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Last Update : 24/03/2017

When people think of Rastafari, one of the first things that will come to mind is the use of Herb or Ganjah. It is one of the primal identifying signs of the livety together with dreadlocks and Reggae. These things are commonly known, but the real overstanding about it is not all that high, generally speaking.
So here we can get some more knowledge about this principle so peoples overstanding might increase and can put it to use. Any misunderstanding should be taken away, and if anyone might have some negative thoughts about it, let it be transformed to a positive attitude. Rastafari work with the positive side of live and such is also the truth when we talk about the use of Herb. Because although there are many people in the world that Raspect Rastafari for the use of Herb, there are also many people who think that it is a drug and bad for people and will therefore reject the Rastafari livety or be weary of it, warn others about it, loose interest, might even be afraid etc. Many religions like Islam and Christianity reject the use of Herb and warn people not to use it and even to stay away from people that do. We want to make a change in this way of thinking so that people will have the opportunity to learn more of the livety as a whole, and wont loose that chance just because of some misunderstanding about a wonderful, beneficial plant that has so many good qualities once we have the right overstanding about it, and treat it accordingly.

There are different reasons why Rastafari burn and smoke Herb, we will give them here separately.

Burnt Offering

It is seen as a Holy sacrament something not to be taken lightly or treated with disrespect. It is the Holy Herb given to I&I by YAH to be burnt at certain occasions when we honor our Father. It is not only smoked but also burnt as incense purging the room or area sanctifying it so YAH may be in that dwelling place. A prayer will often be uttered before or during the burning. There is Biblical support for doing this, so it is not something we made up ourselves. In early Bibles it is mentioned as kaneh-bosm and mentioned in relation with the Tree of knowledge and Good and evil.  

Meditation

Herb can also be used in support of I&I meditation, and assists us to reach certain heights in which we might feel connected to YAH and Mother Earth. This is a very powerful and beneficial mind frame to be in if dealt with appropriately. How one experiences this is personal but many Rastafari get deep overstanding and insights about life in this heightened state of consciousness and can then put this to good uses in our daily lives. It is widely known through personal experience that Herb increases our knowledge and makes us wiser.

Healthcare

Another Reason for the use of Herb is for healthcare, the healing qualities of Herb is widely known around the world and especially by Rastafari who have always used it specifically for many health issues. It works as a pain reliever that can be useful in many different situations. It helps against migraines or headaches, it helps against glaucoma, flu or colds, parkinson, cancer, aids, almost any kind of sickness actually. It builds a strong resistance in general so usually sicknesses will not arise as much, so being used as a preventative.
Herb in all these ways of ingestion, smoking, drinking and eating works very good as a stress reliever. Stress, negative thinking or worrying can cause a lot of illnesses and should not be underestimated, some people say that stress is the main cause why people get sick. So especially when we live in a country like Jamaica where the pressure is very high and can easily cause all kinds of stress, Herb is very important balancing factor.

Recreational

Herb also gets used for recreation purposes, it’s not only a sacrament, meditation tool or healing method. It also has social value that brings people together and causes people to interact with each other in a Raspectful manner. Instead of alcohol or drugs that can make people aggressive, abusive and ill minded and harms the body instead of doing the healing like Herb. Rastafari will come together and have deep reasoning’s about the issues of life, Herb intensifies this giving it more value.  

Different ways to use it

There are different ways to ingest the Herb as a medicine,
one can smoke it and is the most popular way but not the healthiest, as anything that we smoke causes some harm to the lungs,
ganjah has a lot of tar in it, which we know isn't to healthy, never the less there are people who smoke it to fight bronchitis, and will often get beneficial results.
Ones can make tea from it (also the leaves and stems, not only the buds) and this works good for different ailments and works good for preventive use and relaxation.
Ones can juice it, preferably using a slow juicer (especially the leaves, stems and baby buds), and has become more popular recently and the health benefits are supposed to be great, maybe even better then the cannabis oil and doesn't make I&I as high like the cannabis oil. The only problem with this method is that it is difficult to find fresh leaves and buds if one is not growing the plant self. A problem which we don't have making oil...
Cannabis oil might be the most popular for health reasons at the moment, having been promoted worldwide by many different people and groups and has a wide range of healing properties, curing/benefiting people with cancer, alzheimer, parkinson, spasms, aids, bronchitis, migraine, pain, eating problems, nausea,  and the list goes on and on...it is beneficial for most illnesses that we can think of.
Both Cannabis juice and oil are ingested orally, without smoking it and have the strongest healing properties, with the juice being a bit of a new commercial in the mainstream, so the health benefits are less known, but has a lot of promise to it.

Responsible Use

Rastafari often have deep knowledge about this powerful plant and know how to work with it in a responsible manner because if used unwisely Herb can have some negative effects, in a way that someone might not be able to function properly anymore on a social level, being too passive, lazy, not caring about much (which is different from not worrying), or it can cause a psychosis if a person is already sensitive for that. But when dealt with in a appropriate responsible manner these negative aspects won’t play a part. We as Rastafari know this and look for a personal balance and overstanding so that is doesn’t influence us negatively.
Like Mr Marley says in the video above “to much of one thing is not good for anything, so if we smoke to much (which is personal) it might hurt you, but the earth is the lord and fullness thereof, and Herb is Plant a tree that grow” so it there for I&I to make Good use of it.

Names

Herb is the preferred name for it, as this is how we read it in the Bible and classifies it as something beneficial for the use and good of man.
Ganjah is how it is also often called in Jamaica, Ganja is a Indian Sanskrit word for Marijuana, they were supposedly the ones who brought the plant to Jamaica.
Collie, Kush, Sensi and Ishence are also often used.
We don’t like to call it weed as a weed is a wild growing pest so to say.

Ital

Most Rastafari only smoke Ital Herb if possible, Ital meaning without tobacco  and that the Herb is grown Pure and Natural without the use of chemicals or manure like rat bat (Bat dung)
The best Herb we can get in Jamaica is Sensimilla and Lambsbread.

Biblical support

There are a couple of biblical passages in the bible which Rastafari see as support for its use

Genesis 1:12 And the earth brought forth grass and herb yielding seed after its kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and YAH saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:29-31 29 And YAH said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. 
31 And YAH saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.

Ezekiel 34:29 “And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more”

Isaiah 18:4-5  4 For so the LORD said unto me, I will take my rest, and I will consider in my dwelling place like a clear heat upon herbs, and like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest. 5 For afore the harvest, when the bud is perfect, and the sour grape is ripening in the flower, he shall both cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks, and take away and cut down the branches.

Psalm 104:14 He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth.

Revelations 22:1-2  On either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare 12 manner of fruits, and yielding her fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

There is more knowledge about Ganjah in the Herb page, where it will be even more evident what the positive qualities of this plant are that should lead to more overstanding and acceptance.

YAH GUIDE HIGHLY BLESS