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Medical Cannabis (Vijaya) Journey from its Origin to Ayurveda: An Exploration of Medical History


In the vast tapestry of medical history, there exists a botanical protagonist that has traversed time, continents, and cultures – Vijaya. Known by many names including hemp and cannabis, Vijaya has a rich and multifaceted history that predates recorded civilization. This article embarks on a journey tracing the evolution of Vijaya’s medicinal use, from ancient cultures to its revered status in Ayurveda.

Medical Vijaya: A Historical Odyssey

Vijaya in Ancient Cultures

The story of Vijaya’s medicinal use begins in ancient civilizations where it was regarded as a gift from nature. In various forms, Vijaya found its place in rituals, remedies, and relaxation. It was embraced by cultures spanning from the Indian subcontinent to the Far East.

In ancient India, Vijaya held a sacred status and was integrated into religious rituals. The Vedas, the oldest sacred texts of Hinduism, mention the plant’s significance. Its leaves were offered to gods, and its consumption was believed to facilitate communication with the divine.

Western Medicine and Vijaya

The influence of Vijaya reached the Western world as well. It was recognized for its therapeutic potential in ancient Greece and Rome. However, with the passage of time and shifting attitudes, Vijaya’s reputation underwent transformations, eventually leading to its prohibition in many Western countries.

In ancient Greece, where medical pioneers like Hippocrates laid the foundations of modern medicine, Vijaya was employed to alleviate various ailments. Its analgesic properties were noted, and it was used as a remedy for pain and discomfort.

Ancient Chinese Use of Vijaya

Ancient China, known for its profound contributions to herbal medicine, also had a place for Vijaya. The legendary physician Hua Tuo, often considered the father of surgery in China, incorporated medicinal hemp into his treatments. His pioneering efforts are documented in the “Pharmacopeia of the Tang.”

Hua Tuo’s use of Vijaya in surgical procedures highlights its pain-relieving properties. The plant was employed as an anesthetic, demonstrating an early recognition of its medical potential.

Vijaya in Ancient Egypt

The land of pharaohs and pyramids held Vijaya in high regard. Ancient Egyptian texts, including the famous Ebers Papyrus, mention the use of Vijaya for various ailments. It was employed not only for therapeutic purposes but also in religious rituals.

In ancient Egypt, Vijaya was associated with the goddess Seshat, who was the deity of wisdom, knowledge, and writing. This connection between Vijaya and wisdom underscores its significance in ancient Egyptian culture.

Medical Vijaya for Hemorrhoids

One intriguing historical use of Vijaya was in the treatment of hemorrhoids. The ancient Egyptians recognized its potential to alleviate this uncomfortable condition, highlighting the versatility of Vijaya in addressing a spectrum of health issues.

Kushtha Chikitsa and Vijaya

In the annals of Ayurvedic medicine, an ancient Indian system of healthcare, Vijaya occupies a prominent place. It is mentioned in the context of “Kushtha Chikitsa,” which refers to treatments for skin diseases. Ayurveda recognized the therapeutic potential of Vijaya, utilizing it to address various skin-related concerns.

Ayurveda’s understanding of Vijaya’s properties extended beyond its skin-healing abilities. It categorized Vijaya based on its taste, potency, and post-digestive effect, allowing practitioners to tailor treatments to individual needs.

Therapeutic Effect of Vijaya

The historical accounts of Vijaya consistently emphasize its therapeutic effects. Its properties, ranging from analgesic to anti-inflammatory, made it a valuable component in ancient herbal remedies.

Medicinal Benefits of Vijaya

The recognition of Vijaya’s medicinal benefits extended beyond treating physical ailments. It was acknowledged for its potential to soothe the mind, alleviate anxiety, and induce relaxation – properties that resonate with its modern applications.

Vijaya in Ayurveda: A Timeless Legacy

Sanskrit Verse about Bhang


Translation: The Shloka states the names and the properties of the bhanga. It ( Medical cannabis) is known as “Banga”, “Ganja”, “Matulani”, “Madani”, “Vijaya” and “Jaya”. It manages kapha diseases. It is bitter in taste, has digestive properties, light, piercing and hot in potency. It aggravates Pitta. It is hypnotic, sedative and when consumed it increases the talking capacity of a person. Reference: Bhavprakash nighantu edition of 1998; verse 233, page no. 141-145.

Sanskrit, the ancient language of India, carries verses that celebrate the virtues of Vijaya. One such verse extols “Bhang,” a preparation derived from Vijaya, highlighting its significance in Ayurveda.

Names of Vijaya in Sanskrit

In Sanskrit, Vijaya goes by various names, each reflecting its unique properties. These names provide insights into its diverse applications in Ayurvedic medicine.

Properties of Bhang

Ayurveda meticulously categorized Vijaya based on its properties, including taste, potency, and post-digestive effect. These classifications guided practitioners in tailoring treatments to individual needs.

Ayurvedic Uses of Vijaya

Ayurveda harnessed the potential of Vijaya in diverse formulations. It found a place in remedies addressing pain, inflammation, digestive issues, and even psychological imbalances.

Vijaya’s Timeless Relevance

The historical journey of Vijaya, from ancient cultures to the heart of Ayurveda, underscores its enduring relevance in the world of herbal medicine. While modern science continues to explore its potential, the wisdom of traditional healing methods recognizes Vijaya as more than just a plant; it’s a botanical bridge connecting humanity’s past to its future.

Cultural Use of Herbal Remedies

Vijaya’s historical prominence is a testament to the cultural and holistic approach to healthcare prevalent in ancient societies. It highlights the profound connection between nature, human well-being, and the evolution of herbal remedies.

Ancient Herbal Knowledge

The knowledge embedded in Vijaya’s historical use is a treasure trove for contemporary herbalists and researchers. It serves as a reminder that the roots of modern herbal medicine run deep, drawing sustenance from the wisdom of our ancestors.

In conclusion, the journey of Vijaya through time and across civilizations illuminates its enduring role in the world of medicine. From ancient rituals to Ayurvedic formulations, it remains a botanical ally in the pursuit of holistic health. Understanding its historical significance enriches our appreciation of Vijaya’s potential to heal and harmonize the body and mind.

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