Dr. LeTa Jussila Discusses How Hemp Cannabinoids & Herbs Boost The Immune System
A strong immune system is essential for feeling your best and being there for the ones who rely on you. Intelligent and complex, the immune system has a direct effect on your physical and emotional health and the optimal function of all of your body’s organs and vital processes.
When it comes to addressing immune support, Doctor of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine and PMB Affiliate, Dr. LeTa Jussila, has been a long-time advocate for taking a natural approach to fortifying our ultimate line of defense. With extensive knowledge about the benefits herbs and botanicals can have on general health and specific body processes—like the immune system—Dr. LeTa was ecstatic to hear about the broad ingredient makeup of SHIELD, our recently released immune supporting hemp extract. She quickly became a SHIELD product champion on how it works to keep you healthy and its advantages as a wellness recovery supplement when you may be feeling under the weather.
A cannabinoid educator, 20-year faculty advisor at Five Branches University, and tele-health consultant in Santa Cruz, California, Dr. LeTa’s medical philosophies and clinical methods are rooted in integrative health, where she looks at the entire scope of a person’s health rather than one specific condition or issue. Recently, Dr. LeTa spoke with us about the immune system and provided her thoughts on SHIELD’s immune supporting benefits.
PMB: Before we jump into SHIELD and the immune system, what pushed you to become a Doctor of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine?
Dr. LeTa: The reason I chose Chinese medicine is because my sister was given three months to live. I was working at the Levi Strauss headquarters at the time, living a great life in San Francisco. I was 24 and I could not get my head around how they could tell my sister such a finite diagnosis or sentence based on numbers on a piece of paper. At this point I was drinking Coca-Cola, my vegetable intake consisted of lettuce on my burger. I had no previous health regimen.
I got back to my home town in Cape Cod and we dialed up Yahoo, because there was no Google at the time, and began researching alternative solutions. I made her drink all sorts of nasty herbal teas. I was basically a hacker, but I didn’t care. The doctors could not believe she was getting better and they wanted to talk to me. I’m part of the solution why my sister’s alive and I ended up deciding I was going to become a doctor after that.
After making that decision, all the medical doctors I talked to said not to go into traditional healthcare because they’re losing time with patients and getting pushed by medications. They were being honest with me and I appreciated that feedback. I chose Chinese medicine because of the plants, because everything we do is a complete medical system and that’s why I chose it. I found the No.1 school in Santa Cruz and that’s why I’m in Santa Cruz today.
PMB: What approach do you like to take when explaining the immune system and its function?
Dr. LeTa: This is the deal with the immune. Your body has this hierarchy. If you’re bleeding it’s going to deal with that over your back pain. It has this intelligence and plants have their own intelligence too.
I tell patients, if you’re given three thousand bucks per month, the first thing you’re going to do is pay rent or mortgage. Then you’re going to keep water and utilities on, and then pay your cell phone bill. That’s the same as how your body spends its resources and energy per day. If you want to boost your immune, because that’s the first thing your body is going to use its resources on, you have to consider it like it’s your rent or mortgage. You want to reduce the things that will weaken the immune and add things that will strengthen it. If your immune is low: you’re sneezing, you have a sore throat or low energy, fever or chills, stiff neck, any time you’re starting to feel immune symptoms, that means your body is going to require more resources, more nutrients. That’s why I tell people they’re going to want to take an immune supporting supplement like SHIELD.
PMB: If you had to summarize the need for SHIELD in today’s society what would you say?
Dr. LeTa: Your best investment is always in your health. During this unique time, health has become everyone’s No. 1 value. There are so many things we can’t control, but we can control how our body responds. That’s where SHIELD comes in. When you understand how powerfully potent CBG is, you’ll realize you’re going to want that in your body every day. You’re going to want to boost your immune and feed it nutrition-rich cannabinoids, terpenes, and this incredible arrangement of the best herbs from around the planet.
PMB: As an herbal expert, what are your thoughts on SHIELD’s ingredient makeup of CBG and ancient herbs?
Dr. LeTa: When you break SHIELD down you have CBG, such a powerful cannabinoid, you have three terpenes, seven western herbs, six Chinese herbs, plus some vitamin A and of course we use MCT as a carrier.
Whether eastern or western, every herb in SHIELD is going to boost immune. This is more of a spiritual thought, but it’s really beautiful when you take a look at all these herbs and where they’re grown. I don’t know if we’ve mapped it out by continent, but you have herbs grown all over the world that are going to support you and support all people.
PMB: How would you say SHIELD helps daily immune system maintenance?
Dr. LeTa: If people don’t have a relationship with herbal medicine it is really awesome to take. Your body starts to respond to these herbs and plants and they start to have a relationship with them. It’s not like they’re going to reveal their secrets like doing magic mushrooms in the forest, but getting these small nutritional amounts every day is going to be beneficial in the short- and long-term because there’s rarely any real food in people’s food these days.
Are hemp cannabinoids, like CBG, mostly linked to balancing the immune system via the ECS or is there more to their effect on immune health?
Dr. LeTa: This is the thing, most people have an endocannabinoid deficiency. There are many reasons why, and researcher Ethan Russo really helped us understand that. Cannabinoids, specifically because of their relationship with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), are going to boost immune because of the brain/gut connection. I would say because of the ECS receptors that’s the way cannabinoids and terpenes can directly affect, modulate, and change the course of how your immune is going to respond.
How would you say SHIELD compares to other immune supplements you may be familiar with?
Dr. LeTa: The deal is this. You can look up immune supplements and probably find 21. It’s very confusing for the consumer. It can be very expensive. It’s hard to know who to trust. It’s a challenging time for consumers. But we are all individual. Your health constitution and genetics are different than even your brother or sister. Because of that, there is a self-responsibility that you have to pay attention. What I believe that PMB’s products do, and SHIELD specifically, is that it gives you permission and reminds you of the responsibility that you have to take care of your health: for yourself, your family and your community. Socially responsible, community-minded health is huge right now. Your best investment is always in yourself and SHIELD’s wide ingredient list is designed for that purpose.
How would you say stress disrupts immune health and which of SHIELD’s ingredients help to combat or minimize that stress?
Dr. LeTa: Stress is a chemical response and cortisol is the main stress hormone. Stress is going to put you in a state of sympathetic nervous system overdrive and when you’re in that state your immune system has less capacity, less resources to handle anything. It’s like that last straw that’s going to break the back.
In SHIELD, elderberry specifically lessens stress, but we have to understand we’re talking about actual cortisol levels with elderberry in relation to clinical testing. All these other herbs and a lot of plants in the formula will reduce that part of the stress system that is working overload, which will then lessen the stress. Stress is another reason why CALM hemp extract should be taken in conjunction with SHIELD.