Oils of the Bible

Throughout Biblical times, essential oils were a part of daily living among Hebrews, Jews, early Christians and their Gentile neighbors. The history and use of essential oils is well documented in Egyptian hieroglyphics, Chinese manuscripts, the Koran, and the Bible.12 Oils of Ancient Scripture

Myrrh is the most frequently mentioned oil in the Bible (156 times).  It is the first oil mentioned in the Old Testament (Genesis 37:25) and the last to be mentioned in the New Testament (Revelation 18:13).

Myrrh was also one of the first oils to be received by the Christ child (Matthew 2:11) along with frankincense and the last to be offered as he stood at the cross (Mark 15:23).

Thirty-six of the 39 books of the Old Testament and 10 of the 27 books of the New Testament mention essential oils or the plants that produce them.

There are more than 500 scripture references to essential oils and their use in the bible.  Dr. David Stewart documents these references in his book, Healing Oils of the Bible.

To learn more listen to the recording by Dr. Mary Starr;


ALOES/SANDALWOOD (Santalum album) is the most valuable tree in the world. It takes 10 years for the sandalwood tree to form hardwood. Peak hardwood formation is achieved when the tree is between 40-60 years. King Tut’s tomb was filled with alabaster jars of aloewood/sandalwood oil which thieves later stole, leaving the alabaster jars behind. Sandalwood contains 90 % sesquiterpenes which deprogram misinformation and carry oxygen to the cellular level.


CASSIA (Cinnamomum cassia) comes from a slender, evergreen tree which grows up to 20 feet tall. It is native to China. The oil is steam distilled from the bark. Cassia was an ingredient in the Holy Anointing Oil given to Moses as ointments. This exotic fragrance of vanilla/cinnamon might be similar in its aroma to cinnamon, but it is physically and chemically much different. Care must be taken in topical use as it may cause skin sensation.

CEDARWOOD (cedrus atlantica) produced mainly in Morocco, it is the species most closely related to the cedars of Lebanon. King David and King Solomon used this wood for the construction of their palaces because of its aromatic oil content which lasts indefinitely. Used by the Sumerians and Egyptians more than 5000 years ago, Cedarwood essential oil is believed to have been the first oil to be obtained by distillation. It was known as the oil of gladness in ancient times, and was used for a variety of purposes including temple worship, mood elevation and mental clarity. Of all essential oils, cedarwood is highest in sesquiterpenes which are oxygen delivering molecules capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier.

CYPRESS (cupressus sempervirens), the oil of Cypress has been used since ancient times for purification and as incense. Cypress is one of the oils most used for the circulatory system. Because it assists in moving stagnant matter, it actually assists many systems of the body: circulatory, digestive, urinary, and integumentary (skin). It helps with cellulite, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, fluid retention, constipation, edema, excessive perspiration, and hand and feet sweating. It is also effective for muscles and joints, the respiratory system, the reproductive system, and the nervous system.

FRANKINCENSE (Boswellia carterii), one of the gifts of the wise men to our Savior, frankincense would have been rubbed all over the body of the baby. Egyptian tradition says that “Frankincense is good for everything from gout to a broken head” or in other words “good from head to toe”. If in doubt, use Frankincense. Other names for frankincense are “olibanum” or “Oil from Lebanon”.

GALBANUM (ferula gummosa) was valued for its medicinal and spiritual qualities. It was known as Moses favorite oil. “And the Lord said unto Moses, take unto thee sweet spices, stacte, an onycha, and galbanum, these sweet spices with pure frankincense of each there shall be a like weight.” Exodus 30: 34.

HYSSOP (hyssopus officinalis) has a very long history as a cleansing herb. Hyssop is a protective herb of the heavens. It is touched with the love and protection of the divine.

MYRRH (commiphora myrrha) has one of the highest levels of sesquiterpenes, a class of compounds that has direct effects on the hypothalamus, pituitary and amygdala, the seat of our emotions. Research in Italy demonstrated that myrrh has pain-relieving properties as well, which is probably why it was administered to Jesus prior to his crucifixion.

MYRTLE (Myrtus communis) The Hebrew name for Queen Esther was Hadassah which means myrtle. Myrtle oil is steam distilled from the leaves. Myrtle is a liver stimulant, a prostate and thyroid stimulant, and supports the respiratory system.   “Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree,, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree”. . . (Isaiah 55:13).

ONYCHA (styrax benzoin) Although onycha is only mentioned in scripture by name once, it holds the high position of being an ingredient of the holy incense (Exodus 30:34). Other names for onycha are “benzoin”, “friar’s balm” and “Java frankincense”. Tincture of benzoin was an antiseptic used in hospitals for more than a hundred years (since the mid 1800s). Onycha may have been used in hospitals but it does NOT have a hospital smell. It contains vanillin aldehyde, which gives it the pleasant of vanilla. Onycha was valued anciently for its ability to assist healing of wounds.

ROSE OF SHARON/CISTUS (Cistus ladanifer) is also known as rock rose. It has been studied for regeneration of the cells. “I am the Rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valley” Song of Solomon 2:1 This beautiful oil has a soft honey like scent.

SPIKENARD (Nardostachys jatamansi) Spikenard has also been known as “nard” and “false Indian Valerian root” oil. It was prized in early Egypt and in the Middle East during the time of our Savior. Spikenard is 93% sesquiterpenes which have the ability to oxygenate the brain. The amount of Spikenard that was poured on our Savior as an ointment before his death would be worth almost $2,000.00 in today’s currency…or a year’s wages for a common laborer in that time.

The essential oil  information was compiled by McBride Enterprises.  As an additional resource, there is a new book entitled “Scriptural Essence: Temple Secrets Revealed” by Janet McBride. Janet is a Messianic Jewess. This means that she adheres to Jewish traditions but also accepts Jesus Christ as the long-awaited Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament. A scholar in both Hebrew and Greek, Janet has discovered secrets concerning essential oils in the Bible.

All information within is included for informational purposes only. Statements, articles, or products within this site are not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or dysfunction. Statements have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to replace veterinary or medical care.

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