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Bhang – 7 Interesting Things You Should Know

India and Alcohol go hand in hand. We all have heard about brands like Jack Daniels, Black Dog, Chivas, Vat 69 and other similar brands but in this article, I would be talking about Indian Alcohol about which you might not be aware of. Holi is considered to be a very important festival in India – It is the festival of colours and it is believed on the day of this festival even enemies set their differences aside and hug it out. Let’s assume that enemies do set their differences aside but don’t you think there must be some magical thing which happens on this day which compels the enemies to speak their heart out to clear their differences. In India, this magical thing is a drink which is widely popular in the country known as “Bhang”.

If you are a Bollywood fan then recall Shah Rukh Khan’s movie “Don”; In this song, he is seen consuming Bhang through a milk drink called “Thandai” which gives him a happy high helping his character to get some help to escape the cops. It is believed that Lord Shiva was a very big fan of this particular drink as a result of which it is widely distributed during the festival of Holi. In this article, I would be telling about 7 Things You Need To Know About Bhang.

Bhang- 7 Interesting Facts

“Photo of Bhang (Hindi: भांग)” by Dinesh Valke under CC BY-SA 2.0

1. What is Bhang?

The first thing you need to understand about this drink is that it not exactly “Cannabis” or “Ganja”. It has a lot of history behind it and like I said in the introduction it is believed that it was Lord Shiva’s favourites drink. If you go by the legend it is said that Lord Shiva fell down from the Kush Mountain to give bhang as a gift to the people. It is extracted from cannabis flowers and mixed with spices, milk, and water.

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Bhang is not something which you would be getting in every state; there are certain states which have been approved by the government who are allowed to sell it. Bhang is not only mixed with Thandai, but there are also a few variants like Bhang goli which are consumed by the Indians.

2. Why is it permitted?

You must be wondering that Cannabis is something which is considered to be a big “No-No” in almost every country then why is it that it is permitted by the Indian Government? Well, the reason is that Bhang is not considered to a taboo in Indian society. Legend says that it was consumed by Lord Shiva to enhance his powers. It is available in places like Varanasi which are considered to be a very religious place for Hindus. Moreover, bhang is considered to have medicinal properties which we discussing in detail in the next point.

3. Medicinal properties

Bhang has many medicinal properties. To name a few it gives you relief from anxiety and stress. It is used in ayurvedic treatments in India and if used properly and in proportion it can be used in treating chemical imbalance caused in brain or depression. Bhang can also be turned into a paste and can be applied on wounds. The paste is considered to be very cool and can be used to treat sunburns. It is also said that a proportionate amount is taken before regular meals then Bhang not only helps in digestion but if taken properly it can also be used to enhance the taste of food.

4. How is it made?

It is made by grinding the leaves of the cannabis plant, further, these are dried and soaked which is later turned into a paste. Like I have mentioned before that Cannabis is banned in most of the countries around the world but for this particular drink, the Indian government is a little tolerant as religious sentiments are involved. If you go to Varanasi where consumption and sale of Bhang are legal, you would find bhang infused drinks and food which can be purchased from government approved shops. National Narcotics Department which is enforced with the responsibility of controlling drugs in India has clearly mentioned that only the leaves of the plant must be used in the making of Bhang and no other part should be used.

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5. How is it used?

Bhang is used majorly during the time of Holi and is in huge demand then. During the festival of Holi, a drink called “Thandai” is made in most Hindu households. Thandai is made with milk, dry fruits and rose essence and Bhaang is mixed along with this. It is served chilled and it gives you a really good high. Though there have been incidents when people have consumed Bhang more than their capacity and they have ended up sleeping for 24 hours straight! So, if you’re consuming it, make sure you drink it responsibly. Another way to consume Bhang is making bhang lassi and if you are in places like Varanasi then you can also get hold of bhang goli which can be consumed by mixing it with water. Interestingly, there are few places where Bhang is used to make sweets.

6. Where will you find it?

Pushkar, Jaisalmer, Varanasi, Mathura, and Dehradun are places where one can get the best bhang in our country. So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and go off to these places to try the Indian poison

7. Precautions

This drink may have health benefits but if taken in an irresponsible way then it has many side effects. If you have not attained the legal drinking age, or you are pregnant then you should not even be around Bhang forget about trying it.
So, these were all the interesting things about Bhang one should be knowing.

Consume responsibly! Always remember too much is anything is bad for health.

“Photo of bhang shop” by Satish Krishnamurthy under CC BY 2.0

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