A Brief History of Hemp as MedicineDr. Jim Collins
The history of hemp being used for health and the management of illness doesn’t go back a mere couple hundred years, but instead, thousands of years and deep into ancient times.
Over 5,000 years ago, Ancient Chinese, Indians and Egyptians understood how important hemp was for physical and emotional health. All three cultures used it to help alleviate depression, sleep difficulties, seizures, muscle spasms and pain.
Around 4,500 years ago, the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung, who practiced natural medicine and is considered the Founding Father of Chinese Herbal Medicine, was the first to write about the benefits of hemp for over 100 disorders.
For thousands of years, Ancient Indian physicians used hemp to help reduce the symptoms of pain, insomnia, and gastrointestinal conditions as well as to stimulate appetite. Traditional Indian medicine regarded hemp as a means to prevent illnesses and keep people healthy.
Egyptologists confirm that hemp was used widely throughout Egypt for making paper, textiles, sails, linens, ropes and as medicine. Amazingly, evidence exists that Ancient Egyptians used hemp to alleviate cancer, cataracts, glaucoma, and inflammatory disorders.
Many ancient physicians in Ancient Greece were known to mix hemp with other plants and made sure they had it in their medication bag at all times. The Ancient Greeks highly valued the hemp plant and used every part of it for many medicinal purposes. They are the first known culture to use hemp to heal their horse’s wounds after a battle.
During Colonial times in the United States, hemp was not only the main cash crop, but George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were hemp farmers. The Colonists, much like the Ancient Egyptians, made numerous products from hemp including building supplies, clothing, ropes, and sails. Farmers fed their livestock hemp and people used it for health and wellness.
Hemp has a very long and fascinating history. Ancient people from around the world knew of the physical and emotional health benefits it provided. The resurgence of hemp today serves as a reminder of just how powerful this plant can be for our lives in modern times.