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|"Behold - I have given you every herb bearing seed which is upon the face of the Earth ... "- God speaks in Genesis 1:29|
Modern doctors, scientists and researchers can scoff at herbs and herbal therapies all they like. But when they do, who and what, really, are they laughing at? You? The herbs? Or the Creator Himself?
I'll leave that question for readers to answer in the privacy of their minds and hearts. But rather than have anyone ponder the obvious too long, I'll jump right in and tell you what I believe beyond the shadow of any doubt:
If that weren't the case, how is it that these simple and often lowly little weeds, flowers, shrubs, vines and trees have been used so effectively against the illnesses and afflictions that have plagued mankind since Adam and Eve were cast from the Garden of Eden so long, long ago?
It doesn't take a rocket scientist - or even a medical doctor - to divine the answer to that question. People use herbs because they work.
And that's why the amazingly specific and time-honored uses of herbs are part of a historical record that has been passed from generation to generation by word of mouth, in letters, books and medical journals, and even more importantly for true believers, on the pages of the Bible Itself.
In Bible days, of course, nobody knew why or how herbs prevented or eliminated disease. And in the context of their faith, they didn't have to. It was quite enough to know that God provided for his children.
In that regard, nobody needed to know that an active ingredient in garlic, allicin, is believed to be responsible for much of it's immune-building, heart-strengthening, circulation-bolstering, antibiotic properties, or that it's the capsaicin in hot peppers that account for its ability to relieve the pain of arthritis, improve circulation, boost metabolism and, according to famed herbalist Dr. John Christopher, stop heart attacks in their tracks.
The fact that it was created by God in the beginning and put on Earth for the benefit of mankind was a clear and obvious reason for using it - that and the fact that it works in ways that are easy for anyone to see.
The fact that people who consume garlic regularly tend to be healthier and live longer than people who avoid it was merely icing on the cake. And to the people who lived in Biblical days, proof aplenty that the healing power of garlic is indeed real.
In modern times, as the worship of God has all too often been replaced by the worship of science, many of us tend to forget the commonsense, faithful approach to life our ancestors relied on and look to science to "prove" anything and everything before we accept it as being true.
The fallacy of that kind of thinking, of course, is that science rarely if ever proves anything at all. Science is speculative.Science is theory. Science is the decision to believe something to be true based on a body of evidence discovered through observation and experimentation.
And as we all know, most if not all of the things we are taught to believe based on scientific theory eventually are demonstrated to be only "partially right" if not altogether wrong. Science, indeed, is a work in progress. In the 1940s, based on science, unfiltered cigarettes were offered up as "a digestion aid" and scientists made the case for adults to smoke four - that's right, four - unfiltered cigarettes with every meal ... to start the meal, after the appetizer, after the main course and after desert.
And let's face it, evolutionary theory, for instance, indicats that human beings somehow sprang from apes.
Now scientists admit that humans didn't any more evolve from apes than we evolved from gnats. Along these same lines, in the realm of pharmaceutical science, we were once told that tranquilizing pharmaceuticals such as Valium were perfectly safe and effective "wonder drugs" that would make our lives happier and healthier.
In fact, these drugs created a generation of addicts, led to the deaths of untold 10s of thousands - and made life miserable, in one way or another, for millions of innocent people. Think daddy guzzling bourbon and eating Valium and beating mommy while the kids watched. Think mommy-to-be overdosing the drug, damaging her precious, unborn child for life.
To make matters worse, and in a crowning irony, many of the same scientists and researchers who bring us these modern "miracle drugs" are among the first to deny the safe and genuine healing power of herbs.
They argue that there isn't enough "scientific evidence" to support the claims of billions of people who have experienced the healthy benefits of the wondrous medicines in God's Pharmacy.
That denial, in my opinion, is the height of ignorance, arrogance, stupidity and professional jealousy.
I say professional jealousy because all too many scientists can't bring themselves to admit that God is better at making medicines than they are. (Give it up, guys - He is ... !)
That said, on the pages that follow, we'll take a look at the natural, safe and effective herbs that we find mentioned in the Bible.
To identify them, I referenced a wonderful old Bible my grandmother purchased in 1924 and referred to throughout her life: Hertel's New Standard, Alphabetically-Indexed Bible.
This Bible contains a comprehensive dictionary that, as the editors themselves put it, "answers all questions pertaining to persons, places and things of the Scripture!"
It is a rich source of information on herbs of the Bible and was much appreciated as I put this little primer together.
I hope you learn as much as I did. I also hope you find the kind of information you need to help you, your friends and your loved ones live the long, happy, healthy lives that I am sure God planned for you.
Before we begin, I want to remind you to use this material in the spirit with which it was written not as the be-all, end-all of books on medicinal herbs, but as a starting point from which to begin your own thorough investigation of the bounty to be harvested from God's Healing Garden.
If you find something here that you feel could benefit you, take the time to get into a comprehensive herb manual or even talk to a health care professional before you begin the regimen of your choice.
Herbs and herbal therapies, sadly, are foreign to far too many of us.
And until we have recovered our traditions, which teach us which herbs to take and precisely how to take them, we should exercise common sense.
There is, after all, considerable truth to the old saying "God helps those who help themselves."
With that in mind, let's get started. Herbs are listed alphabetically, followed by the common and traditional uses they are known for.
Almonds are a storehouse of vitamins and nutrients, including vitamin magnesium, magnesium and arginine and dietary fiber, so much so that many herbalists believe that two or three almonds a day can protect you from most sickness.
Considered brain food by many, almonds also are said to combat the agony of impotence as well. Delicious, inexpensive health insurance that's well worth considering in your life.
The aloe mentioned so prominently in the Bible is not the tropical aloe vera plant from which we derive the gels, juices and powders that are so highly respected as medicinal herbs today. Many if not most folks aren't aware of the difference, however, and assume that Biblical aloe, a tree for which there is no known medicinal use, is the same.
For the record, aloe vera is widely grown in the Holy Land today. Also for the record, it is an extremely safe and effective treatment for scrapes, cuts, burns, bedsores and other skin problems. Taken internally as juice or in capsule form, aloe is soothing to the entire intestinal tract. Widespread testimony indicates it can ease the pain of arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. Aloe also is considered to be a powerful laxative for occasional use.
Seeds are a superb breath freshener and digestive aid. The herb is also said to improve memory and eliminate problems with oily skin. An excellent antacid. A pinch of seeds after dinner satisfies your sweet tooth and freshens breath even better than a candy mint. Interestingly, the bark is used as a brain and nerve cleanse by people with neurological difficulties, especially those associated with Lyme disease and its coinfections.
What can't you say about the apple as a weapon in your personal war against illnesses of all kinds? An apple a day, as the saying goes, keeps the doctor away - and it's no mystery why. Apples are chock full of vitamins - vitamin C especially - and one of the finest blood cleansers around.
Of particular importance, health-wise, is the presence of pectin, a substance that research has shown to block receptors on the surface of cancer calls, flush environmental toxins from the body, lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of heart disease and more. Strong research indicates that apples are a tremendous heart tonic,
stabilize blood sugar- levels, kill viruses and suppress appetite, making them a first-rate diet food.
Also known as prickly ash, this herb is derived from the bark of trees and has been used to treat a wide variety of complaints, including eczema, gout, arthritis and intestinal parasites, menstrual complaints and low sex drive in men and women.
There is some confusion as to what the authors of the Bible meant when they talked about balm. Scholars aren't quite sure. But for our purposes, we will assume they were referring to what we today call balm, lemon balm or bee balm. This herb makes a delicious, calming tea and is used widely to relieve menstrual cramping and the symptoms of PMS.
Believed to be mankind's oldest cultivated crop, barley is a rich source of calcium and iron and contains essential amino acids, bioflavonoids and important enzymes crucial to good health. It has been used in the treatment of duodenal and stomach disorders, pancreatitis - and is considered to be an excellent anti-inflammatory.
Athletes mix a teaspoon of barley grass powder into a glass of tomato juice or V-8 just prior to competitions for a strong, sustained energy.boost. Sounds like something MOST of us could benefit from!
You might not think of beans as herbs but they most certainly are. Not only that, they're featured prominently in the Bible. When the authors of the Bible spoke of beans, they were referring to a wide variety - much like the selection we enjoy today. Beans, of course, are a sensational source of low- fat protein and more vitamins and minerals than you can shake a stick at.
Also, beans are just the kind of healthful, high-fiber food we all need plenty of to keep our cholesterol in check - and our colons working smoothly and regularly. Rich in carbohydrates as well as the important amino acids our bodies do not produce on their own and need from an outside source. If you are dieting, beans can and should be an indispensable menu item. Studies confirm that beans are appetite suppressants, taking the edge off hunger pangs for four hours or more after you eat them, eliminating the desire for snacks.
Carob tea, made from powdered carob pods, is exceptionally effective in the treatment of acute-onset diarrhea - in children especially. Carob is considered to be a rich source of fiber and tastes great, much like chocolate.
The beans themselves are a deadly poison from which the bioweapon "ricin" is made. But oil pressed from the plant has a long and revered history of healthful use in the treatment of bronchitis, lung inflammation, pneumonia, warts, skin problems, arthritis, fungal and parasitic infections and more. Warm compress to affected area, or simple massage with oiled fingers and palms, works wonders if not miracles.
One of the oldest essential oils in medicinal use, cedar is antiseptic, astringent, fungicidal. Helpful in the treatment of cystitis, kidney complaints, coughs, acne and in relieving the pain associated with arthritic joints. Relaxing, calming, sedative.
Sometimes referred to as "healer from heaven." Interestingly, the Bible tells us the manna God sent to Moses and his starving flock tasted like coriander. Long revered as an aid to digestion, coriander also has a history of use as a spice, perfume and mouthwash. Europeans snack on coriander candy. New studies
intriguingly show that coriander reduces blood sugar levels AND the inflammation associated with arthritic joints.
When the Bible mentions corn, say scholars, the authors were referring to wheat, barley and other crops, not corn as we think of it. For the record, sweet corn and its components have several solid medicinal uses.
This herb, which most folks throw away, eases urination complaints, is diuretic and is often used by men with benign enlargement of the prostate. Corn itself lowers the risk of cancer and heart disease - and fights tooth decay. See also: Barley; wheat.
Like cedarwood, the essential oil derived from cypress has been venerated since Biblical days. Medicinal uses include: Circulatory problems, hemorrhoids, nosebleeds, varicose veins, cellulite, bedwetting, too-frequent urination, excessive perspiration, hormonal imbalances, PMS, symptoms of menopause.
A digestive aid of the first order, dill relieves intestinal gas (flatulence) as well. Studies suggest that dill can reduce blood pressure by dilating blood vessels, stimulating respiration and slowing heart rate.
One of the oldest medicinal herbs known to man, figs are used in the treatment of cancer, constipation, scurvy, hemorrhoids, liver problems, boils and to increase energy, stamina and endurance. Figs kill roundworms and aid digestion, too.
Prized essential oil rejuvenates skin, improves circulation and combats indigestion, cystitis, cold hands and feet, asthma, arthritis, shortness of breath, lung congestion.
We could write volumes on the medicinal uses of this astonishing herb, but suffice it say everyone should find SOME way to add it to their diet. Garlic fights infection, thins the blood, reduces blood pressure, prevents cancer, guards against heart disease and stimulates the immune system.
Grapes contain compounds that thwart ruses, block cancers and even fight tooth decay. hock full of vitamins and nutrients essential to good health. An extract derived from grape seeds is one of he most powerful anti- oxidants known to man.
Kills bacteria, disinfects wounds and sores, relieves symptoms of asthma and sore throats, calms jittery nerves, promotes deep restful sleep, relieves diarrhea, boosts energy and even - like morphine - reduces the perception of pain.
An antiseptic herb that is a most effective treatment for cold sores, coughs, wheezing and shortness of breath.
Scholars say "leeks," as referred to in the Bible, refers, to any edible grass or green food. See Wheat Grass.
A peerless digestive aid. Calming, relaxing, pain killing. Mints of any kind are good decongestants, reliable in the treatment of sinus problems and infection prevention. Also used on wounds, burns.
It's greatest claim to fame is use in a plaster for the treatment of chest colds! Taken internally, it's a superior stimulant similar in effect to cayenne. Also like cayenne, mustard relieves pain - specially lower back and joint pain.
Excellent mouthwash in the treatment of periodontal disease, sore and bleeding gums, mouth sores and fungal infections of any kind.
A circulatory stimulant that lowers blood sugar, making it a top choice among diabetics.Often used in tandem with saw palmetto for benign enlargement of the prostate gland.
Brain and gastric stimulant considered to be tonic to the digestive tract as well. Advisory: Taken in large doses, nutmeg can cause dangerously high levels, of central nervous system stimulation.
Tea made from oak bark is used in the treatment of mouth sores, skin irritations, sore throat, fever, hemorrhoids and menstruation woes.
Olive oil actually prevents heart disease, leading one researcher to declare it "humanity's best health oil." It also lowers blood pressure and is an exceptionally rich source of vitamin E, which combats cancers, arthritis and diabetes. The oil is excellent for skin, and a simple nightly massage can reverse hair loss in men and women hen pattern baldness - the genetic kind - isn't to blame. A mainstay of the heart-healthy "Mediterranean Diet" people are always talking about.
A super infection fighter and more, the onion is known to lower elevated cholesterol levels, lower high blood pressure and even ease the sugar "spiking" and related symptoms of diabetes. Also > fights asthma and cancers. Add a little onion to your diet daily for full benefits. If you can't take the taste, get capsules.
Like most nuts, pistachio helps in the regulation of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood sugar. Rich in protein, potassium AND dietary fiber.
Delicious and healthful fruit is good for you, but in traditional application, the most powerful medicinal component of this herb has been the bark, which expels tapeworms.
Used to lower blood pressure, relieve anxiety, relax over-tense muscles and ease digestive complaints. A circulatory stimulant, rue is effective in the treatment of headaches, too.
Biblical references to rye, say experts, are actually references to flax. Flax is good for the lungs and is used as a treatment for bronchitis and congestions. As a poultice, flax is used for shingles and psoriasis.
The most expensive spice on Earth, saffron imparts a wonderful aroma to food and has enjoyed wide use not only in cooking, but in perfumery. Like many rare fragrances, saffron is said to put women AND men in a special "mood" for intimacy. Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol and clears clogged arteries.
This herb isn't as popular as perhaps it should be. Suggested for inflammation, rheumatism, backache, lung congestion, sores, rashes and psoriasis.
Thistles of virtually every description have valued medicinal uses. Blessed thistle aids in instances of sluggish digestion and breaks fevers. Milk thistle is tremendously beneficial to the recovery and healthy function of stressed, damaged and diseased livers, actually regenerating liver cells and increasing bile flow.
There are many kinds of vinegar, but we'll focus on apple cider vinegar, which has such a long history of medicinal use. Vinegar can be used topically in the treatment of acne, athletes foot and other fungal complaints, excessive body odor, dandruff and minor burns.
Internally, vinegar fights headache, helps clean arteries and improve circulation, burns fat, relieves the pain of sore throat, fights allergies, increases energy and improves respiration, folk use suggests. Vinegar is, in fact, a tremendously beneficial addition to just about anyone's diet. If you simply can't tolerate the taste, try it in capsule form.
The nuts themselves lower cholesterol, promoting healthy heart, but tea made from the leaves of the walnut tree has a long history of use as a skin wash -effective in the treatment of acne, psoriasis and eczema. A tea made of green walnut husks is useful in stopping diarrhea, sore throat and coughs. black walnut hull is
legendary for eliminating intestinal parasites.
Basically a superfood with traditional uses ranging from the treatment of acne and cancer to dermatitis, lupus and low energy. Suffice it to say wheat grass is good for you - and might very well supply nutrients your body is "yearning" for!
Used in the treatment of skin conditions, including cancers, ulcers, gangrenous wounds, burns and even excessive perspiration. Tea made from bark and leaves is applied externally.
Jaundice, diarrhea and diabetes.Use carefully - under the care of a professional.
Medical Advisory: Herbs are wondrous gifts from God but don't be foolish. If you are sick or suspect you might be, consult a healthcare professional before treating yourself or changing your diet in any significant way. The herbs and traditional uses discussed on this page are published for informational purposes and historical perspective and are not intended to diagnose,sell, treat, prevent or cure any disease.
Commonsense Advisory: Report is presented for your information and is not to be construed as medical advice. Neither the publisher nor advertisers make any claims that antibiotic prescriptions or herbal supplements will treat or cure Lyme disease. If you are seriously ill or think you might be, consult a qualified health professional before you attempt to diagnose or treat yourself.
Question? Comment? What do you think? Write Derek Clontz . He reads and responds personally to every letter, often within minutes and always within one business day.
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