“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
Is it possible that your pharmacist could be a chimpanzee? That’s not such a silly question. Naturalists are discovering that many animals use a variety of plants and other items to treat their illnesses. Animals often know about the medicinal properties of plants when modern medicine has yet to learn about them.
Recently naturalists noticed that one of the monkeys in the African preserve under their care had become lethargic, lost her appetite and obviously had a severe gastric upset. A few hours after she became sick, she started munching on a native shrub that is not a normal part of the monkey’s diet. She chewed the plant, swallowed the bitter juice and spit out the pulp. By the next afternoon, her symptoms were gone and she was feeling better. After a little research, scientists discovered that local tribes use juices from the same plant to treat intestinal upset and loss of appetite.
Studies of the juices of a root that bears rub into their coats show that the bears are using an effective insecticide. Scientists have observed elephants, monkeys, birds and bears eating a variety of things that were not a normal part of their diet, only to discover that the things being eaten had medicinal properties. Most amazing is that the animals know how best to take their medicine. If a leaf is best swallowed whole to kill intestinal parasites, it will be swallowed unchewed!
Who other than the Great Physician Himself could have taught the animals this medicine?
Lord, You are the Great Physician of body and soul. I thank You that You have enabled the animals to find relief from disease. Teach me to consider my soul as well as my body when I think of good health for myself so that I seek that healing and health that only You can provide. Amen.
Cowen, Ron. 1990. “Medicine on the wild side.” Science News, v. 138. p. 280.