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Table 2: Plants mentioned in the Bible and known as medicinal in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia

From: Medicinal plants of the Bible—revisited

Species /
English name
Hebrew name /
Transcription /
Level of
identification
reliability
Source of evidenceBotanical status /
Origin
Additional
uses
Acorus
calamus L.* /
Sweet reed
קנה
Kaneh /
קנה הטוב
Kaneh hatov /
קנה בשם
Kneh Bosem
C
E: [65:68].
M: [20:10].
Im / EA
[77].
P
Allium cepa
L.* / Onion
בצל
Batsal
B
E: [64:78, 65:69,
70:85].
MI: Nedarim 9:8.
BT: Nedarim 66a.
M: [78:386, 79:20].
D (CEA)E
Allium porrum
L. * /
A. kurrat L.
חציר
Khatsir
A
E: [65:70, 69:96].
BT:Yoma 83b,
Berachot 44b, Gittin
69ab, Shabbat 110b
M: [79:20,
80:234,].
D / M- EWAE
Allium sativum
L. / Garlic
שום
Shum
A
E: [64:78, 65:70-71,
68:85,
71:38,42,70,80,88,
75:28].
BT: Gittin 69a,
Abodah Zara 28b.
M: [78: passim,
81:123,127].
D (SWA-CA).E
Anethum
graveolens*
Dill
NT: (Matthew
23:23. = Anise
(Pimpinella
anisum L. in King
James Version.
Dill (Anethum
graveolens L.) in
modern translation
[51:108].
E: [64:71; 68:85,
70: 99,372,373,375].
D / EE
BT:
Abodah
Zara 7:72,
Niddah 51a
Artemisia sp.לענה
La'anah
C
E: [65:80] (A.
absinthium).
M: [78 passim] (as
“wormwood”)
BT: Abodah Zara 29a.
I 
Boswellia* sp. /
Frankincense
לבונ
Levonah
A
E: [68:85,
70:69,373,375
(B. arterii)].
BT: Sanhedrin 43a.
M: [20:344,
82:251] (identification
not ascertained).
Im (EA)I
Capparis
spinosa L.
צלף
Tsalaf
C
E: [65:83].
BT: Shabbat 110a
M: [71:191].
InE
Cedrus libani
A. Rich.*/
Cedar /
ארז
Erez
A
E: [64:6, 69:88
75:26].
AR: [33].
M: [81:124] (oil);
[71:191,193, 72:89,
73:52, 78:52,78,
80:233,235, 81:121,
83:124] (resin).
Im (Lebanon;
B: II Samuel
5:11).
Re
Cinnamomum
zeylanicum
Nees*
and C. cassia
Blume \
קינמון
Kinnamon
C
E: [65: 88-91].
AR: [35,
33(?)].
M: [20:189-190].
Im (EA).S
Citrullus
colocynthis
(L.) Schrad. /
Colocynth,
Bitter gourd
פקועה
Paqqu'a
A
E: [65:91,68:85].
M: [81:122,124,
125].
InOil (BT:
Sabbath
71:26)
Citrus medica
L.* /Citron
פרי עץ הדר
Pri Ets Hadar
A
BT: Shabbat 109b.
AR: 5th - 4th centuries
BCE, [84, 85].
M: [20:312]
(Identification not
ascertained).
Im (EA)R
Commiphora
sp. /
Myrrah /
Myrrh
מור
Mor
B
E: King of Gezer
(Palestine, 14th BCE)
asked for myrrh gum
from Egypt for
Healing [29:29].
M: [86:156-157].
Im / EAr [73a]I / R / O /
P
Coriandrum
sativum L. /
Coriander
גד
Gad
A
E: [64:71, 65:94-95,
69:42,82].
M: [20:66, 71:192,
73:52, 78:283].
In / D (At the
Talmud period:
Shabbat 133a,
134a).
S
Crocus sativus*
L./ Saffron
כרכם
Karkom
A
E: [75:30, 69:42].
BT: Shabbat 110a, b,
Gittin 69a.
M: [73:52, 71:191].
Im (SWA)S / I
Cuminum
cyminum L.
/ Cumin
כמון
Kammon
A
E: [64:71; 65:96-98].
BT: Shabbat 110a,b,
133a, Gittin 69a,b,
Abodah Zara 29a.
M: [80:234, 78:
Passim, 81:123].
D /SWAS
Cupressus
Sempervirens
L. * / Cypress
ברוש
Brosh
C
Juniperus:
E: [64:29,72,
69:42,71,70,72,81
,88,80, 75:28]
(berry).
AR: [31] (J. phoenicea /
communis)
M: [80:233,234,235,
87:26], (wood) [73:52-,
53, 83:120],
(burasu);
68:19, 87:26,27].
Cupressus:
M: [80:233] (oil) [68:
191,193].
In / I 
Juniperus sp.*/Juniperערער
Ar'ar
C
Hordeum* sp. /
Barley
שעורה
Se'orah
B
E: [70:140ff, 372,
375].
BT: Gittin 69b, Shabbat
110b,
Pesachim 42b, Yoma
83b.
DE
Linum
usitatissimum
L. *
Flax
פשתה
Pishta
A
E: [65:116,
75:28; 70: 57– 62].
AR: [37] (?).
M: [20:113].
D/MED-SEA.F
Mentha* spp.
Mint
NT: Matthew
23:23.
E: [65:120;
75:28,29, 68:85;
69:66,86].
AR: [30 (?); 33(?)].
BT: Sabbath 140a,
Gittin 69b, Abodah Zara
29a (as "Ninia").
M: [81:120,126,
78 passim, 89:50].
In / DS
Myrtus
communis
L.* / Myrtle
הדס
Hadas
A
AR: 12-11th century
BCE, [30];
12th-6th centuries BCE
[31].
M: [20:300, 73:52,
80:233, 87:26].
InR /Ap
Nigella sativa
L.* / Black
cumin
קצח
Ketsakh
K
M: [90: 268, 91:223].D/ SWAS
Olea europaea
L. / Olive
זית
Zay'it
A
E: [65:128-129].
BT: Gittin 86a; Shabbat
134a; Abodah Zara
28a, Berachot 36a.
M: [79:18].
In.E / Oil
Phoenix
dactylifera
L.* / Date
Palm
תמר
Tamar
A
E: [68:83,84,
69:41,71,81].
BT: Ketubbot 10b,
Gittin 69a, Shabbat
110a.
In (SWA) / D
(BT: Ketubot
10b, Gittin 69b,
70a, Yoma 84a,
Sabbath 109b.
E
דקל
Dekel
A
Punica
granatum L.*
/ Pomegranate
רימון
Rimmon
A
E: [64:77, 65:183-141,
75:29].
M: [78 passim,
80:235].
D (SWA-SEE)E / R
Ricinus
communis
L. */
Castor Bean
(see
discussion)
קיקיון
Kikkayyon
C
E: [64:79, 65:142-143,
69:41,70,71
70:119,122,333, 373,
375].
BT: Gittin 69b (as
"Akika").
M: [20:130].
D /EAf [92]
BT: Cultivated at
the Talmud
period. Sabbath
21:71
Oi
Sinapis alba L.
Mustard
(Could be also
Brassica
nigra L.)
/ Mustard
KhardalחרדלE: [65:148, 68:85(?)].
BT: Berachot 40a
M: [70:90, 78:367,368,
93:142].
In / DE / S
Vitis vinifera
L. * / Grape
גפן
Geffen
A
E: Fruit: [70:
85,372,374];
Wine: [70:91].
BT: Wine: Shabbat 78a,
109ab,110b, Gittin 67b;
Ktubot 65b.
Vinegar: Eruvin 29b;
BT: Shabbat 109a
M: [79: 28].
D / EM-WAE / W
  1. Botanical status: In: Indigenous; Im: Imported; D: Domesticated/cultivated. If there is no specific reference, we followed [143].
  2. Origin: A: Arabia; CEA: Central East Asia; E: Europe; EAR: East Arabia; EA: East Asia; EAf: East Africa; M: Mediterranean; EM: East Mediterranean; NE: Near East; SEA: Southeast Asia; SEE: Southeast Europe; SWA: Southwest Asia. If there is no specific reference, we followed [143].
  3. Additional uses: Ap: Apotropaic; E: Edible; F: Fibre; I: Incense; M: Magic; P: Perfume/cosmetics; O: Ointment; Oi: Oil; R: Ritual; S: Spice, condiment; Re: Resin; T: Timber; W: Wine
  4. *Included in Jacob’s [2] list (see text). The categories of the reliability levels of the Biblical plants’ identification are according to Amar [8]. See above