Monday, March 14, 2016


Chimp eating an aspilia plant


Are you at peace, all my readers out there? I pray that you are and that you had a wonderful week. My week went well but I have a feeling that this coming week will be hectic as we are having a gathering of friends and family at my home on Saturday. Much preparation is still needed and I work three of the days so I only have two days to get things ready…yes I’m afraid it will be very hectic lol! Thank you Jesus that I am finally feeling better.

Speaking of healing, medicinal plants are originally the root (no pun intended lol!) of all medicines. Scripture tells us in Genesis 1 verse 11; “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, and herb yielding seed  and fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.” Since God created the earth He also made it possible for the vegetation to be created, including herbs, which is were
Koren mint has some antibacterial properties.
most medicinal plants come from. At one time in my life I apprenticed under a Lakota Medicine woman and learned of many medicinal plants, how to gather and make the medicines and how to apply them. I still value and use the lessons I learned. 

All of our modern medicine is either derived from or a chemical imitation of the properties of medicinal plants (including fungi and molds). Now how did the original plants obtain these properties? After all when God created them the world was still perfect, the fall of mankind had not yet taken place. Dr. Henry Morris writes in The Genesis Record A Scientific & devotional commentary on the book of beginnings, (Baker Books 1976) on page 63; “Each type of organism has its own unique structure of the DNA and can only specify the reproduction of that same kind. There is a tremendous amount of variational potential within each kind, facilitating the generation of distinct individuals and even of many varieties within the kind, but nevertheless precluding the evolution of new kinds! A great deal of ‘horizontal’ variation is easily possible, but no ‘vertical’ changes.” After the fall of mankind everything changed, competition and grazing/browsing pressures would have facilitated the need for plants to develop poisons and toxins (this is the horizontal variation that Dr. Morris is talking about). But these variations would have already been in the plants original DNA set there during creation. 

Jamba plant from Brazil used for toothaches
Some of these toxins and poisons can actually be used as medicine. That my friends, is a huge fingerprint of an Intelligent Designer. If vegetation just randomly evolved, harvesting plants for any purpose would be a disadvantage to those plants as there would be fewer available for reproduction. However a merciful, all-know Creator would have installed in the original DNA of plants the two-fold ability of plants to produce toxins and poisons that also could be utilized medicinally for mankind’s needs. 

But not just mankind’s needs’. Our Creator is far more kind and generous than that. Another enormous fingerprint of God is found in animals. Many animals actually use plants to help with their aliments! “Leaf-eating giraffes, for instance, have been known to scoop up a mouthful of dirt from termite mounds and swallow it down. Scientists call this behavior geophagy, which comes from two Greek root words that
essentially mean ‘eating dirt.’ The giraffes aren’t just playing with mud pies, though. The clay in the termite mound contains elements that coat the animals’ stomachs and give them relief. (It’s not too different from you gulping down some antacids to soothe a bellyache.) Those compounds may also neutralize plant and bacterial toxins in the giraffe’s diet.” 1

In New Guinea a researcher observed several species of birds “flocking to dirt exposed by a landslide. In a land covered with trees and grass, the rare exposed clay proved irresistible. But why would animals eat dirt? Well, dirt may in some cases contain minerals essential for health, or provide grit for gizzards (a digestive organ) to aid in grinding up food. In this case, the dirt provided chemicals that detoxify poisons in plants. 

“For some motherly animals, the expectation of new life is a
vital time to hunt for remedies. Pregnant sifaka lemurs sometimes munch the bark of fig and tamarind trees before giving birth. Compounds in the bark help encourage milk production and also get rid of nasty gut parasites (now that’s a combo meal).

“Pregnant elephants will eat a type of tree that helps induce labor. This type of behavior also helps explain the unusual craving that drove a pregnant elephant to tromp 17 miles to wolf down a special kind of tree. As the local researcher
continued rustling through the leaves for an answer, she found that Kenyan women in the area have long used tea from the same tree to induce labor. The elephant, which gobbled up the whole thing, apparently preferred a quicker method.”2  

And animals use plants for more than internal medicine. In Africa “during the rainy season especially, parasitic larvae commonly infect the digestive tracts of chimps, bonobos, and gorillas…Even with much tastier treats around, the apes will swipe bristly leaves from plants such as Aspilia in the sunflower family, carefully fold them up, and swallow them without chewing. While these leaves offer no nutritional value and usually aren’t a part of the ape’s diet, the Aspilia-eating isn’t just for fun. Instead,
these fuzzy leaves act much like Velcro in the apes’ stomachs and intestines. Parasites get trapped by the bristles and folds of the leaves and are swept out. Chemicals in the plant may also keep the parasites from overstaying their welcome.”3

Other animals also utilize plants to deal with annoying
insects. Capuchin monkeys will squash a certain variation of millipede then rub the smashed insect on their fur. Why? To prevent mosquito bites! Evolutionary speaking, it certainly isn’t to the millipede’s advantage to evolve with this chemical…so why does it have it? Starlings (a type of bird) weave wild carrot leaves into their nest to repel mites, grackles allow ants to crawl on outstretched wings to keep mites, mosquitos and other pests away, a behavior known as “anting”. 

Even insects protects themselves from other insects with plants! For example, “Monarch butterflies seem to know a useful plant when they see one. When a mother has been
infected by a tiny parasite that pokes holes in her skin, she carefully flits around to taste various milkweed plants. Her fussy behavior doesn’t mean she’s a picky eater. The evidence indicates that she’s looking for the tropical milkweed to lay her eggs on. When her baby caterpillars munch on the tropical milkweed instead of the more common swamp milkweed, the extra doses of plant steroids keep the parasites at bay for the next generation. The pesky fruit fly has a similar weapon in its arsenal when fighting off parasitic wasps, which lay their eggs in the flies. To deal with the infestation, the fruit flies eat foods rich in alcohol. While the alcohol doesn’t impact the flies, it often prevents the wasps from developing.”4

An ointment is made from this medicinal plant in Australia
In all of these cases the plant is at the disadvantage by containing any medicinal property. The medicinal plant in every case will have less reproduction than if “evolution” had selected for a toxin or poison that would kill or make ill any who used it. So why wasn’t this selected for? Because our loving and kind Creator chose to give medicinal plants (and insects) in their DNA toxins or poisons that would also benefit others (which goes totally against the theory of evolution). And the same goes for the animals. In most cases the medicinal treatment doesn't increase or prolong reproduction, just makes life a little more comfortable for the animal. So how does evolution factor into this? It doesn’t. Plain and simple.

Medicinal plants have the sweet aroma of a caring Intelligent Designer. We know Him as Creator, The Holy Trinity—the Father, Son who is Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, Protector and Provider. And He left a gigantic fingerprint in medicinal plants and the animals that use them!

Until next time, take care and God bless,
Willow Dressel



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