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Recovering The Lost Art of Biblical Medicine


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.