Recovering The Lost Art of Biblical Medicine
Mining New York Times bestseller The Maker's Diet for nuggets of wisdom.
October 9, 2013 - 10:00 am
Trust me, by the time an Amish man peddles to the phone shed, to call and tell you his wife is in labor you’d better hurry.
About a lifetime ago, I had the privilege of assisting a wonderful midwife that served the nearby Amish community. Not all Amish have their babies at home. Those who did seldom had any trouble.
With flashlights in hand and heavy medical bags over our shoulders we would make our way through the dark up to the big house. Slipping in through the kitchen door we still needed our flashlights to make our way around the dimly lit house. We were silent as mice, for fear of waking a houseful of sleeping children. Once in the bedroom, with little said, we would begin to set up the birthing supplies.
The rooms were lit by kerosene lamps, and usually heated by propane or wood stoves. The smell of wood burning and the warm glow always made their homes feel so peaceful.
Part of my job entailed keeping the mother comfortable. I carried a bag of tricks in the form of essential oils for just that purpose. Soon we would add the aroma of Lavender, Frankincense and Ylang-ylang.
A Thermos lunch bucket filled with hot water spiked with oils and several warm washcloths, kept fragrant, healing hot compresses close at hand. A cloth handkerchief doused with just the right combination of oils, tucked tightly in the laboring mother’s hand, took the place of modern pain relievers.
The chapter “Biblical Medicine: Herbs, Essential Oils, Hydrotherapy, and Music Therapy“ in Jordan S Rubin’s book The Maker’s Diet, took me back to those simple rooms and peaceful deliveries.
It seems so odd, I know. We are just so far removed from the simplicity, and bounty of creation it sounds foreign:
“Send someone from our Western civilization for medicine, and they will head for the nearest pharmacy. Send someone from East Asia or Central and South America (who has not been “Westernized”) for medicine, and they would more likely head for the nearest herb garden or herbal outgrowth in the wild. They may return with herbs or essentials oils extracted from herbs of the field.”
The good news is you don’t need to give birth to benefit from essential oils or be a midwife to learn to use them.
Here are my favorite blends for pain, sleep and concentration.
Did you know that if you place a drop of cinnamon or peppermint oil on the bottom of your foot, you could taste it in your mouth in less than 60 seconds? According to the author, it’s true because the oils are composed of tiny molecules capable of passing through the “blood-brain” and skin barrier allowing travel to every part of the body within minutes.
To get you started here are some of my favorites:
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is your basic and most versatile oil. Use it before bed to relax. It’s the base ingredient in many blends.
Ylang-ylang (Cananga odorata) Soothing comforting use for relaxation. This is my favorite oil, mixed with Myrrh makes a wonderful lotion.
Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea) Helps with focus and balance.
Frankincense (Boswellia carterii) Relaxing, used for focusing and centering.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) Is used for purifying, uplifting.
Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) Has revitalizing and uplifting qualities.
Peppermint (Mentha piperita) One of the oldest and most highly regarded herbs.
Sandalwood (Santalum album) Use it to uplift and relax.
I’m not a doctor, and I don’t even play one on TV. So, I can only tell you what I do with my oils. Hopefully it will get you started. These oils have many more uses than what I’ve listed here. Simple searches will yield plenty of blends to suit your needs. Here are a couple of mine.
First let’s add Eucalyptus. When someone in the house is sick with a cold and has congestion I would make a eucalyptus steam tent. All you need is a few drops of eucalyptus oil and some steaming water in a bowl. Throw a towel over your head and the bowl–inhale.
A few drops of lavender on a pillow before bed is very relaxing.
A blend of Ylang-ylang, Myrrh and Clary Sage is wonderful in a diffuser to help concentrate while working.
To ease pain, my blend is 7 drops lavender, 3 drops Frankincense, 2 drops Clary Sage. Jasmine or rose can also be added. This can be put in a diffuser to fill a room, or put in a carrier oil, such as Almond oil, and use it like a lotion.
Aromatherapy- A Lifetime Guide To Healing With Essential Oils has been my go to book for many years. I highly recommend it.
The best part is just enjoying the aromas, and experimenting. Just think, with just a couple of clicks, you can have oils once reserved for royalty.
What is your favorite blend? Do you prefer a diffuser or carrier oil?