As one of the most researched of ancient literature, the Bible is a window into the life and practices of the people who lived in Israel and the bordering nations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome, and Judea. The Bible and other texts from that time offer a broad view of life from about 1300 BC onwards, including accounts of global trade, commerce, science, food, medicine, and culture.

The Bible, Quran, Talmud, and other religious texts reference plants and trees extensively as sources of food, incense, flavor, medicine, and shelter. The following verse from the Bible illustrates their importance:

Ezekiel 47:12 ‘The trees that are fed and nourished by the water that flows from the sanctuary have nourishing and healing properties. And by the river on its bank, on one side and on the other, will grow all [kinds of] trees for food. Their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear every month because their water flows from the sanctuary, and their fruit will be for food and their leaves for healing.’

Hebrews 6:7 ‘For ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God;’ demonstrates the value that society placed on vegetation.

The Book of Jubilee 10:12–13 states, ‘As we explained to Noah all the medicines of their diseases, together with their seductions, how he might heal them with herbs of the earth. And Noah wrote down all things in a book as we instructed him concerning every kind of medicine. Thus the evil spirits were precluded from (hurting) the sons of Noah.”

Sirach 38:4–5 and 7–8 states, ‘The Lord created medicines out of the earth and the sensible will not despise them. Was not water made sweet with a tree in order that its power might be known? . . . by them the physician heals and takes away pain; the pharmacist makes a mixture from them.’

The Bible to my mind is the view of the world as people saw it at the time its verses were being written. Ever since the view has changed. Some of these we may find today to be unscientific. It is a book of faith and great history of man.

I have researched the herbs described in the verses of the Bible and my take is based on this research. To know more about this look here.

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