Aroma and the bible There are numerous references to essential oils or, the plant they are derived from in the Bible. Some precious oils, such as frankincense, myrrh, galbanum, rosemary, hyssop, cassia, cinnamon and spikenard were used for anointing and healing of the sick.
The three wise men (magi) brought gold, frankincense and myrrh to the Christ child. Clinical research shows that frankincense and myrrh are two of the most powerful immune-stimulating substances available, containing very high amounts of immune-stimulating properties. Perhaps the three wise men were wise in ways beyond our knowledge.
Purge me with Hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow Psalm 51:7 From the Hebrew word, Ezob.
Hyssop was one of the bitter herbs mentioned in the Old Testament; it has an ancient reputation for use in purification for sacred places and sacred people and was offered to Jesus on the cross with a sponge of vinegar. Reputed to be a cleansing herb and is recommended to cleanse any area where you may meditate or use for healing purposes.
Hyssop – Hyssopus Officinalis Hyssop is anti-inflammatory anti-infectious anti-allergic cicatrisant digestive emmenagogic Main chemical constituents: Ketones <55%, monoterpenes 25% It is used to treat bronchitis, asthma, hay fever, coughs and colds, emphysema and influenza. It is effective for bruises, wounds, scars and eczema, loss of appetite, asthma and scanty, irregular periods. Can regulate blood pressure.
Then took Mary a pound of ointment of Spikenard, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair. John 12:3
Spikenard is mentioned in the Bible in the Songs of Solomon. The Hebrew word is Nard and means light. Mary anointed Jesus's feet before the last supper. One of the most costly and precious of aromatics in ancient times, used only by priests, kings, or high initiates. Spikenard – Nardostachys jatamansi
Spikenard is Anti-inflammatory bactericidal deodorant fungicidal laxative sedative tonic. Good for allergies, inflammation, mature skin, rashes, insomnia, nervous indigestion, migraine, stress and tension. Main chemical constituents: sesquiterpenes <65%, alcohols
And when they came into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and Myrrh. Matthew 2:11
Myrrh was also presented at the death of Christ: …… brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, then took the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen cloths with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. (The Gospel according to Saint John) Also mentioned in the Song of Solomon (a love poem)
Myrrh – Commiphora myrrha Anticatarrhal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiseptic, astringent, balsamic, carminative, cicatrisant, emmenagogue, expectorant, fungicidal, revitalizing, sedative, stimulant, stomachic, tonic, uterine, vulnerary. Athlete’s foot chapped and cracked skin, eczema, mature complexions, ringworm, wounds, wrinkles, arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, catarrh, coughs, gum infections, gingivitis, mouth ulcers, sore throat, voice loss, diarrhoea, dyspepsia, flatulence, haemorrhoids, loss of appetite, amenorrhoea, thrush, colds. Main chemical constituents: Sesquiterpenes 39%, alcohols 40%
And the LORD said unto Moses, Take unto thee sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum; these sweet spices with pure Frankincense: of each shall there be a like weight: Exodus 30:34
In ritual ceremonies, the smoke of frankincense is both an instrument of meditation with the divinity and a protective screen which maintains a safe distance from God, whom no mortal man shall see and live. (Leviticus 16, 12-13 and Exodus 33,20) Muslim inhabitants of the UAE say that a dirty smelly body is vulnerable to evil, the scented person is surrounded by angels. They believe that the most useful scent for attracting angels and dispelling evil spirits is Frankincense.
Frankincense is anti-catarrhal anti-depressive anti-infectious anti-inflammatory healing to the skin immuno-stimulant. It is most often used for grief and depression, having remarkable effects on clients who have been in depressive states for a long period of time. The vaporisation of the oil in the sickroom helps to prevent the spread of disease. Main chemical constituents: Monoterpenes (40%), some ketones, alcohols and esters
Other religious oils
Myrtle – mentioned in Isaiah 55:13
Cedarwood – in Psalm 104:16 Calamus – an ingredient in holy anointing oil
Galbanum – known as Moses favourite oil
Cassia – in holy anointing oil given to Moses
Benzoin – known as onycha
According to Dr David Stewart, the Bible refers to essential oils or aromatic plants and products 1035 times, with at least 33 Bible reference to essential oil-producing plants. Sometimes the name of the plant is used interchangeably with the oil the plant produces (because the plant was used primarily as an oil). The terms "fragrances," "odours," "ointments," "aromas," "perfumes," or "sweet savours" are also used to indicate aromatic (essential) oils. Proverbs 27:9, Isaiah 61:3 and Hebrews 1:9 refers to "the oil of joy" or "gladness" and mentions that oils "rejoice the heart."