10 Herbs In The Bible And How We Can Use Them Today

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Herbs and natural remedies have been around since Creation and time began, just as essential oils have. People have been using them for thousands of years in a multitude of ways – namely, as medicine, self care, and food.

There is no doubt that they were also important in ancient times of the Bible, as Psalm 104:14 states that God provides us with “herbs for the service of man.” In fact, specific herbs are mentioned in the Bible at least 147 times! (Source)

Much of these plants have an oil counterpart, as well… which was further explained in my previous article on essential oils and the Bible.

If you want to read even more on my views of natural remedies and faith, check out this article.

SO Without further Adieu… Here are some popular and easily recognizable herbs, their biblical references, and what this means for us today:


“Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds.” John 19:39

In ancient times, aloe was used to embalm the dead (John 19:39-40), as perfume (Psalm 44:8; Proverbs 7:17), and for the skin, as a moisturizer, pain-reliever, and itch-reducer.

Today it is used for the above purposes still, yet more commonly known as a versatile first aid: for burns, wounds, and rashes. It is also known to aide in balancing blood sugar.

You can find my favorite aloe vera here.


“Take the following fine spices: 500 shekels of liquid myrrh, half as much of fragrant cinnamon.” Exodus 30:23

In ancient times, cinnamon was used primarily for anointing and perfume; it was costly and used sparingly.

Today it is used as an antifungal and for an upset stomach, along with primarily its culinary presence- especially in desserts!

Cinnamon has such a practical application, and can be found in many products, including :

Candida Cleanse, fights yeast and inflammation naturally, also promoting gut and liver health.

Feel Better Fast, supports the immune system, reduces inflammation, calms upset tummies, and relieves pain.

Digest-Support, gives relief from indigestion, gas, constipation, diarrhea, and bloating.

Cinnamon Leaf is also a very potent essential oil, used for colds, flu, digestive issues, menstrual complaints and more. It is believed to be one of the oldest plants on Earth!


“When he has leveled the surface, does he not sow caraway and scatter cumin?” Isaiah 28:25

In ancient times, cumin was known as a condiment, for its rich flavor as food, notably in bread and stews. It is referenced with mint (Matthew 23, see below) for being an herb used to pay tithe by the Pharisees, which shows it was seen as valuable.

Today, it is the same, along with known medicinal properties, as well. Cumin aids in digestion, promotes skin health, is antiviral and antibacterial, and is a high source of iron.


“We remember the free fish we ate in Egypt, along with the cucumbers, melons, leeks, and garlic.” Numbers 11:5

In ancient times, garlic was eaten as food and known for its medicinal purposes. It is mentioned only once in the Bible, see the above verse. It’s Hebrew word is shum, for its strong odor.

Today, its used as the same, along with its now-known immune boosting properties; for colds, flu, infections, and more.


“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin…” Matthew 23:23

In ancient times, mint was known as a culinary herb and used as medicine. It was also seen as valuable and used as currency;

Biblically, the paying of tithes in mint was observed in Mosaic law (Deuteronomy 14:22) – in the New Testament, mint was an herb the Pharisees used to pay tithe, and in reference to the Scripture noted, was seen as error, for the Pharisees cared more about the mint and tithe versus more weightier matters (see Matthew 23)

Today, mint is known for much of the same, as an aide for headaches, nausea, menstrual cramps, and more.

Lemon-Mint Deodorant, arrowroot keeps you dry and magnesium fights the stink, while lemon and mint essential oils add refreshing scents.

Natural Lip Balm, moisturizes nourishes and soothes by use of butters and beeswax, along with peppermint and spearmint essential oils.

Remineralizing Tooth Powder, activated charcoal and bentonite clay whitens and strengthens, along with spearmint and peppermint essential oils.


And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed…” Luke 17:6

In ancient times, mustard was known as food and in cooking. It’s little round seed was seen as small and insignificant, likely a factor in its being used in the referenced passage. It was a common garden herb in Palestine.

Today, it is most well known as the condiment, mustard, rather than the powder or seed.

Here are a few that may not be as recognizable or common today, but in the context of Scripture, many Christians recognize to some degree:


“…They shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.” Exodus 12:8

Bitter herbs is an umbrella term for things like horseradish, parsley, coriander, and endive. In ancient times, a variety of bitter herbs were used primarily as food.

Bitter herbs are perhaps well recognized for their part in Passover meal in Exodus, as an accompaniment to lamb.

Today, we use them for UTIs and digestive issues.

UTI Relief, supports the liver and soothes cramps, while promoting urinary tract health.

Digest-Support, gives relief from indigestion, gas, constipation, diarrhea, and bloating.


“Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” Matthew 2:11

In ancient times, frankincense was known as a ceremonial offering for kings and the like. In Ancient Egypt it was used for incense (aromatherapy), treating wounds, and easing arthritis. It is perhaps one of the most well known herbs and oils in the Bible for its part in Jesus’ birth.

Today, it is known as an anti-inflammatory and antidepressant, and is used primarily in beauty and pharmaceutical products.

Frankincense essential oil can be found here. Read more about oils in the Bible here.

Rejuvenate Me! Facial Serum, promotes healing of underlying skin damage while smoothing wrinkles, fine lines, pores, acne, and more.


“Then their father Israel said to them: ‘… take some of the best products of the land… and myrrh, pistachio nuts and almonds.'” Genesis 43:11

In ancient times, myrrh was known as an anointing oil, one used for royalty and purification purposes. It’s well known as a gift from the wise men to baby Jesus, just as frankincense.

Today, it is known as an antibacterial and antifungal herb. Myrrh is also routinely used in skin care, as perfume and in aromatherapy.

Myrrh essential oil can be found here. Read more about oils of the Bible here.


“Nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with all the trees of frankincense, myrrh and aloes, along with all the finest spices.” Song of Solomon 4:14

In ancient times, saffron was used for flavoring, dye, and stomach issues. It was a plant cultivated in Palestine, and is only referenced once in the Bible, in Song of Solomon (Song of Songs).

A single pound of saffron can cost as much as $5000, which makes it the worlds most expensive spice. This is because it takes an estimated 75,000-120,000 saffron flowers just to make one pound of spice. (Source) Today, the largest producer of saffron is Iran, although native to Southern Europe.

There have been a variety of uses for saffron over the centuries: gastrointestinal ailments in ancient Egypt, to promote wound healing in Ancient Rome, and even for pain relief in the 19th century. Today, saffron is known as an aide for PMS, anxiety, depression and weight loss.

Bottom line: As Christians, we can learn more about God as we learn more about what He created in nature. He created them for our benefit! It does us good to study herbs in the Bible, and to use herbs in our daily lives, where applicable!

Check out these resources to learn more:

Herbs of the Bible

Holy Herbs: Modern Connections to Ancient Plants

Medicinal Herbs in the Bible

So tell me, do you use herbs? Did you know about their uses in the Bible? What is your favorite benefit to them? I’d love to hear in the comments!

If you like this and want to hear more, consider sharing with your friends, signing up for my mailing list to gain access to our members-exclusive resource library, and joining our Simple Natural Mamas! Facebook community for learning, chat, and support!

~Katherine Newsom writes at Simple Natural Mama

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