Indian Chronicles of Hemp
Indian culture has always been closely associated with nature and its bounty, Hemp being one such gift of nature has occupied an integral position in Indian customs and traditions for centuries. Sacred texts such as the Vedas, compiled around 2000-1400 BCE have accorded certain plants reverential position and Hemp was also one such plant. The natives believed that the Hemp leaves could rejuvenate and calm the exhausted body and mind, as it was believed that a guardian angel resided in the leaves of the plant.
Benefits of Hemp Rooted in History
In the Vedic age, the medicinal benefits of five plants, Tulsi, Neem, Sandalwood, Jasmine and Hemp were recognized by the people of India, and this cataloged medicinal information about the plants has helped researchers and developers across the world develop new medicines and treatments. The recorded medicinal benefits of the plant in the Vedas provide valuable insight into its utility in other fields as well. The Hemp plant itself had been made extremely popular among the devout of India through the legend of Lord Shiva who was refreshed and rejuvenated after consuming some Hemp leaves out of curiosity and has since been hailed as a patron god for this plant.
Position of Hemp During India’s Colonial Past
Hemp being an important source of healthy fatty acids has been an important part of Indian cuisine since time immemorial. During the Colonial times in India, the British administration had commissioned the Government of India to investigate the crop itself because of its extensive use and cultivation in the country. The Indian Hemp Drugs commission assisted by several British and Indian medical luminaries came to the conclusion that the use of Hemp is harmless and has been granted religious sanction through continued use since ancient times and prohibition as such would be unjust to the people.
The influence of Hemp is even more profound today. It’s the new eco-friendly choice for a whole new set of products and goods for conscious consumers. Hemp has been used in India for religious and social ceremonies and has become an inseparable part of the culture and identity and it is here to stay.