Shen Nung, The Divine Husbandman, And Hemp

Shen Nung Pen Ts’ao chingHemp has a long history dating back a known 6,000 years, and we are celebrating Hemp History Week 2016 by featuring Shen Nung, also known as the Divine Husbandman.

Shen Nung is considered by many scholars to be the father of Chinese agriculture, having taught the populace he ruled over as emperor how to cultivate grains as food, leading to the diversification of the food supply and a lower dependence on animal meats.

It is also said that he tasted and tested hundreds, if not thousands, of herbs and spices to test their medicinal value. It is also believed that he was the auther of the Pen Ts’ao ching (Materia Medica), one of the earliest incarnations of the Chinese pharmacopoeia. Contained within this text is information about 365 medicines derived from minerals, plants, and animals, including the wonderfully useful l. cannabis sativa.

What Does The Pen Ts’ao Ching Say?

According to, the translation of this page is as follows:

Hemp In The Pen Ts'ao ching
Page referring to Hemp in the 1234 AD edition of the Pen Ts’ao ching.

Column 5 (right most column)
[1,2] Medical Cannabis [4,5] is spicy when eaten [7-8] but has poison [9-13] good for the five organs, to bring the bodies Yin Yang into balance.

Column 4
[1,2 ] Medical Cannabis [3,4] stop eating [4,5] let go [eat more] [9-12] you will see white ghosts [13] walking around [14-20] and eat long enough, you will know how to talk to the Gods.

Column 3
Plant has grown and is good on July 7th, when plant can be picked.
(Note: The hemp plant grows to maturity within 2 to 6 months, but usually in 4 months. Given the fact that planting season is probably (after winter) in February, this statement should actually translated as — The plant should be picked just at the right time of maturity).

Column 2
[1] Not a major drug, but it [2,3] tastes good [4] is not rough [5, 6,7] and is NOT poison [8] Can help many middle — Helps much your energy, your whole body — stops sweat (because of cold) and leaves the water from the body, urine

Column 1 (left most)
[1] Skin . . stomach . . . forever . . . women . . . with baby . . . long hair . . . can be . . . medicine . . time.

Shen-Nung is also credited with creating oils and salves from pressed hemp seed and stalks. He used these products of the hemp plant to treat skin irritation, inflammation, rheumatic pain, intestinal constipation, and disorders of the female reproductive system.

Hemp oil was even used by the Chinese as an ingredient in a popular immortality elixir. Though it didn’t create immortals, this application illustrates the faith that early societies had for the plant’s potential to provide answers to each of life’s challenging questions.

The historical importance of hemp has been demonstrated time and time again, and yet another resurgence has been made in the past few decades after years of unfounded prohibition based upon greed and prejudices of major corporate interests in the first third of the twentieth century. It is clear that the future of hemp is at stake, and we are here pushing the envelope to continue to bring to you the best and most effective hemp derived products for your optimum health.

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