Bodhi seeds derive their bountiful benefits and meaning from the source, the Bodhi Tree, and its legendary association with the Buddha. Sanskrit texts cite the Bodhi Tree in India as the place of the Buddha’s first achieving enlightenment. As such, the seeds from the Bodhi tree are connected to Buddhism and traditional Buddhist rites such as meditation, the practice of many throughout the world but particularly in Eastern religions, as the pathway (dharma) to achieving enlightenment or Bodhi, as it is also termed in Sanskrit.
Naturally, the seeds of the Bodhi have multiple purposes and are most commonly used in Malas or meditation bracelets crafted with Bodhi seeds or beads to adorn arms or assist in reciting mantras for meditation, similar to prayer beads on a rosary. The beads, made from seeds of the Bodhi are sacred and healing by both the properties of the tree itself and the mental connections to the source of spiritual heights, the Buddha.
Though lore has it that there is only Bodhi Tree, other trees called Bodhi are actually the Pipphal tree, and modernly, Bodhi seeds come from several varietals of this fig tree known by Botanists as Ficus Religiosas. Buddhist temples are adorned with these trees symbolically hankering the original event of the Buddha Gautauma Siddhartha’s transformation from mere wandering prince to The Enlightened One. Thus, the tree’s attributed magical powers of lore such as producing rain or fertility in infertile women as well as predicting the future with the health or ill-being of the tree correlating to the state of a country’s rulers, for example. Bodhi trees are never to be cut or removed.
The seeds descended from the original tree that Buddha sat under are known as seeds from the Maha Bodhi. The rest are from Pipphal trees, though bodhi seeds used to garner beads for jewelry, such as malas, are taken from a variety of trees referred to as bodhi trees. The seeds from these bead trees produce seeds with special medicinal properties known to remedy skin ailments, ease symptoms of rheumatism and treat leprosy. They contain anti inflammatory properties and most are edible, and so Chinese medicine has traditionally contained the seeds.
Not surprising, bodhi seeds are also the catchphrase marketing mantra for a well-known seed producing company in the cannabis world. The company promotes itself as an organic seed producer of specialized genetic strains many of which are titled and themed on bodhi from plants that are marketed as looking like the hand of Buddha to qualities attributed to unclogging energy, known in Chinese as ‘chi’, so as to improve health, body, mind and spirit naturally just like Chinese medicine aims to do.
Given the anti-inflammatory properties of the bodhi tree seeds used in ancient Chinese medicines, the cannabis named plants make sense. Medicinal marijuana is documented to help ease the symptoms of sufferers of inflammatory conditions such nerve, joint and muscle pains as well as diseases like glaucoma, chronic headaches as well as ease side effects from chemotherapy, among other conditions.