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Essential Oils Of The Bible (That You Still Can Use Today)

Essential Oils Of The Bible (That You Still Can Use Today)

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Long before pharmaceutical drugs existed, people used herbs and other natural substances to support their health and to heal from diseases.  Some of the most potent natural medicines that people have used for thousands of years are essential oils.

Below is a list of essential oils that were commonly used during biblical times and were referenced in Scripture. For information on many of the uses of Frankincense and Myrrh essential oils that were discussed in the Christmas story, see our previous article Frankincense and Myrrh: Modern-Days Uses for the Wise Men’s Gifts.

Spikenard (Nardostachys jutamansi)
DescriptionSpikenard oil is steam distilled from the roots of the plant.Origin: India
Historical UsesPerfume. Medicine. Mood enhancerSkin tonic

Burial preparation


Biblical ReferencesSpikenard was highly revered in the Middle East during the time of Christ, and is mentioned in John 12:3 as the “nard” oil that Mary anoints Jesus with prior to His crucifixion.Biblical References: Song of Solomon 1:12, 4:13-14; Mark 14:3; and John 12:3.
Body Systems AffectedEmotions, skin
PropertiesAntibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory.
Modern UsesAllergy relief, cardiovascular health, emotional balance, migraines, nausea, allergic skin reactions, skin health, Candida, flatulence, indigestion, insomnia, menstrual difficulties, rashes, staph infections, stress, tachycardia, tension and wounds.




Sandalwood (Santalum album)
DescriptionSandalwood oil is produced through steam distillation from the wood of the plant. Origin: India and Indonesia.
Historical UsesEnhancing medication. Aphrodisiac. Embalming. Sandalwood is still considered to be sacred by many cultures even today. 

The French used sandalwood oil for chronic bronchitis, obstinate diarrhea, hemorrhoids and impotence.


Biblical ReferencesBiblical References: 1 Kings 10:11-12; 2 Chronicles 9:11
Body Systems AffectedEmotional balance, muscles and bones, nervous system, and skin.
PropertiesAntidepressant, antiseptic, antitumor, aphrodisiac, astringent, calming, sedative and tonic.
Modern UsesSimilar to the action of frankincense oil, sandalwood oil contains compounds called sequiterpenes that eliminate cellular misinformation and carry oxygen to the body’s cells.Other uses: Skin care, quality sleep, support female reproductive system, support endocrine system, urinary tract infections, Alzheimer’s Disease, back pain, coma, confusion, hemorrhoids, hiccups, laryngitis, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, multiple sclerosis, supporting the cardiovascular system, lumbago, sciatic nerve issues, acne, regenerate bone cartilage, catarrh, coughs, cystitis, depression, lymphatic system, oxygenating the pineal and pituitary glands, skin infections and tuberculosis.




Cassia (Cinnamomum cassia)
DescriptionClosely related to cinnamon. Steam distilled from the bark of the plant.Origin: China
Historical UsesDomestic spice. Colds. Colic. Flatulent dyspepsia.Diarrhea



Kidney and reproductive issues

Biblical References and UsesCassia likely was one of the oils used in Moses’ holy anointing oil.
PropertiesAntibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral.  Supports the immune system. 


Modern UsesSupport the immune system and to help the body fight off infections.  Colds, colic, flatulent dyspepsia, diarrhea, nausea, rheumatism and kidney and reproductive issues.
Body System(s) AffectedImmune system




Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)
DescriptionHyssop oil is steam distilled from the stems and the leaves. Originates from France and Hungary.
Historical UsesIn biblical times, hyssop was used for cleansing and purging purposes.  It was also used in purification rituals and to drive away unwanted spirits.
Biblical ReferencesExodus 12:22; Lev. 14:4, 6, 49, 51, 52; Numbers 19:6,18; 1 Kings 4:33; and Psalms 51:7.
Body Systems AffectedCardiovascular, nervous, and respiratory systems.
PropertiesAnti-asthmatic, anti-catarrhal, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-parasitic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral, astringent, decongestant, diuretic and sedative.
Modern UsesKidney stones, anxiety, restoring appetite, arthritis, asthma, bruises, cleansing and purifying, colds, concentration, coughs, cuts, dermatitis, digestion, fatigue, fever, gas in the intestines, gout, grief, regulating lipid metabolism, low blood pressure, clearing lungs, healthy menstrual flow, mucus, nervous tension, parasites, increasing perspiration, rheumatism, preventing scarring, scar tissue, sore throats, stress, tonsillitis, detoxification, viral infections, wounds, creativity and meditation.






Onycha (Styrax benzoin)
DescriptionOne of the most viscous essential oils (it is actually an “essence,” as it is an absolute extraction that comes directly from the tree resin and is not distilled like most essential oils are).  The onycha tree originates from India, China, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.
Historical UsesHistorically, onycha was used as both a resin and an absolute for thousands of years in the East for rituals, ceremonies and anointings.  The Chinese used onycha for healing and drying, and the West used it for respiratory conditions.Onycha was also used historically as a perfume, in anointing oils, for skin wounds, and emotional balance.
Biblical ReferencesOnycha oil is mentioned in the Bible as one of the ingredients for a “Holy Anointing Oil” in Exodus 30:34.
Body Systems AffectedCardiovascular system, emotional balance and skin.
PropertiesAnti-inflammatory, antiseptic, astringent, deodorant, diuretic, expectorant and sedative.
Modern UsesRenal output, colic, gas, constipation, blood sugar level balance, sinusitis, bronchitis, colds, coughs, sore throats, skin irritations and wounds, arthritis, asthma, bleeding, bronchitis, chills, poor circulation, colic, cuts flatulence, flu, gout, laryngitis, remove mucus, nervous tension, rheumatism, skin (lesions, chapped, inflamed, irritated conditions), stomach pains, stress, urinary tract infections, wounds, sadness, loneliness, depression and anxiety.



Reference Guide for Essential Oils by Connie and Alan Higley

Healing Oils of the Bible by David Stewart

Essential Oils Desk Reference by Essential Science Publishing

Some words of caution: This information is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to diagnose or treat any particular health condition. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health practitioner to determine if these or other essential oils are right for you.

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