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Herbs of the Bible

Updated: Jan 23, 2023

During my 20 years as a master herbalist, I have always been fascinated by the origination and history of certain herbs. I enjoy the research of each herb, the history, the medicinal value, and possible benefits.


One of the books that I have enjoyed is “Herbs of the Bible: 2000 years of plant medicine” written by James A Duke, PHD. Over 128 plants were a part of everyday life in ancient Israel and its Mediterranean neighbors. What wasn’t grown and harvested in the Holy land was imported.


James Duke research on each plant/herb brings awareness of medicinal value, ritual, cosmetic reference, and the roles they played in cultures around the world, from medicinal remedies, food, religious rituals, to beauty and health care.


Milk Thistle


“Thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field.” Genesis 3:18


These thistles grow around shrubs that are common in Samaria and other parts of Israel even today. In Europe, legend describes the leaves of the milk thistle plant was caused by a drop of the Virgin Mary’s milk, giving the plant the name Our Lady’s thistle.


For 2000 years, milk thistle has been used as a liver tonic and remedy. Milk thistle contains the silymarin compound known to prevent and correct liver damage. Many researchers through studies have shown the effectiveness of milk thistle for regenerating liver cells.


Research led by Commission E, the German expert panel that judges the safety and effectiveness of medicinal herbs for the German government, approved milk thistle seeds and seed extracts as supportive treatment for cirrhosis of the liver and other chronic liver conditions.


Milk Thistle Possible Benefits:

☑ Alcoholism

☑ Asthma

☑ Cirrhosis

☑ Kidney, urinary tract stones

☑ Hepatitis

☑ Jaundice

☑ Psoriasis


About the Author: James A Duke, is a best selling author who took an informative, detailed approach to the exploration of herbs or plants cited from the Bible. He is a distinguished ethnobotanist, who traveled exclusively through the Holy Land to research and explain the remarkable stories of how ancient remedies have been reborn as today’s popular alternative medicines.


Works Cited

Duke, James. Herbs of the Bible. Interweave, 1999.

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