovering that when we take the functioning of our body for granted and stop concerning ourselves with what we throw into our bodies, we also stop respecting that which is sustaining us outside of our bodies. This is a spectacular oversight on our part.
Having the knowledge that plants keep us healthy and alive longer, it becomes our individual responsibility to make sure plants (vegetables and fruits) have a strong presence in our diet. And we’ll take this one step further to say that it is important to eat organic fruits and vegetables because the pesticides and toxins found in conventionally grown produce also contribute to our state of health and our children’s state of health, as do the hormones, antibiotics, and heavy metals found in other foods we eat. It is a gift to our children and families to avoid them as much as possible.
Now we advance to our favorite subject—plants as medicine. If plants supply the nutrients that we need to be healthy and live our lives, then it makes sense that plants can also play a major role in healing. There is archeological evidence that shows the practice of botanical medicine dating back thousands of years. However, looking only at the past 5,000 years of recorded history, we can learn about the oldest known medicine practices by studying “Ayurveda” [“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.
Traditional medicine practices had an understanding of the specific outcome that each plant provided. As an example, for a very longtime, herbalists have had knowledge of a small group of plants that are identified today as “adaptogens”. Adaptogenic plants are today being well-studied scientifically and are known to help the body resist stressors of all kinds, whether physical, chemical or biological, by balancing the system, and adaptogens have no known 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, balancing, and healing of the human body. Both of our MigreLief and Condition Specific lines of expertly formulated products provide the effective support of plant adaptogens, targeted plant constituents, and the vitamins and minerals that work in harmony with each other in the human body. Further, we formulate utilizing clinically studied daily amounts so that you can respond effectively to the health issues that concern you.