Billy, Mary and Mrs. Jones were in the kitchen baking cookies when Billy yelled, “Oww! Mommy, I burned my fingers and they hurt! Mommy, make them feel better!”
After putting Billy’s hand under cold running water, Mrs. Jones asked Mary to snap off a small leaf from the aloe vera plant on the window sill. Then Mrs. Jones dried Billy’s hand, squeezed some gel from the broken end of the aloe and began to gently rub the gel onto Billy’s fingers. “Does that feel better, Billy?”
“Wow, it doesn’t hurt so bad now! What did you do?” Billy asked.
With a smile, Mrs. Jones answered, “That should be ‘doesn’t hurt so badly’, Billy. Let’s sit down with some milk and cookies and talk.”
After getting everything together and sitting down at the table, Mrs. Jones explained to Mary and Billy, “The Bible tells us that when God was finished with all of His creation, there was no death, no disease and no pain anywhere in the universe. It was when man sinned and disobeyed God that death, pain, and sickness came into the world. However, God knew that man would sin, so even before we needed it, He had filled the earth with natural, helpful, chemical factories – plants.
“It is pretty amazing what God’s plants can do for us. Not only can they be used as food, but many can be used as medicine. That sticky gel from inside of the aloe plant that I put on your fingers, Billy, is a good example. Aloe plants are great for easing the pain from minor burns, small cuts or scrapes, and insect bites.
“Often medicines from plants work better and more gently than man-made medicines. Some plants can be used for medicine both inside and outside our bodies.
“Mary, will you please grab an onion, some garlic and ginger from that bowl on the counter?” Mrs. Jones asked. “Do you remember last week when your father was stung by a bee?”
“Oh yeah! He yelled real loud, Mom!” Mary giggled. “But then he did something real silly … cut open an onion and rubbed it all over the bite! Boy-o-boy, did he ever stink!”
“Well, he was a little smelly, but he knows that both garlic and onions can help take away the pain from some kinds of skin diseases, insect bites and stings, and even earaches. The onion juice helped take away the pain from the sting.
“Garlic does a lot of other good things too. When eaten, garlic helps protect us from getting a cold or the flu, and helps fight infections in the nose, throat and chest. Garlic also helps keep the heart, blood circulation, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels healthy. It is also good for getting rid of worms from the human body.”
“You mean worms like our dog had?” asked Billy.
“Yes, like those. People can also get worms and garlic helps get rid of them. But be careful not to feed a dog or cat garlic or onions because it can kill them!”
“What is that real ugly thing there, Mom?” asked Billy.
“That is the root of the ginger plant. Ginger has been used for a long time as a treatment for colds and flu. Ginger tea helps soothe a sore throat, coughing and even stuffy noses. Your father uses ginger to help keep him from getting motion sickness, especially when he goes fishing in the ocean. It has also been shown to help relieve heartburn, headaches and even slows the growth of some kinds of cancer. Ginger can even help with many other kinds of illnesses as well. Now we have only talked about four kinds of plants … there are actually thousands of plants that have medical uses!
“Do you see that one way God showed us He loves us was by giving us plants for food and cures for many pains and illnesses that we suffer in this world? Sin is the original cause of our pains and illness. The really good news is the way God showed His love for us … by giving us a cure for sin itself. We all sin so God sent His Son, Jesus, to cure us of our sin! Now that is awesome love!
“Let’s pray and thank God for plants and the medicines they give us and thank Him for the salvation He provides us through Jesus Christ the Savior.”
Note: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information in this article is intended for educational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Anyone suffering from any disease, illness or injury should consult with a physician.
Originally published in the November/December 2012 Kids Think and Believe Too! newsletter.