Those of us who believe in design have no surprise that the flowers, stems, leaves, fruits, roots, and bark of many herbs have great medicinal value. After all, God is a loving Creator and, even when sin ruined the creation, He still had a heart to provide a remedy for sin in sending His Son. He also provided remedies for some of the resulting health issues. Here are a few examples.
The Foxglove plant is used to make medicine to treat heart disease. Neem trees from India are used to make soap and shampoo (as is the oil from coconuts), and can also help with digestion and diabetes. When the oil from the Neem tree, taken from fruits and seeds, is rubbed into wounds, it helps stop infections and is also used to treat malaria. Mint, chamomile, myrrh, sage, eucalyptus are all used in toothpaste. Some use the white liquid from the trunk of the banyan tree to stop a toothache. The seeds of the opium poppy, though misused throughout history, do contain a milky juice that is made into morphine, an effective painkiller. The original aspirin was a chemical taken from the white willow tree. Elderberries and echinacea are effective disease fighters. Quinine, one of the best treatments for malaria, is extracted from the bark of the Cinchona tree.
Garlic is famous for its pungent odor. But garlic is effective is warding off colds in ways more than just keeping sick people away from you! It also is used to treat heart disease and asthma. Ginger is used to treat arthritis and can help with digestion. Cranberry juice helps treat urinary infections, Periwinkle plant to treat leukemia. Primrose helps people sleep and is used as a painkiller. Cayenne or red pepper is excellent to help in clotting blood.
Aloe vera is used in cosmetics, skin creams, and as a drink to help in digestion. When the leaves are broken, they ooze a clear liquid that is excellent in treating sunburn, wounds, bruises, insect stings, and acne.
Even the ‘cow food’ alfalfa has great value to us. The Chinese use it to treat kidney stones, the ancient Greeks bladder and kidney conditions. It has been called Buffalo Herb, Lucerne, and Purple Medic, but is best known as alfalfa, Arabic for ‘father of all foods’. Alfalfa is rich in vitamins A (eye health), E (heart and cardiovascular health), U (treats peptic ulcers), B6 (stimulates protein and fat metabolism), K (blood clotting and liver functions), and D (regulates the use of calcium and phosphorus in the body). Alfalfa also contains many valuable minerals such as calcium and phosphorus (bone and teeth health), iron (needed in hemoglobin), manganese (lowers blood sugar levels), potassium (muscle tone and nerves), chlorides (regulates fat, sugar and starch metabolism), sodium (regulates fluid balance), and silicon magnesium (stimulates brain function).
“Today about one quarter of all modern medicines are either made from plants or based on plant products. About 50,000 different types of plants are used to make medicines and herbal remedies.” (How We Use Plants for Medicine and Health, Salley Morgan, p. 5) I can’t help wondering if the good Lord has not provided cures for many of the world’s present plagues in the plants He made. Instead of spending so much money on artificial medications, perhaps we should invest more time and money in finding natural cures.