Most people don’t think of the Word of God as a health or herbalism text. While I agree it technically is not, as a home school mom we have used the Bible as our main text for many subjects. The Bible actually has a lot more to say about plants, whole food, diet, and herbs, than most people realize. From Genesis to Revelation plants are mentioned as a blessing from God for medicine and food.
And God 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.
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; And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart.
And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
I feel that it would be a blessing to learn the health benefits of the edible and medicinal plants mentioned in the Bible. Therefore I have decided to begin a series covering one or two plants from the Bible each post. I will do my best to cover some or all of these subjects: biblical concepts, nutrients found in them, health benefits, medicinal uses, normal dosages, historical uses and some recipes. I will also include the Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek word for this plant and meaning. I will choose any plant or herb found in the Bible in general not necessarily ones mentioned for health. Some of them may seem obscure because of language interpretation and thus I will do my best with what I know about the languages and what is the common interpretation. Many times there may be more than one plant that historians feel fit the biblical description. In the case of one plant I may cover both or choose the one that is more commonly used today. I make no claims of being a historian and my desire for this series is only to show the beautiful healing qualities of God’s creation. This will by no means be a complete materia medica on each plant.
This could be an extremely long-term series, as you will see in some scriptures there are several plants listed. I am excited to share all of this information with you!
So let’s get started, Today’s Plant will be
Aloe Vera: The Hebrew word is אהלות Ahalot and the greek word αλοή aloē
As the valleys are they spread forth, as gardens by the river’s side, as the trees of lign aloes which the LORD hath planted, and as cedar trees beside the waters.
(Numbers 24:6 KJV)
This plant in the above scripture is thought by some to actually be tall evergreen trees such as Aquilaria and not the Aloe Vera used today. The resinous inner wood of these trees called agarwood or aloeswood, is used for incense and medicine by many middle eastern and Asian religions and cultures. The oil, called Oud oil, is used for incense, perfumes, and essential oils. In order to get this inner heartwood the tree must be infected by fungus which creates this darker resinous wood. The tree is currently threatened and the oil is very rare. It has been used medicinally to treat digestive and respiratory problems as well as several other health problems. I will agree that a tall evergreen does fit with the scripture better than Aloe Vera. In order to find out if the heartwood is in fact the resinous wood the tree must be cut down. This tree is now being cultivated in plantations to avoid the unnecessary cutting down of trees. I have not found a thorough materia medica on this plant so it is not one I would use medicinally at this time. Though it would be safe for perfume, and aromatherapy use but it is too costly.
Also Nakdimon, who at first had gone to see Yeshua by night, came with some seventy pounds of spices — a mixture of myrrh and aloes. They took Yeshua’s body and wrapped it up in linen sheets with the spices, in keeping with Judean burial practice.
(John 19:39-40 CJB)
Though there is question whether Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis) was the Aloe mentioned in the Tanakh some people feel the Aloe used to wrap Yeshua’s body was truly aloe Vera. There is actually a strong history of Aloe Vera use for burial in ancient people before the time of Messiah. There is also proof of its medicinal use. Sumerian tablets mention Aloe leaf being used as a laxative and the Egyptian Papyrus Ebers describes the whole leaf being used ground up medicinally.
family: Asphodelaceae which is a subdivision of the Lily family.
Aloe Vera has been used throughout history by many cultures, for wound healing, embalming, perfumes, burns, sunburns, skin care,and parasites. The juice or gel of the leaf is used and the inner leaf or Aloin is also condensed into pieces or powder that is orange to black in color. Most liquid or gel has the Aloin removed because it is a strong purgative laxative. The juice or gel is very healing to the digestive tract and is used to heal ulcers and colitis. It can be used to relieve psoriasis, itching, rashes, gum disease, and lower blood sugar. It is also said to be an immune stimulant.
How to use:
A split leaf can be applied directly to a burn, rash or wound. The gel can be saved or purchased and used in salves, and lotions.
Apply Aloe Vera gel to your hair for a simple natural alternative hair gel.
Apply to skin just for beauty (Cleopatra did)
Use the juice internally
Aloe Vera Mouth Wash Recipe
1/2 cup Aloe Vera juice
1/4 cup filtered or distilled water
1 tsp total of Calendula,, Echinacea, or Golden seal tincture (you could also use 1 tsp witch hazel or vodka)
5-10 drops peppermint essential oil
Pour all ingredients into a dark glass bottle. Shake before each use and store for two weeks. Gargle with 10-30 ml as needed. Do not swallow.
Internal Aloe Vera dosages vary depending on the part of plant and the product. It is important to use it according to manufactures directions and as with any herbs to make sure that there are no contraindications or drug interactions prior to taking it. It is wise to start with a small dose of liquid and if tolerated increase as directed.
Aloe containing Aloin is contraindicated in intestinal obstruction, Crohn’s, appendicitis, pregnancy, children under 12, lactation. The stronger laxative preparations can create dependence with long-term use.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not meant to treat, diagnose or prescribe.