Holi season is on the cards and unintentionally our thoughts gravitate towards bhang, the essential ingredient of thandai (sweetened milk beverage laced with almonds, sauf, cardamom seeds) which gives us the much needed high during Holi. With colors and gulals, this festival also brings a chance to splurge in bhang thandai and bhang pakoras.
Learn more about the tradition of bhang in Holi and its health benefits with Delhi based Nutritionist, Geetu Amarnani.
An Integral Part of Holi Celebration
Consuming bhang during Holi is the most common phenomenon in India, especially in North India, where Holi is celebrated with great vigour and enthusiasm. Along with colours, it is a must purchased item in the Holi shopping list. In fact, consuming bhang in holi is a tradition followed since ages. It is considered as a fun booster for its intoxicant properties that entice the taste buds with a kick, adding a playful element to Holi celebration. People smeared in colours can never miss a chance to top-up their fervour of Holi with glass of thandai.
Bhang: Herb Familiar since Ages
Bhang is deeply rooted with Hindu Culture since 1000 B.C. It has been described as an ‘anxiety releaser’ in the holy scriptures of ancient India, more specifically the Atharvaveda. It is particularly associated with Lord Shiva, because as per the mythology he discovered the transcendental properties of this herb.
The tradition of consuming bhang basically originates from Varanasi, also known as Kashi, a place specifically consigned to Lord Shiva’s worship. Sadhus and Sufis use bhang to boost meditation and to achieve transcendental state. It is also used amongst Sufis as an aid to obtain spiritual ecstasy.
Medicinal Properties / Health Benefits
Known as ‘Cannabis Sativa’ in medical language, bhang is widely used in Ayurvedic treatments since ages. It is used as an intoxicant for its medicinal property that helps in releasing anxiety and work as a traditional sleeping aid. In addition to these qualities, bhang is used for a multitude of ailments such as pain, nausea and vomiting, weight loss associated with debilitating disease and neurologically induced spasticity (Spasticity is stiff or rigid muscles with exaggerated deep tendon reflexes; for example, a knee-jerk reflex. This condition adversely affects walking, movement, and speech of a person).
If taken in proper quantity, bhang is useful in curing fever, dysentery, severe sunstroke, clear phlegm, and quickens digestion. In many parts of the country, people consume bhang before their main meal because they believe it not only enhances the taste of the food, but also improves digestion. It is also therapeutic in speech imperfection, lisping and is highly beneficial in improving hearing problems.
Many medical conditions such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and depression are also treated effectively with bhang. Moreover, it has even shown promising results in treating certain skin problems.
Adverse Effects When Overdosed
Be moderate with bhang in-take as with all its medicinal health benefits, bhang also carries some adverse side effects on health. Too much bhang is harmful because it can cause psychosis, increase the heart rate and blood pressure.
Featuring Recent Posts WordPress Widget development by YD