Types and uses of Bible plants

Types and uses of Biblical Plants

In the Holy Land, gardens were created for a number of different reasons:

· There were courtyard gardens (e.g. the Royal Gardens in the story of Esther)

· The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were built under the direction of King Nebuchadnezzar II for his favourite wife

· Gardens were built using sweet smelling shrubs of aloes, cinnamon, frankincense and myrrh, and covered arbours were made to give shade so that people could sit and eat meals in comfort

· Garden areas were generally planted with useful herbs, bushes and trees. Herbs in Biblical times were used for a range of practical purposes.

For medical uses: anise, caraway, cardamom, cassia, coriander, fennel, garlic, mustard, onions, poppy seed, saffron, sesame and thyme.

As cosmetic ointments: myrrh, aromatic oils, calamus, frankincense.

As a perfume: Spikenard or nard was an expensive perfumed oil obtained from the leaves of a desert grass.

For cooking: Basil, chervil, cumin, coriander, dill, marjoram, mint, mustard, oregano, poppy seed, saffron and tarragon.

For embalming: A body was preserved by cleansing the interior of the abdomen and rinsing it with fragrant spices like anise, cassia, cinnamon, cumin, marjoram and myrrh.

For basic food: Wheat, barley, olives, apples, almonds, walnuts, onions, leeks, cucumbers, melons, lentils, grape vines, pomegranate, date palms.