Scientists Rediscover Benefits of Bhang Revered in Ancient India

Many of you must have asked this question so many times. Why does Lord Shiva drink Bhang? For those who are not familiar with Bhang, it is an intoxicating drink made from the leaves and flowers of the female cannabis plant. It is an ancient Indian drink which is believed to be the ‘nectar of the Gods’. Bhang is often stigmatised because of its marijuana content. However, according to the ancient Hindu texts, Bhang is one of the most effective, natural medicines available to mankind. It has known to be the cure for many nervous disorders, skin diseases and wounds.

Coming back to the question:

Some people ask  Why Lord Shiva drinks Bhang or smokes Ganja? Why do all the shaiv sadhus smoke Ganja all the time? Isn’t it a drug? Do our Hindu religious leaders take drugs? Or worse, does one of our Trinity, Lord Shiva Himself, promote drugs? 

Bhang or Ganja are extracts of a plant called Cannabis Sativa, also known as Marijuana or Cannabis or Weed or Pot in the western world. In their ignorance, Americans put it into the category of illegal substances or illegal drugs and subsequently, it has been made illegal in India as well and therefore many Hindus themselves have started thinking that it is bad for us. I’ve seen even some fake ayurvedic doctors (and websites) following western doctors and claiming that bhang is a harmful drug.

The Vedas

According to the Vedas, when the ocean was churned by the Gods and the demons for acquiring the nectar, a drop of the nectar fell on Mount Madra. A plant sprouted out from the drop and the drink made from the leaves of the plant became a favourite of all Gods, including Lord Shiva. After that Lord Shiva brought the cannabis down from the Himalayas for the pleasure of mankind.

bhangSister Of Ganga

Bhang is also believed to be the sister of Goddess Ganga. That is why Bhang and Ganga are said to reside side by side on Shiva’s head. Another interpretation of this story is that the plant of cannabis is actually another form of Parvati and She also resides with Shiva along with her sister Ganga.

Soma Rasa

Ancient texts often describe the Gods consuming the Soma rasa which is often said to be Bhang. However, it is not clear whether Soma and Bhang are the same thing or different drinks.

Shiva & Bhang

It is believed that since Lord Shiva is always in deep meditation, Bhang helps Him to stay in a state of complete bliss and concentrate. This is the reason why the sadhus and monks consume Bhang and smoke marijuana so that they can reach a blissful state and be like Shiva.

These were a few theories about why Lord Shiva drinks Bhang. But whatever the reason may be, drinking Bhang is one of the most important activities during Shivaratri. It is believed to cure many ailments and relieve all sorts of pain.

BUT now western scientists are discovering that Bhang is one of the most effective natural medicines available to man – This is something that Hindu scientists had already discovered at thousands of years ago!

Since western doctors are realizing the truth, today they use Bhang/Ganja/Cannabis/Marijuana for treating Cancer, Aids/HIV, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), chronic pains, depression patients etc. and they’re discovering its new applications every day! But our own Ayurveda mentioned the medicinal properties of Bhang/Ganja so long ago! In fact, Marijuana is mentioned in Rig Veda, Atharva Veda, Ayurveda and many other ancient Hindu texts! Some of the uses of Bhang that ancient Hindu scientists discovered thousands of years ago are – Dyspepsia, Nervous disorders, Severe pain, Insomania, Dysentery, Gonorrhoea, Loss of appetite because of illness and even poisoning. It’s AMAZING that our ancient Hindu doctors were able to learn so much that western scientists are still catching up!

Before closing, I’d like to mention one more thing – Alcohol has already been considered bad in Hindu society but Bhang isn’t (at least not until Indian government started following western governments). Both Bhang and Alcohol cause euphoria, pleasant feelings and more, so their effects seem very similar. BUT ancient Hindu scientists knew that alcohol is bad for human body but Bhang is a medicine. And now science has shown that Alcohol actually is bad for human body. Any type of alcohol causes hypertension, cancer and more. Bhang on the other hand cures all of these problems! There was no way for ancient Hindus to know all this but still somehow they knew! I’m always amazed at how our ancestors learned all that they did and I wish that we start paying more attention to our own Ayurveda and even guide western scientists with what our ancestors, the great Hindu scientists & doctors already taught us!

A Brief History of Bhang
Bhang was first used as an intoxicant in India thousands of years ago and soon became an integral part of Hindu culture. In the ancient text Artharvaveda, Bhang is described as a beneficial herb that “releases anxiety”. Bhang preparations were sacred to Gods, particularly Shiva. One of Shiva’s epithets was “Lord of Bhang” as he is said to have discovered the transcendental properties of the mixture.

In imitation of Shiva, many sadhus use Bhang to boost meditation and achieve transcendental states. Besides, Bhang or cannabis is also believed to be popular amongst Sufis as an aid to spiritual ecstasy since a long time.

Why does Lord Shiva drink bhang?Bond with the Bhang
Ancient as it is, bhang has become a inseparable part of Indian tradition. So much so that it has become symbolic for a lot of things. They might be, or rather they are, pure superstitious believes. But if one understands the inherent sentimental and emotional nature of Indians, one can very easily feel the emotional bond people have with bhang.

Associated with Lord Shiva, hemp plant is regarded holy by the Hindus. There is even a belief that to meet someone carrying bhang is an omen of success. And, if longing for hemp plant foretells happiness, to see it in dreams ensures prosperity for a person in future. Also, walking underfoot a holy bhang leaf spells doom for a person.

People also strongly believe in the medicinal properties of the hemp plant. If taken in proper quantity bhang cures fever, dysentery and sunstroke. It helps to clear phlegm, quicken digestion, sharpen appetite, cure speak imperfection and lispering. Besides, it freshens the intellect and gives alertness to the body and gaiety to the mind.

What is bhang?

Cannabis Rank:
Genus Genus of three closely related species, often hybridized.Cannabis is dioecious, i.e. individual plants are either male or female. The female plant is the more potent, especially when unpollinated (hence sinsemilla = without seed).

The plant has an ancient relationship with humankind, and has long been cultivated as a source of medicine (the buds), fiber (the stalks), and food (the seeds). It has been found in neolithic Chinese archaeological sites, and is mentioned in the earliest Chinese pharmacopoeias. In India it is associated with Shiva and has played an important role in religious life as a sacred inebriant.

Botanical Suffix:
Linnaeus Habitat: Native to Central Asia, now found worldwide. Isolated Chemicals: THC Concentration varies greatly by strain.


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  • Answer for your amazement is told by Khurshid Batliwala in his video called “Technology of Spirituality” on YouTube

  • Videsh ko bharat to bana loge magar bharat ko bharat kaise banaoge. Bharat mata ki jai.

  • The same goes for tobacco, until the white man made it recreational herb it was theological herb.

  • Where is it mentioned in the rig veda, i did not find anything about bhang, Could it be the soma plant ?

  • I’m sorry but i dont agree that shivji consumed bhang. Shastro mein aata hai ki shivji ko bhuvan bhang karne ka vyasan hai, jiska arth hai ki shivji sanhar ke dev hai, samay ke sath bhang ka arth logo ne bhaang man liya, btw i’m not disputing the medicinal properties of bhaang.

  • Indians were left with subservient mind – that is to listen to the white skinned people – and they the british introduced their scotch and malt and made our age old custom of taking bhang and ganja as illegal and that is still being followed by the leaders of our country – if only we make liquor illegal and remove the illegal tag of Bhang and ganga our country will thrive without any violence – mainly against our women – as people who are drunk only will do things that they will regeret later. But with bhang and ganja you will be more contemplative and think about only good actions. Let us join hands and shout out loud and say that bhang and ganja should be removed from the illegal list that is listed under chemical drugs.

  • White people are the exploiters and contortionists.they have corrupted the people and turn them slaves,for their own profits and gains.This is their pleasure to enjoy happiness.

    They have made Gandia illegal, because they know it is a natural healer for various sickness,and on other hand the business of chemical medicine will become rejects.this is the hypocrisy of white nation.

    Nowadays sick people are not getting healed easily,with chemical medicine,why WHS do not allow to use Aryuvedic medicine at least for ttrial for various sickness,they would not agree literally.

  • West in general do not care of the world. They are secretly doing research in bhang etc. the drugs they class as illegal. With modern technology they will in time find out the responsible for all these benefits and patent them to make money for themselves. They are trying to patent yoga asans that are beneficial to all. They borrow an idea modify slightly and put their stamp on it thereby claiming they invented the idea. we Indians should have faith in our scriptures and claim it to be Indians.

    • In above comment a word is missed out .
      With modern technology they will find out the compound that is responsible for all these benefits and patent them to make money for themselves.

  • Bhang is one if Addictive drug ,In my Region is see so many people Abuse marijuna , wasted there careers ,Ofcousre it has so many uses ,do miracles on cancer but in India we need to make legal it, people need more awareness on it .

  • A very enlightening article. Marijuana has been made illegal in a number of countries, but please note that there is a large group of people constantly fighting for the legalization of this plant. The US itself now has multiple states where marijuana can be legally purchased. Why? Because the government can now tax you for it. This product of nature, is now controlled by human beings. Who are they to tell us what we can eat and consume that is provided by nature. How many years before we are charged for the air we breathe?

  • Marijuana /cannabis/hemp is the most useful plant on the planet; food, clothing, shelter, energy, medicine, insight, re-creation. It has been mankinds companion and helpmate since the beginning. Any law against it is a crime against humanity, creation and the Creator.

  • One school of thought is that Lord Shiva engages in austerites all year round. His role is the dissolution of creation, but He is biding His Time. So, once every year, on Mahashivratri, the Lord takes a break to party. And consumes bhaang.

    This does not apply to shirkers who are partying more than working. So lets get some perspective here.