Amazing benefits of hemp for women's health; best ways to consume it
Hemp is a wonderful source of plant-based protein and has been used in Ayurveda as a remedy for time immemorial. From easing period cramps, managing mod swings to easing stress, here are all the benefits of hemp for women.
Hemp or bhang has been used in Ayurveda since time immemorial for treating IBS, muscle pain, insomnia, arthritis, anxiety among other health issues. Discovered in Himalayas, it also finds mention in Vedas as one of the five sacred plants. Although, it comes from the family of marijuana, it does not cause intoxication, as per studies. Hemp is an amazing source of plant-based protein and its seeds has all the nine essential amino acids. They are also rich in iron, vitamin E, omega-3 and omega - fatty acids, magnesium, manganese, vitamins and zinc. Hemp also has many benefits for women's health and can help manage mood changes during menarche or beginning of puberty, menstrual cramps, ease stress among other things. (Also read: Arthritis to piles; lesser-known health benefits of cannabis or bhang revealed by Ayurveda expert)
"As a woman ages, she comes to face a lot of changes within her body, which is new and uncomfortable for her to adapt. Menarche – beginning of puberty is associated with mood alterations, and first experience of abdominal cramps, sleep alterations. Giving other alternatives to her may lead to affecting the flow of menstrual blood, but hemp is found to provide relief in these symptoms, along with no side-effects," says
Dr. Aanandita Budhiraja, BAMS, PGD Mental Health, Medicinal Cannabis Practitioner, The Trost.
As per Ayurveda, hemp or bhang is kaphahari (balanced mucous production, relieves sinusitis, balanced weight gain due to increased kapha), karshini (causes leanness), tikta (bitter in taste), grahini (absorbent, useful in diarrhoea, IBS), pachani (digestive, relieves ama dosha), laghu (light, induces lightness in the body and mind), teekshna (strong, fierce in its action), ushna (hot in potency), pittala (increases pitta dosha, agni component in body - can be associated with digestive dire, sexual desire, freedom of thought, vak-vahini vardhini (enhances ability to speak up freely, eases nervousness and shyness), kamda (enhances libido), ruchya (enhances perception of taste, resolves indigestion), midrakara (induces sleep, enhances sleep quality)
Ayurveda, however, suggests bhang or hemp to be used only after the purification methods. It has been proven scientifically that these ancient methods have the capability to remove the psycho-activeness of the plant.
Other benefits of hemp for women's health as per Dr. Aanandita:
- Hemp can bring relief in managing premenstrual syndrome (PMS), especially to the women suffering from premenstrual dysphoric disorder which causes severe physical and emotional symptoms. From mood swings, cramps, rashes to acne, hemp can help ease many of the symptoms with PMS.
- Hemp can help correct hormonal imbalance and prevent physical and psychological changes that occur due to it.
- Hemp not only helps one to have a healthy pregnancy but also prevents emotional issues after it that occur due to postpartum depression.
- Women are often burdened with striking a balance between home choes, workplace and kids. Hemp can help them deal with the stress of juggling between their many roles by ensuring a balanced state of mind, and awareness of actions.
- Hemp helps in easing pain due to menstrual cramps, gynaecological cancer pain, gynaecological procedural pain (IUD-insertion), miscarriage, abortion, chronic pelvic pain, pain due to endometriosis, uterine fibroids – CB1 and CB2 receptors act as lock and key mechanism with CBD.
- Hemp also helps in managing the side-effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
- Hemp is beneficial in treating urinary and vaginal infections: Washing the local area with decoction of hemp leaves and other ayurvedic herbs resolves worm-infestation and bacterial infections.
- Menopausal changes: The emotional trauma of changes with the looks, having facial hair, hormonal changes with the body, vasomotor symptoms like hot flashes, insomnia, irritability etc
How should hemp be consumed or included in women’s diet
There are various methods to intake hemp according to Dr. Aanandita:
Leaf extract: Tincture based, or MCT based – CBD Tinctures or CBD Oils
Smokables: Ayurveda promotes smoke therapy for relaxing any symptoms of agitating mind due to any reason – Dhoompanam
Regular use as food and nutrition: Hemp Seeds and their forms (powder and oils) – As approved by FSSAI
Local application: Over the site of pain, CBD oil or a lepam of cannabis leaves can be applied.
Amalgamation of plant-based medicines (ayurvedic medicines) with hemp: In tablet or powder form – It has been observed to bring quick and positive results in the treatment.