Lesser-known health benefits of cannabis or bhang revealed by Ayurveda expert | Health - Hindustan Times

Arthritis to piles; lesser-known health benefits of cannabis or bhang revealed by Ayurveda expert

Mar 08, 2022 02:45 PM IST

Cannabis or bhang has been traditionally used for digestive issues and treating anxiety. Know all its forgotten benefits from Ayurveda expert Dr Zeel Gandhi.

The first thing that comes to mind after hearing the word cannabis is drug abuse or smuggling of the contraband narcotic drug. Its long-term use and high dose can have long-term harmful effects on central nervous system and peripheral nervous system. But apart from the ill-effects or risks, cannabis or bhang, offers a lot of benefits too, if used for medicinal purpose and on advice of an Ayurveda practitioner. (Also read: Other side of hemp: The latest health and skincare essential)

Bhang plant was discovered in Himalayas and also finds mention in vedas as one of the five sacred plants.(Pixabay)
Bhang plant was discovered in Himalayas and also finds mention in vedas as one of the five sacred plants.(Pixabay)

Bhang plant was discovered in Himalayas and also finds mention in Vedas as one of the five sacred plants. It has acquired a bad reputation over the years due to its use as intoxicant and the focus on its medicinal properties has been lost.

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Traditionally used in Ayurveda for treating digestive issues, headaches, pains, and anxiety, cannabis or bhang is also believed to bring relief in health issues like nerve pain, arthritis pain, insomnia, and piles.

"Bhang or hemp increases intestine absorption capacity. In Ayurveda, it is commonly used for IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), diarrhoea, dysentery and for alleviating anxiety. Its 'grahi' action helps in preventing excessive stools from being passed from the body and the resulting weakness," Dr Zeel Gandi, Ayurveda doctor and a formulator for Vedix told HT Digital in a telephonic conversation.

"It is a very good nerve pain-relieving substance. People who suffer from splitting headaches, migraines etc, also sciatic pain, can get benefitted from bhang," says Dr Gandhi.

There are many other forgotten benefits of hemp or bhang for managing autoimmune conditions like arthritis, pains, seasonal infections, and even insomnia.

Excellent remedy for sleep problems

"For better sleep with poppy seeds etc bhang was used very commonly to induce good sleep especially for people who are tired, anxious or fearful for some reason to be able sleep properly," says the Ayurveda expert.

Helps in managing painful piles

Dr Gandhi says that Bhang is very effectives in Piles and can be applied externally as well as consumed internally for relief. "Piles is a very complicated problem in Ayurveda, in this, something called Sama Pitta increases that is again related to your gut function. It is also applied externally because it is a pain reliever. People who have very painful piles, benefit from its application in the form of bhang paste," says the expert.

Bring relief in whooping coughs

"Bhang or hemp is also very good bronchospasm reliever meaning it helps relieve you of cough and other whooping coughs which make your uncomfortable," Dr Gandhi tells us.

Helps with arthritis

"Both the oil and the bhang (leaves) are pain relievers. They are used extensively for rheumatoid arthritis. It is also applied externally and internally applied to sedate the system or calm it. Basically, all those inflammatory reactions that you have against your joints, bhang helps in managing them," the Ayurveda expert tells us.

How to consume bhang as per Ayurveda

Be it leaves, flowers, seeds, stalk or fibre, each part of hemp plant is said to have innumerable benefits. Bhang is crushed leaf, ganja is derived from the flower part, charas and hashish are more purified resins which contain very high amounts of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which are mainly psychoactive agents which cause euphoria or high.

"We don't recommend high purified forms like charas, hash oil or hashish, because you have these chemicals actives in lesser percentage plus it is purified. Ayurveda believes that boiling bhang with milk makes it less psychoactive and increases it health benefits. We recommend purifying it with ghee and milk and then using it for medicinal use - for pain relief or digestive aid," concludes Dr Gandhi.

Here are different Bhang formulations for individual health problems:

Indrasana churna for Kushta roga (all skin conditions)

Jatiphaladi churna for Grahani (malabsorption syndrome)

Jaya Putapaka for Pratisyaya (rhinitis)

Kameswara modaka for Vajikarana (aphrodisiac)

Layi churna for Grahani (malabsorption syndrome)

Naradiya lakshmivilasa rasa for rasayana (rejuvenative)

Somapani rasa for Sannipata roga (vitiation of all doshas)

Vijaya lehya for atisara (diarrhoea)

Vijayeswar Rasa for Switra (leucoderma)

Viryastambhakari vati for Virya stambha (useful in premature ejaculation)


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