Herbal medicine: My experience so far
Genesis 1: 29… 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 (food).Hippocrates, the “Father of Medicine,” a Greek physician, who was born in 460BC and died around 370BC said: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
It is very interesting that Hippocrates quoted thus so many years before Jesus Christ was born. However, the scripture in Genesis 1: 29 had certainly been written long before then. The question is, did Hippocrates see and read this verse of scripture before he made that quote. It is likely he did. His reference was to food being your medicine and vice versa. This quote makes a lot of sense even as I have asked a few friends and myself if GOD gave medicine to mankind apart from food.
In giving man food from this first scripture, GOD gave man herbs (vegetables, leaves, culinary spices bark of stems and roots), seeds, trees and fruits. Nevertheless, there are certain references to medicine and healing in other books of the Bible. For example, we see figs (a fruit) in 2Kings 20: 8 and Isaiah 38: 21, being used to treat the boils that were on Hezekiah’s body. Also, in Ezekiel 47: 12 and Revelation22: 2, the leaves of the trees by the sides of the river were for healing (the nations). In Jeremiah 8: 22, 46: 11 and 51: 8, reference is made to the balm in Gilead, and that it be taken for pain. The balm could have been extracted as an ointment from a tree, which had a soothing effect on that part of the body that caused the individual pain.
From these scriptures and a few others, we find that whatever that was recommended for healing or as medicine were sourced from parts of the tree. Note that by the principle of first appearance, GOD had given the tree and its different parts to man for food in Genesis 1: 29. We can therefore conclude like Hippocrates that our food is medicine and medicine comes from our food.
A deep understanding of this quote by Hippocrates shows that GOD gave man food in the book of Genesis for the prevention of diseases and curative purposes, if prevention failed. Eating the right type of food and in the right quantity should make sufficient nutrients available to replace those that have been used up. Such replacement will make up for the deficiency that may arise if the diet is less than adequate. This deficiency of nutrients (chemicals) is the cause of most diseases and this stems from the fact that the food we eat today is a far cry from what was recommended in the book of Genesis. On the other hand, this deficiency having become long standing, full blown diseases will set in as there are no chemicals to make up for the deficiencies.
I recall an article I wrote in this column on the Mineral Composition of the Human body, in that article, I defined nutrients as chemical substances that can be used by an organism to sustain its metabolic activities. These metabolic activities in humans and other animals include the provision of energy, growth, renewal of tissues, reproduction and lactation. Please note that the nutrient has to be a chemical. Examples of nutrients are: carbohydrates, amino acids, essential fatty acids, vitamins and trace elements.
In our study of herbal medicine, we shall always remember that the Genesis 1,29 Diet which is the main source of all our nutrients, contains the macro and micro-nutrients, essential and non-essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals, trace elements, enzymes, phytonutrients, fibre, detoxifiers, anti-inflammatory agents, antioxidants etc. It is complete with all that human beings need for the various reactions that take place in the body. Animal products do not contain these nutrients.
As I bring this article to a close, I need to state that the human body is a composition of chemicals, which are involved in numerous reactions with each other often and regularly. These reactions only get to completion if all the chemicals are present. When we have such a scenario, one will expect that such an individual will be healthy. If, on the other hand, there are deficiencies of chemicals, the reactions will be inconclusive and one disease or the other may arise. I take one more look at the Genesis 1,29 Diet; I am convinced that indeed food is our medicine and our medicine food.