Back in Bible Times When People Got Sick or Had a Fever, Did They Take Plants That Were Around Them and Make Medicine Out of Them?

From Issue: Discovery 1/1/2003

Dear Bethany,

That is a great question. We know that people in Bible times could not go down to the nearest drugstore to have their prescription filled, so how did they get medicine? They made their own medicines, using many different things, including plants. In 2 Kings 20:1-7, King Hezekiah was very sick with an infected boil, and was about to die. He prayed that God would save him, and God sent the prophet Isaiah to put a “lump of figs” on the boil. After Isaiah put the figs on the boil, Hezekiah was healed. We know that God healed Hezekiah, but He used a plant to do it.

Plants were also used in Bible times to help prevent diseases from occurring. In Numbers 19, God told the Israelites to put a plant called hyssop into the water that they used to wash anyone who had touched a dead body. Today, we know that hyssop contains a germ-killing substance called thymol (the same substance that is found in mouthwash). God used the hyssop plant to help keep the Israelites from spreading disease.

Even today, about half of all medicine contains chemicals that come from plants. God, in His infinite wisdom, has supplied us with many wonderful plants that are able to keep us healthy and strong. Let’s remember to thank Him for all that He does for us.


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