“And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.”
Researchers searching for new medicines have been scouring the jungles of the world. Many of our new and most powerful drugs have come from Old and New World jungles. Sometimes researchers learn something about these medicines from local healers, who already seem to know how to use them.
One of the most recent discoveries took place in the jungles of the African continent. Researchers from the University of Lausanne in Switzerland found out that traditional medicine practitioners used a yellow substance to treat syphilis and leprosy and to kill termites. They learned that the substance comes from the root of a tree that is common across Africa’s jungles. The researchers collected some samples to see if the yellow substance might actually have compounds medicine could use. They found a compound that kills microbes and fungi. The scientists concluded that the compound is manufactured by the tree to protect its roots from dangerous fungi in the soil. However, they are going to have to learn to make the compound in the laboratory. Researchers say that six trees would have to be killed to harvest just 50 grams of the new antibiotic.
Our merciful God knew that we would fall into sin and become subject to illness. So when He made the creation, He gave us many plants that can provide medical help if we explore that creation as He commanded. However, these medicines don’t treat the underlying cause of our problems – sin. So He sent His Son to save us from the guilt of our sin.
Lord, I thank You for earning forgiveness and salvation for me. Amen.
Science News, 3/4/00, p.159, “Rooting for new antimicrobial drugs.” Photo: Bobgunnia madagascariensis, the tree that produces the yellow substance that kills microbes and fungi. Courtesy of J.H.Kirkbr. and Wiersema. http://www.westafricanplants.senckenberg.de/root/index.php?page_id=14&id=207