The Essential Oils of the Bible

The Essential Oils of the Bible
It is mentioned in multiple historic writings that people used essential oils; that they have been one of the most important remedies in their lives. In the Bible, both New and the Old Testament, the word oil is mentioned 191 times. Also, there are over 600 references to essential oils and/or the aromatic plants from which they were extracted in the Bible. Essential oils were used in in religious rituals, for supporting health and for spiritual purposes. The most popular essential oils were Sandalwood, Cassia, Rosemary, Calamus, Myrrh, Cinnamon Bark, Thyme and Myrtle.

Sandalwood: The oil comes from the dry and non-functional central core of the Evergreen three; the other name for Sandalwood is Aloes. The Sandalwood has a sweet and rich scent. The Sandalwood oil was mentioned 4 times in the Old Testament (Scriptures: Numbers 24:6; Psalms 45:8; Proverbs 7:17; Song of Solomon 4:14) and only one time in the New Testament. It was used for meditation, in religious ceremonies, for perfumes, as aphrodisiac, and for embalming. Today, sandalwood is used for skin care and urinary tract infections. Also, sandalwood stimulates release of the melatonin, a hormone that control sleep and wake cycles.

Cassia: The oil comes from the dried unripe fruits, the buds have warm, slight and sweet aroma, very similar to cinnamon, but definitely more pungent. Cassia is one of the five ingredients in in the holy anointing oil, and it was very popular among the people of Israel. Cassia was mentioned three times in Old Testament (Exodus 32:24, Psalms 45:8 and Ezekiel 27:19). Cassia is also the name of the Job’s second daughter (Job 42:14). Furthermore, the cassia oil as a medical remedy was mentioned in The Ebers Papyrus, an ancient book of recipes. Cassia oil was used for the preparation of the holy anointing oil, and as a very popular perfume (together with myrrh and aloes. Today, cassia oil is very effective in treating arthritic, it is anti-microbial and can reduce high fever.

Calamus: The oil is extracted from the calamus grass, and it has a very nice aromatic smell, a little bit sweet but pleasant. Calamus is also one of the five ingredients in in the holy anointing oil, and it was mentioned three times in the Old Testament (Exodus 30:23, Song Solomon 4:13-14, Ezekiel 27:19). In the ancient times calamus oil was used in the worshiping rituals and as an aromatic stimulant. Today, calamus oil is effective in treating muscle pain and skin infections.

Cinnamon: The oil is extracted from the inner bark which is peeled from the 5 year old tree. The finest oil comes from the youngest branches. The oil have a very sweet, aromatic smell, the color of the oil is golden yellow. In Ancient times cinnamon was imported from Asian countries, mainly through Arabia. The cinnamon is second most important ingredients in in the holy anointing oil and it is mentioned four times in the Bible (Exodus 30:23 Proverbs 7:17 Song of Solomon 4:14; Revelation 18:13). In the ancient times cinnamon oil was used for religious rituals and as a perfume. Today, cinnamon oil has many health-promoting benefits, it is one of the most powerful antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antifungal oils. Also, cinnamon oil can help keep blood sugar stable and prevent chronic fatigue and moodiness.

Myrrh: The oil is extracted from dried Myrrh three; the taste of the oil is very bitter and not very pleasant, the word “myrrh” comes from the word “murr”, which means bitter on Farsi. Myrrh oil was one of the most precious gifts offered by the three wise men to the baby Jesus. It was mentioned ten times in the Bible (Genesis 37:25; 43:11; Exodus 30:23; Esther 2:12; Psalms 45:8; Proverbs 7:17; Song Solomon 1:13; Matthew 2:11; Mark 14:3, 4; Mark 15:23; Luke 7:37; John 11:2). Myrrh oil is definitely most important ingredient in in the holy anointing oil; it was also used as holy oil in different religious rituals and ceremonies. The oil was also used for wound healing, and fever. Today, oil is mostly used for aroma therapy and for massages. According to some sources, myrrh oil work very well against coughs and sore throat.

Rosemary: The oil is extracted from herb Rosmarinus officinalis, the oil has a very clear and fresh herbal smell, and the taste is sweet and refreshing. Rosemary oil was considered sacred among many cultures especially among Hebrews. It was also used in many ancient cultures to ward of evils spirits, in religious rituals and as a protection from the plague. Joseph used few drops of rosemary oil, to protect infant Jesus from bugs in his crib. Today, the rosemary oil is mostly used as an antibacterial, analgesic, stress relief and antifungal remedy. The rosemary oil is a disinfectant and is often used as a mouthwash.

Thyme: The oil is extracted from thyme, a member of the mint family. The taste of the oil is very fresh, similar to the taste of the eucalyptus. During the ancient times, the thyme was the herb that grew in the hills near Jerusalem and it was widely cultivated. The oil was used during funerals, and during the rituals of sacrifice. Also, the thyme oil was used for love potions on St. Luke’s day. It was also used for cough syrups and a tasty tea made of sage and thyme, which was very good for upper respiratory illnesses. Today, the Thyme oil is one of the strongest antioxidants, and it is as a perfect natural remedy for the common cold.

Myrtle: The oil is extracted from the flowers, leaves, and stem of the plant called Myrtle. The taste of the oil is sweet and lemony. In the Bible time, the Myrtle oil was widely used in purification and funeral ceremonies. Also, future mothers massaged their bodies for protection against infectious diseases; they also believed myrtle oil will protect their unborn children from curses. In other cultures, the essential oil of myrtle was used to help ease digestive issues and respiratory illnesses. Today, myrtle oil is commonly used to ward off mosquitoes and other insects. Also, oils id used by aroma therapists for skin health and respiratory diseases.

Please send us your thoughts on Essential Oils and their use in Biblical times.



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