Crown of thorns, crown of thorns. The concept of common people around the world, the crown of thorns that was mockingly claimed on the head of Jesus Christ before the crucifixion is the ‘Crown of Thorns’. The red blood that appears with the crown of thorns is compared to shed blood. ‘Crown of Thorns’ has become a well-known name worldwide due to its resemblance to the historical description of the shrub’s appearance. However, it is not clear whether the crown on Christ’s head was actually a crown of thorns, made of Euphorbia milii.
Plum trees were predominant in Jerusalem at that time. Some think that it was the crown of plum-thorn whose scientific name is ‘Ziziphus spina-christi’ (Ziziphus spina-christi). However, the well-known writer of Scotland, Matthew George Easton, in his Bible Dictionary, disagreed with this. He noted that while Spina-christi had spines, its twigs were not flexible enough to form crowns. So he said, maybe this tree was a slightly different species, ‘Ziziphus lotus’ (Ziziphus lotus). There is no clear way to tell what tree the crown was made of in the distant past, and whether it was real or fake. Yet something is written in history, history never leaves empty space.
Whatever this relic was made of, it was moved from Jerusalem to Constantinople in 1063. The crown was later placed in Notre-Dame Cathedral under the supervision of a French king. It was rescued in 2019 during a fire in the cathedral and has been restored to the Louvre museum in Paris. However, this crown preserved in the museum is not complete, the thorn is also missing. It is believed that the French artisans donated the thorns and fragments of this crown to different countries of the world. A few pieces of the relic can now be seen in churches, cathedrals or museums in countries such as France, Italy, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Crown of Thorns is a native plant of Madagascar where it grows quite tall, about 6 feet. But those seen in America are only two to three feet tall. When this crown of thorns arrived in India cannot be precisely estimated. However, it has existed in the southern state of Kerala for hundreds of years. It is believed to have arrived in India aboard a ship from the Middle East or brought by Jews who settled in Kerala, where it was later preserved as a sacred memento.
This plant flowers all year round. The number of flowers is more in winter. In winter, these plants cannot survive below 10 °C, so they are rarely seen in temperate European countries or, if found, are carefully cultivated indoors in artificial environments. What appear to be illusionary flowers on crown-of-thorns are actually flowers. In many cases the flowers are very small and the plant has a panicle, which is seen in the garden vilas or Panchettia. The role of these anthers is to protect the flower and attract insects for pollination.This plant does well with little water, maybe once a week. Too much water can cause the roots to rot and die. Seedlings of this plant can be produced from cuttings. 6 or 8 fingers are cut from the top and transplanted. It can also be grown from tiny seeds when it is impossible to predict exactly what color the flowers will appear. But whatever color it is, it is regarded as a symbol of respect and good luck all over the world.
When the role of the rhizomes is over, they become lighter in color and sometimes turn green, which also carries out photosynthesis. A variety of hybrids have now been produced which can be seen in white, yellow, pink or mixed colors. The arrangement of the crown of thorns latticework often resembles the Chinese Yin Yang symbol. This symbol is made up of two black-and-white objects of the same size enclosed within a circle. It seems that they are closely related. This symbol is highly respected in the ‘Tai-Chi’ philosophy. In the 3rd century BC, this symbol represented the entire cosmology. Art, medicine and government were all influenced by this philosophy. In every object and action of the world there exist two opposite entities which constitute duality. War and peace, love and hate, night and day, birth and death, joy and sorrow are all opposites but complementary to each other. Balancing the two is key to success, and the key to Tai-Chi philosophy.
Several medicines have been prepared from the crown of thorns plant since ancient times. It has been used for hepatitis, bowel disease, skin disease, liver disease, tumor. Its sap is poisonous which is mild to humans but deadly to pets. This substance has an extraordinary use in killing snails. At one time, in about 60 countries like Sudan, Brazil, Libya, China, Indonesia, etc., Schistosomiasis (Schistosomiasis) or Bilharzia (Bilharzia) disease was spread which was as dangerous as malaria disease. Snails are carriers of ‘Schistosoma’ parasite. Its attack was highest among farmers in the Nile region of Africa. 6 to 15 mm long ‘Schistosoma larvae’ would enter the infected human body and lay eggs inside the body and weaken the vital organs of the body. Its existence in very ancient times is known by examining the bodies of Egyptian mummies. Although the existence of this disease is known in Bangladesh and India, it has not become serious. Lately its attack has been noticed on cattle in Rajshahi. The disease still affects 200 million people worldwide and kills 12-14 thousand people. Therefore, the control of snails is very important for the protection of global health, for which the role of crown of thorns is undeniable.