A Ludlow aromatherapist rocketed straight to number one bestseller in the holistic medicine category of Amazon yesterday, when her new book about how to use the non-psychoactive medicines of cannabis was released.
Elizabeth Ashley, 46, is the UK Director for the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapists and was challenged by a well respected colleague to research the plant for her 18th book about healing with essential oils, when she had visited an aromatherapy convention in Utah, in October last year.
The mother of three, also known to her readers as The Secret Healer, told us: "I'm overwhelmed, but not surprised, at the book sales so far. It is a fascinating and important story hidden from the public, in the UK especially. Scientists have identified a whole bodily system, the endocannabinoid system, that modulates how our hormones and neurotransmitters work. If it dysfunctions, then all manner of diseases form, from diabetes, to depression and infertility amongst many others. A terrifying number of diseases, including cancer and schizophrenia, are thought to be controlled by the signalling from this system. Amazingly, certain molecules in cannabis plant seem to be able to balance it, encouraging the body to realign, to fight diseases and heal itself."
Currently, researchers across the globe are researching components such as cannabidiol (CBD), a molecule with non-psychoactive effects, and how it interacts with the endocannabinoid system and other healing mechanisms in the body. Some pharmaceutical drugs already use CBD in a 1:1 ratio with the infamous THC (psychoactive molecule) to treat spasticity in MS for example.
Elizabeth recognises the sensitive nature of the subject matter and explains "I was hesitant about the subject matter, at first, because I have been around people who have smoked cannabis perpetually, and frankly, not been very impressed! I got very irritated by how little drive they had and how inane their conversation could become. But the more I researched the plant, the deeper it drew me in. I found it fascinating that CBD, for instance, actually protects the brain against psychosis, which can be a very real threat to vulnerable brains exposed to THC.But also how THC, that you might think is the bad guy, has very real benefits for the body, controlling pain and twitching mechanisms in the body, stopping nausea and even controlling weight gain..
It's extraordinary medicine, and the stories I found broke my heart; of mute autistic children learning to speak within days of using the oil, morbidly ill epileptic children having their fits decrease to just one a day or even less when previously having sixty or more a day. It became a regular occurrence to discover myself silently weeping at these stories of children brought back from the brink and I thought...I have to tell this story, no matter how hard it is going to be"
And by all accounts, it had been an incredibly difficult book to write. The science is intricate and the politics surrounding the plant, very delicate. People's opinions are galvanised about cannabis, hearing it might help cancer or cause schizophrenia, they tend to allow solitary facts to form their opinions about it. She accepts, that she too, was one of those people and was astonished at how it could be possible that both things might be right as well as myriad other incredible effects on health, saying "I started to recite a new mantra...;don't believe everything you think....it served me well, I think."
Advance reviews show her peers are more than impressed, with one US practitioner stating "Even as a resident of Washington State, where cannabis is legal and easily accessible, it is difficult to find resources that either don’t glorify “drug” culture or exaggerate the benefits of the plant. The essential oil community has stepped into the gap here and this book, in particular, offers a sound tool and survey of data for both formulators and practitioners."
Late last year the medicinal properties of CBD were recognised by the UK government and its regulatory bodies. CBD rich hemp oil become a regulated substance in the UK, but it can still be bought as a nutritional supplement over the counter in health food stores.Medical marijuana is available on prescription in most states across America and some countries in the EU.
The book went on sale on Amazon yesterday:
US link: https://www.amazon.com/CBD-Rich-Hemp-Essential-Seed-ebook/dp/B074P4YMY6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1502398155&sr=1-1&keywords=cannabis+cbd+rich+hemp+oil+The+secret+Healer#customerReviews
UK Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/CBD-Rich-Hemp-Essential-Seed-ebook/dp/B074P4YMY6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1502398155&sr=1-1&keywords=cannabis+cbd+rich+hemp+oil+The+secret+Healer#customerReviews
Aromatherapy writer, UK Director of National Association of Holistic Aromatherapists, International Speaker for the International Federation of Aromatherapists