Essential Oils in the Bible

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The first time I heard someone talk about essential oils for health I was skeptical. Sure, sure, a plant derivative can heal certain ailments {insert eye roll here}. What’s even more hilarious is that people want to cite the BIBLE as a reference! Seriously? Essential oils in the Bible?

You see, I thought essential oils were mostly a “spiritual” thing – spirit as in spirits other than the Holy Spirit, y’all. I know anointing oil is mentioned in the Bible, but not “essential oils” or the mention of plant essence.


So, in true fashion, I did some digging. Because having kids means a lot of aches and pains. You know, the sleepless nights when teeth come in {teething is the bain of my existence!} or the many, many scrapes and bruises. Giving your kids Tylenol and Motrin every 4 hours just seems a bit much.

The first oil I purchased was some cheap stuff from Walmart, so needless to say the results were not spectacular.

But then I found a blog, Proverbial Homemaker and she talked about essential oils. Using them to help focus, clean, etc. And I ordered from Rocky Mountain Oils and was hooked.

But I still wanted to know if the oils held any Biblical significance, or if I was treading into the murky waters of the “spiritual”.

A quick Google search helped determine that, while essential oils are not actually in the Bible, plants were actually used medicinally. They didn’t have essential oils simply because the process(es) used to extract the oil had yet to be invented.

What they did have, however, were the plants that helped with various ailments

And while anointing oil was usually olive oil, which doesn’t carry much medical value of its own, when these plant leaves and extracts were blended with it, a healing concoction was created. Many scholars believe this is why prayer for healing usually called for oil.

Now, let me say that this book is written by someone who knows her stuff, she’s Catholic and holds some different views about different things than I do. However, the use of oils for natural healing is made evident in this book and is super informative.

So if you’re looking for a good resource on oils in the Bible, this book is a good place to start.

What better authority than God’s word to determine what’s best for our health?

It only makes sense that God gave us natural cures to help heal our bodies. Some people disagree, and opinions vary greatly on how much to rely on oils. I can tell you from experience that eucalyptus essential oil helped tremendously with my sciatica as it helps reduce inflammation.

Lavender helps relax and soothe, and peppermint helps an upset stomach. You’ve seen the hundreds of recipes online for disinfecting with essential oils, and gift guides for bath salts and soaps.

But here’s what I like best about essential oils: for the cost of a co-pay (or less, depending on the oil!) you get several treatments. Do your research, of course, and find information from credible sources, but some oils have antibacterial and antiseptic properties and can help with skin infections. They usually have a long shelf life, and can be used over time.

Better yet, there isn’t one person or company who sits back and collects a big fat paycheck off questionable medication. While improper use can be detrimental to your health, proper usage and informed choices are pretty much harmless.

Essential Oils in the Bible, and how you can use them today

What do you do with essential oils?

Essential oils also have many uses, and you can benefit from them in different ways. Sometimes direct inhalation (i.e. sniffing straight from the bottle) is best. Other times you might want to soak a cotton ball and place it somewhere in the home. Diffusers have become increasingly popular and have the added bonus of fragrancing the room.

What are the essential oils in the Bible?

Since essential oils aren’t mentioned specifically, scholars have determined what plants were used, and their modern oil counterparts today. Some you might have heard of are:

  • Aloes (Sandalwood)
  • Cinnamon
  • Coriander
  • Frankincense
  • Mint (Spearmint)
  • Myrrh
  • Spikenard
  • Wormwood

Each of these has a specific purpose, and while not every oil is deemed safe for use today, they certainly had their purpose. For example, wormwood has been identified as an oil to not use, because it can cause death. Here’s what the Bible has to say about it:

“And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.” (Revelation 8:11)

You know the story of the wise men bringing baby Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These would have been a much appreciated gift for a new baby (and mommy!) because of the amazing properties of frankincense.

To read more about all 30 oils of the Bible and their uses, check out the book.

Today, essential oils have many, many uses.

From headaches to tummy aches, disinfectant to laundry detergent, essential oils can be used in almost any area of the home. They also make a great gift for new moms, the stressed worker-bee, or anyone else you might need to buy for.

What are your favorite essential oils?



Essential Oils in the Bible, and how you can use them today

Looking for Bible Study resources? Check out what I recommend here.

October 11, 2017
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