Biblical Essential Oils

Biblical essential oils are a large part of the historical information on the uses of aromatics. The Bible is a treasure trove of records where so much can be learned to apply to today.

There are over 200 references to aromatics, incense, and ointments throughout the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. This gives us an incredible wealth of information as to how oils were used in ancient times as well as for what purposes.

Precious aromatics such as frankincense, myrrh, galbanum, cinnamon, cassia, rosemary, hyssop, and spikenard were used for anointing and healing sick people. The Bible lists an incident where an incense offering by Aaron (the priest) stopped a plaque. Jesus’s feet were anointed with an essential oil ointment before his death.

Psalm 133:2 speaks of the sweetness of brethren dwelling together in unity. “It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments.” And in Ecclesiastes 9:8, it refers to anointing and the overflowing abundance of precious oils. “Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment.”

In Exodus, the Lord gave a recipe to Moses for a holy anointing oil. Be aware that along with the recipe also came a strong warning about using it. I have that recipe for you, included in the Easy Aromatherapy Recipe section.

This section will take you into an indepth study of each oil listed in the Scriptures, give the scripture references and discuss the healing properties of the essential oil as it relates to its biblical use.

As you study through, feel free to send me any incites you have in this area of biblical essential oils. My goal here is to make this as absolutely accurate as possible, so we can all learn and grow.

And take advantage of the links to recipes, the biblical recipe for anointing oil along with other precious ointment recipes. As The Scriptures are relevant to today, so are these recipes in scripture.

Biblical Cedarwood

Throughout history, atlas cedarwood has been used in medicines. The Egyptians used it for embalming the dead. It was used in Tibet as both a traditional medicine and an incense.

Interestingly too, North American Indians used it to enhance their spiritual communication. The indians said it created the symbolic effect of the umbrella protecting the earth and bringing energy in from the universe. They said at night the animals in the wild lay down under the tree for the protection, recharging, and rejuvenation the tree brought them.

It is anti-fungal, anti-infectious, antiseptic (urinary and pulmonary), astringent, diurectic, an insect repellant, and sedative. So with all of those properties, use this oil for bronchitis, anger/hysteria, tuberculosis, nervous tension, and urinary infections.

This oil is recognized for its purifying properties. It may also help acne, anxiety, arthritis, congestion, coughs, cystitis, dandruff, psoriasis, purification, sinusitis, skin diseases, and water retention. It may help ope the pineal gland. It also helps to reduce oily secretions.

Cedarwood oil (Cedrus atlantica) is excellent for combating hair loss (alopecia areata), it is antibacterial, and a lymphatic stimulant.

It's fragrance stimlates the limbic region of the brain (the center of emotions) and stimulates the pineal gland, which releases melatonin. Terry Friedmann MD found in clinical tests that this oil was able to successfully treat ADD and ADHA (attention deficit disorders) in children. It is recognized for its calming, purifying properties.

It is the species of plant most closely related to the biblical Cedars of Lebanon. Some Bible references in regards to Cedarwood oil follow: Leviticus 14:4,6,49, 51-52; Numbers 19:6, 24:6; II Samuel 5:11, 7:2,7; I Kings 4:33, 5:6,8,10, 6:9, 9:11; II Kings 19:23; I Chronicles 22:4, II Chronicles 1:15, 2:8, 9:27; Ezra 3:7; Isaiah 41:19; Ezekiel 17:3,22-23; Zechariah 11:2.

It is interesting that the priests in the Bible used it during their purification cerimonies. They obviously knew about it's purifying properties. These properties were even stong enough to use against leprousy (along with hyssop and scarlet).

Atlas Cedarwood has an incredibly high antioxidant (ORAC) score of 169,000 and is useful for the Nervous System of the body and the Respiratory System of the body. Always dilute Atlas Cedarwood 50-50 with a carrier oil before applying on your skin. And if you are pregnant, use it with great caution. It is listed as a FDA-approved food additive, so is a very safe oil to use.

Diffuse this wonderful oil for calming, relaxing and purifying. Apply topically on location in the area of concern (after diluting) and don't forget to the put it on the cooresponding vita flex points. To see a vita flex chart, follow this link.

It's odor is warm, soft and woody. It is a base note which, when blending for aroma, should be used in a 5-20% strength. In a 1 - 5 scale of odor intensity, it ranks a 3. Use to enhance and equalize a blend.

Biblical Frankincense

Also known as "olibanum". or "Oil of Lebanon", frankincense essential oil is considered the "holy anointing oil" in the Middle East. It has been used in religious ceremonies for thousands of years.

It was well known during the time of Christ for its anointing and healing powers and was one of the gifts given to Christ at His birth. (Matthew 2:11)

"Used to treat every conceivable ill known to man," it was valued more than gold during ancient times, and only those with great wealth and abundance possessed it.

Researchers today have discovered that the sequiterpenes in it help stimulate the limbic system of the brain (the center of emotion) as well as the hypothalamus, pineal and pituitary glands. The hypothalamus is the master gland of the human body, controlling the release of many hormones including thyroid and growth hormone.

This "holy anointing oil" is now being researched and used therapeutically in European hospitals and is being investigated for its ability to improve human growth hormone production.

Now just to give you a glimpse of uses of this essential oil today, I'll list a few. People use it for allergies, insect and snake bites, bronchitis, cancer (particularly breast cancer), respiratory infections, diphtheria, headaches, hemorrhaging, herpes, high blood pressure, inflammation, stress, tonsilitis, typhoid, and warts.

It contains sesquiterpenes, enabling it to go beyond the blood brain barrier where it is elevating to the mind and helps to overcome stress and despair. It also increases the activity of leukocytes in defense of the body against infection.

The fragrance, alone, of this incredible oil increases your spiritual awareness and promotes meditation. It can also help improve your attitude and uplift spirits.

So knowing all of this helps your to realize that this incense-type oil is relaxing, soothing, focusing and healing.

There are over 52 references to frankincense - considering that "incense" is translated from the Hebrew/Greek "frankincense" and is referring to the same oil.

Let me just list a few references here: Exodus 30:34; Leviticus 2:1-2,15-16, 5:11, 6:15, 24:7; Numbers 5:15; I Chronicles 9:29; Nehemiah 13:5,9; Song of Solomon 3:6, 4:6,14; Matthew 2:11; Revelation 18:13.

If you have a pure oil, it is very safe to use. It is recommended that you dilute it in a 1:1 ration with a carrier oil before applying topically. Also know this oil is considered GRAS (generally regarded as safe for ingesting), a FDA-approved food additive and can be used as a flavoring agent. Please only ingest it with proper instruction from a practitioner.

Frankincense essential oil's botanical name is Boswellia carteri. It's antioxidant capacity (ORAC) is 630. The essential oil is distilled from the gum/resin that comes from cuts made in the bark of the twisted, scrubby trees.

This oil is useful for the immune system, emotional balance, anti-aging, and hair and skin.​


Myrrh - First and Last mentioned in the Bible

Myrrh, first and last mentioned in the Bible, parallels Jesus Christ's life. It was brought at the beginning of his life as a gift and was offered to Him as he hung on the cross. This oil is first a resin harvested from a tree. The tree is pierced and drops of resin like tears "bleed" out with a redish color. This also parallels Christ's death.

In the middle east, brides, as they prepare for marriage, wear a sachet of these resin tears on their chest as they sleep. This is for purification purposes.

Plant Information
  • Somalia
  • Scientific Name: Commiphora myrrha
  • Country of Origin: Egypt
  • Extraction Method: Solvent
  • Safety: Oil is generally regarded as safe, Oil may cause skin irritation in people with very sensitive skin or damaged skin, or can cause and allergic reaction
  • Color: Dark Brown
  • Strength of Aroma: Medium
  • CAUTION: Myrrh can be possibly toxic in high concentrations, and should not be used during pregnancy.
  • Biblical References: Ge 37:25, Ge 43:11, Ge 43:11, Ex 30:23, Es 2:12, Ps 45:8, Pr 7:17, So 1:13, So 3:6, So 4:6, So 4:14, So 5:1, So 5:5, So 5:13, Mt 2:11, Mr 15:23, Joh 19:39
  • Hebrew Word: Strongs #4753 mowr {more}
  • Meaning: 1) myrrh 1a) an Arabian gum from the bark of a tree, used in sacred oil and in perfume.
Uses & Applications

Medicinal Properties: 

  • Anti-infectious
  • Antiviral, Antiparasitic
  • Hormone-like
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antihyperthyroid
  • Helps support the immune system

Traditional Middle Eastern Uses: 

  • Myrrh was used for skin conditions, such as cracked or chapped skin and wrinkles. This essential oil has commonly been used in oral hygiene products.

Other Uses: 

  • Bronchitis
  • Diarrhea
  • Dysentery
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Stretch marks
  • Skin cancer
  • Thrush
  • Ulcers
  • Vaginal thrush
  • Viral hepatitis.
  • It may help with:
    • Asthma, Athlete’s foot, Candida, Coughs, Eczema, Digestion, Fungal infection, Gingivitis, Gum infections, Hemorrhoids, Mouth ulcers, Ringworm, Sore throats, Wounds, Cracked skin, Wrinkles.
    1. To help make canker sores disappear, apply one drop.
    2. For an excellent mouthwash, mix 2-5 drops with water. Swish and rinse.
    3. To help with gingivitis, rub 1-2 drops on gums.
    4. For a warm, soothing aroma, drop 2-3 drops on a dried log of wood. Allow time to soak into wood, before placing in the fireplace.
    5. Troublesome skin conditions? Rub 1 drop of oil on blemish to help it go away.
    6. For external wounds, mix 10 drops of this oil with 25 ml of water and apply directly to affected area.
    7. For colds and/or bronchitis, mix 1ml of oil with a carrier oil in a 15ml bottle, to help with phlegm. Rub on throat and chest.
    8. Use for killing staphylococcus (wound bacteria).
    9. For vitaligo (a skin condition where patches of skin lose pigmentation), blend with Sandalwood oil and apply.
    10. Apply this oil as nature’s pain reliever.


  • Apply topically on location or use in massage oil. It also may be used as incense as many believe it promotes spiritual awareness and is uplifting.

Note: This oil is high with sesquiterpenes, constituents that have a direct effect on the hypothalamus, pituitary, and amygdala, the seat of our emotions.

Myrrh Throughout History

QUEEN ESTHER & OIL OF MYRRH: In Esther’s era any Queen-to-be had to undergo a year of preparations prior to coronation [Est. 2:3, 6-13]. Esther underwent “a six-month treatment with oil of myrrh and six months with perfumes and other aloes”. One translation states it as “…with olive oil and myrrh…” In ancient times, the average woman’s perfume was her anointing oil. Spiritual Significance? Queen Esther bathed in this oil for six months before her presentation to the King (purification, dying to self, and preparation for the KING).

FRANKINCENSE & MYRRH: The “Magi from the east” honored the child Messiah with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh [Mat. 2:11]. The gospels recount that before his death, Jesus was offered myrrh mixed with wine, which he refused, and that after his death his body was treated with “a mixture of myrrh and aloes.” Frankincense comes to be associated with Christ’s role as our intercessor (the bowl of incense in Rev 5:8 is frankincense, representing the prayers of the saints), myrrh with his suffering and death. In Song of Songs the writer refers to the bridegroom (Jesus) as “who is He coming in a pillar of smoke smelling of myrrh & frankincense?” Many have suggested that the gold, frankincense, and myrrh represent the three roles of Jesus respectively: King, Priest and Prophet.

(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 this analgesic oil has pain-relieving properties as well, which is probably why it was administered to our Savior prior to his crucifixion.

As an exotic Biblical spice, it was used in purification & beautification rites, in the formula for the Holy Anointing Oil, and in burial spices. Queen Esther was bathed in it for six months and with other aloes and perfumes for another six months before her presentation to the king. Bitter to the taste but sweet to the smell, myrrh in the spiritual sense speaks of dying to self to become a "sweet smelling savor" to the Lord. Song of Solomon. 1:13 "A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me."