By Guan Liang
In my childhood, whenever I got a feverish cold, my mother would pull up a handful of houttuynia cordata on the ridges between the fields and decoct it for me. Not long after I drank the decoction despite its pungent smell, I would feel much better. At that time, I knew nothing about houttuynia cordata except that it could be used to alleviate fever and that the fishy taste it left in my mouth would linger there for a long time. In the evening I could still taste the decoction of it which I drank in the morning. For this reason, I had little liking for it.
It was after I saw another wonderful efficacy of houttuynia cordata that I didn’t so dislike it. I remember that time my mother accidentally cut her hand while she was harvesting rice and the wound was bleeding. She picked several leaves from the houttuynia cordata, rubbed them, and pressed them onto the cut expertly. Soon the bleeding stopped and after dressing the wound, she continued with her work. Only when I saw this did I know that houttuynia cordata’s heart-shaped leaves could actually stanch bleeding and reduce swelling. And this has remained in my memory ever since.
Over thirty years had passed. In the fall of 2016, I moved to a small town. A friend of mine, seeing me have a bad cough, gave me a packet of houttuynia cordata and told me that it was a natural remedy, which could bring many benefits but no harm to people, and that I could drink water infused with it in normal times. But when I thought of how houttuynia cordata tasted, I didn’t feel like trying it. Therefore, I put it aside and ignored it. In the spring of 2017, I accidentally saw that on an area of three or four square meters next to my yard, there grew some plants with heart-shaped leaves, looking kind of like houttuynia cordata. I picked a leaf from them and smelled it to see if it was really houttuynia cordata. The minute I smelled it, I was hit by a strong smell, which was exactly the same as that of the houttuynia cordata in my hometown. At that moment, for some unknown reason, I suddenly felt the smell so intimate and comfortable. This aroused my interest in houttuynia cordata, and I searched the Internet for information about it. I learned that it’s a natural antibiotic, able to reduce inflammation and destroy bacteria, and that it’s also an ingredient of a great many medicines. These findings made me look at the little houttuynia cordata with new eyes.
Afterward, once when I was flicking through an old medical book, I stumbled upon a passage of words about houttuynia cordata: “It has the effects of clearing heat and dissipating carbuncle. … It is anti-bacterial and possesses strong inhibitory effects on Staphylococcus aureus. Its decoction with 0.0025 wt% concentration still can inhibit the growth of bacteria. It’s utilized for the treatment of pulmonary abscess and lobar pneumonia. As for those who have a fever and cough with stinking and thick sputum, the mix of houttuynia cordata and bellflower will help them eliminate phlegm. …” When I saw these effects of houttuynia cordata, I was thrilled, because I had been afflicted with pneumonia since my childhood. I frequently coughed up purulent sputum and there were several times when I even coughed up blood. Later, after an examination, I was diagnosed with lobar pneumonia. For the sake of having my disease cured, I had tried many medicines, medicinal paste, and got quite a few injections, which cost me a lot of money, but none of them worked. In late July of 2017, I suffered an attack of pneumonia again. It lasted for days and caused me to lose over 5kg of weight. The disease really brought me an awful lot of trouble. So when I learned about the use of houttuynia cordata, I thought: “It is so healthful and could help inhibit the growth of bacteria and my friend also recommended it. So, though the bout has passed and I’m not feeling anything wrong with me now, it is still a good idea to daily drink the infusion of it.” And that’s what I did. After a few days, I achieved very good results: I clearly found myself more energetic than before, and the feeling that there was always sputum in my throat was gone. More surprisingly, before, my gums would bleed almost every time I brushed my teeth, but now, that actually never happened again. Since then, I persevered in drinking the infusion of houttuynia cordata every day, and the disease I had suffered from for years was nearly cured. When I experienced these miraculous effects of houttuynia cordata, I shared it with the friends around me and they benefited a lot from houttuynia cordata as well. I never imagined that this little plant had actually so many uses. It was really amazing! Thus I developed a liking for houttuynia cordata from then on.
One day, I saw the following words in a book: “Among all things, God created some plants, animals, and all sorts of grasses that are particularly of use for taking care of injuries or treating illnesses in humans. … For instance, if you get a fever, catch a cold, suffer an injury from physical work, a stomach ailment from eating the wrong thing, or develop certain diseases due to living habits or emotional issues, such as vascular diseases, psychological conditions or diseases of the internal organs—there are corresponding plants to cure all of these. There are plants that improve blood circulation to remove stagnation, relieve pain, stanch bleeding, provide anesthesia, help people recover normal skin, eliminate blood stasis in the body, and eliminate toxins from the body. In short, they can all be used in daily life. They are of use to people and have been prepared by God for the human body in case of need. Some of these were allowed by God to be inadvertently discovered by man, while others were discovered from certain special phenomena or by certain people prepared by God. Following their discovery, mankind would pass them down, and then many people would know about them. This way, God’s creation of these plants has value and meaning. In short, these things are all from God and were prepared and planted when He created a living environment for mankind. All of these things are very necessary. … God worked in secret. When man had not yet come into this world, before coming into touch with this mankind, God had already created all of this. Everything He did was for the sake of mankind, for the sake of their survival, and for the consideration of mankind’s existence, so that mankind can live happily in this rich and plentiful material world God prepared for them, not having to worry about food or clothes, and not lacking in anything” (“God Himself, the Unique VIII”). Pondering these words, I truly appreciated God’s love and care for us mankind. God was really considerate toward us. Before He created us, He had had thoughtful consideration and made careful preparation for our existence. Not only did He prepare for us our daily bread such as all kinds of grains, vegetables, and fruits, but also, considering that we would have various trouble in our living environment, He prepared for us some plants of special use to cure all kinds of illnesses that we might get. And houttuynia cordata is just one of them. God supplies us with everything in obscurity, yet He has never claimed credit. Instead, He led some people to discover the medical value and special functions of these plants. Thinking of this, I felt even more so that God’s provisions and care for man are really meticulous and His love is so practical.
When I was filled with gratitude toward God, I thought back to how I disliked and ignored houttuynia cordata in the past, and then a passage of words in that book came into my mind: “In short, when it comes to all things, man should defer to the authority of the Creator, which is to say, defer to the order appointed by the Creator to all things; this is the wisest attitude. Only an attitude of searching for, and obedience to, the original intentions of the Creator is the true acceptance and certainty of the authority of the Creator. It is good with God, so what reason does man have to find fault?” (“God Himself, the Unique I”). God used His unique authority and power to create all things. They are utterly perfect and behind each of them are God’s wise deeds and His wondrousness and unfathomableness. However, because I was short-sighted, ignorant of God’s wondrous sovereignty and the value of what He had created, I treated them based on my own preferences. When my friend recommended houttuynia cordata to me, I contemptuously disregard it. It was really arrogant, foolish, and ignorant of me to do that. I never expected that more than thirty years later the houttuynia cordata which I didn’t like would actually cure the disease that had bothered me for over 20 years. This made me truly feel God’s deep love for me.
Every single thing God created has its own value. Only when we observe all things created by God with a humble and searching heart can we experience His authority and power as well as see His wondrous deeds in every aspect of our life. Just as God’s words say: “His deed is everywhere, His power is everywhere, His wisdom is everywhere, and His authority is everywhere. Each of these laws and rules is the embodiment of His deed, and every one of them reveals His wisdom and authority” (“Man Can Only Be Saved Amidst the Management of God”).