Many Christians are suspicious of natural remedies but here Nicole Watt explains that they are all part of God's provision.
The damp autumn air bit my nose and cheeks as I tried to walk off the nausea I’d been experiencing the last few days. Pausing to take a breath, Turkey Tail mushrooms growing on a fallen log caught my attention. A foraging site I’d been following advised using them to make a medicinal tea. After the first cup, my nausea subsided. By the next day, it was gone. As I pondered the power of this free little fungi, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart: "Eden is still here. You just need eyes to see."
Before the fall, Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden surrounded by everything they ever needed or wanted. After their banishment, mankind had to hunt, gather, and farm. Along with the search for food, came the (re)discovery of plants and flowers’ medicinal powers. God would never leave us without provision even in our fallen state.
The Holy Spirit spoke to my heart: "Eden is still here. You just need eyes to see."
There are a slew of natural remedies available today, yet many Christians I meet are deeply cautious, even suspicious of treating their ailments outside the allopathic model. While it is always advisable to do diligent research and consult professionals for individual medical needs, what often fuels the concern is the belief that herbal medicine is associated with Occult and New Age practices and should be avoided by a follower of Christ. We’ve all seen images of witches casting spells around caldrons bubbling with ingredients found in nature. But is it true that herbalism is a form of demonic activity?
As a former New Age practitioner, I am familiar with the dark arts. I believe what the Bible says about spiritual warfare, and its many warnings against witchcraft, mediums, and spiritualism (Leviticus 19:31). However, I believe the devil played a trick on humanity by associating natural medicine and witchcraft.
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The fear and fervour of the medieval witch hunts levelled accusations for any basis including disabilities, poverty, jealousy, and misogyny. One often discussed reason was the knowledge of natural medicines. The haggard and misshapen appearance of these female healers who were thrown into dungeons and tortured for months, then paraded through their towns and villages accused of being witches is, in part, the inspiration for the grotesque and malevolent characterization of the witch or “hag” we see each Halloween.
From that time on, a growing separation in the medical model has taken place. Many herbalists worship nature, a goddess, or other gods and want nothing to do with Jesus due to this history. Christians avoid the use of God’s medicinal provision fearing it to be evil. It is equally grieving that many people deny Christ due to their association of him with religious zealots who murdered innocent people under the guise of godly duty as it is that God is not given the glory and gratification for his provision.
I believe the devil played a trick on humanity by associating natural medicine and witchcraft.
Kristen Smith of A Better Way to Thrive, said: “Herbalism gives us a chance to thank God graciously for providing us with healing plants. Pagans and people of other faiths may give that glory to a false god or nature, but their idolatry doesn’t make herbalism inherently sinful.” Indeed, Psalm 24:1 tells us: “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.”
Is it time to take back what the enemy has stolen? As Christians, we do not worship nature. But with His light to see, we can enjoy the natural medicines He gives as we do the sun, rain, and food – with gratitude and thanksgiving.