When it comes to health and beauty, the Bible is a handbook often overlooked.
Essential oils are repeatedly mentioned in the Bible for uses such as aromatherapy, healing, cleansing and anointing. Even the Apostles used essential oils! When God created the Earth, He gave us everything we would need to live a healthy life as well as the tools to keep ourselves feeling fabulous while doing it!
I’m sure you’ve heard of essential oils by now. Maybe you’ve bought them or tried them. Maybe you even sell them! Back in the day, some of these oils were just as valuable as gold. Gifts fit for a King.
Frankincense & Myrrh
"On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.”
– Matthew 2:11 (NIV)
Anyone who knows the story of the birth of Christ has heard of frankincense and myrrh, so why were these gifts given to sweet, baby Jesus?
Frankincense, also called olibanum, can be used to reduce stress and negative emotions, balance our hormone levels, promote sleep and decrease pain. Maybe the wise men thought Mary and Joseph could benefit from this too! New baby = increased stress, haywire hormones and bad sleep [Leah here- going to grab my Frankincense oil RIGHT NOW!].
In addition to the health benefits, Frankincense is also an antiseptic and can be used to clean the air in our home as well as disinfect surfaces [source]. This stuff sounds like a future baby shower gift to me!
And the Myrrh?
Myrrh is known to work as an antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal and antiparasitic. It keeps away just about anything you don’t want in your body… or brand new baby’s body. It can also be used as a pain reliever and to promote skin health. Recent studies have found “that the molecules in myrrh act on the brain’s opioid receptors, explaining its painkilling action.” [source]
Want more? Talk oily to me! Sorry about that one. It’s not easy being greasy (no, for real. I’m done now.)
“Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.”
– Psalm 51:7 (NIV)
Hyssop is another essential oil that can be used as an antiseptic. In addition to cleansing, it can be used to heal respiratory conditions, treat infections, promotes good circulation, relieves muscle pain, helps with digestion, promotes skin health and boosts our immune system [source].
Hmm… I wonder if hyssop will help with these spider veins in my legs…
Cassia & Cinnamon
“Then the Lord said to Moses, “Take the following fine spices: 500 shekel of liquid myrrh, half as much (that is, 250 shekels) of fragrant cinnamon, 250 shekel of fragrant calamus, 500 shekels of cassia—all according to the sanctuary shekel—and a hin of olive oil. Make these into a sacred anointing oil, a fragrant blend, the work of a perfumer. It will be the sacred anointing oil.”
– Exodus 30:22-25(NIV)
Have you ever heard of Cassia? By the sound of it, maybe Tampax should include some of this oil in the box! It is similar to cinnamon and is sometimes called, "Ceylon Cinnamon". Among its multiple health benefits, Cassia oil is known for its ability to treat diarrhea, improve circulation, relieve menstrual symptoms, relieve aches and pains, work as an antidepressant and fight bacterial and fungal infections.
Has Aunt Flo met her match?!?
Like Cassia, cinnamon oil relieves depression, improves circulation and fights bacterial infections, but it can also help with weight loss and cardiovascular health.
“Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.”
– John 12:3 (KJV)
How about Spikenard? The name doesn’t do it justice. This is good stuff. This essential oil is used to fight bacteria. It stops bacterial growth on our skin, in wounds and our kidneys and bladder. Other health benefits provided by spikenard include inflammation relief, relaxation, hair growth, insomnia relief, constipation relief and, get this, it protects our uterus and ovaries.
Yep! Good ole Spikenard a.k.a. "The Babymaker".
Spikenard purifies the uterus and ovaries, stimulates secretion of progesterone and estrogen, maintains reproductive abilities, promotes menstruation, treats painful menstruation, reduces inflammation of the uterus and can be used as an aphrodisiac to treat impotence [source]. Ahem! Let’s give Spikenard a try!
“The Lord said to Moses, “These are the regulations for any diseased person at the time of their ceremonial cleansing, when they are brought to the priest: The priest is to go outside the camp and examine them.If they have been healed of their defiling skin disease, the priest shall order that two live clean birds and some cedar wood, scarlet yarn and hyssop be brought for the person to be cleansed.”
– Leviticus 14:1-4(NIV)
When I think about cedar, I think about its ability to keep the moths from eating my favorite sweaters. I hadn't realized it was an essential oil and that the benefits of cedar wood far expanded my dresser drawers.
Cedarwood oil can be used to treat Eczema, hair loss, dry scalp, depression and ADHD. Like many other essential oils, it has antiseptic properties and can be used as a diuretic, a bug repellant and a natural deodorant. This oil can also provide relief from arthritis, muscle spasms and coughing.
Another thing I really want to point out is cedarwood oil can be added to our beauty regimen. Put a few drops of this oil in your astringent or add it to your lotion to tighten facial skin, tighten muscles and treat acne [source].
Like cedarwood, many essential oils can be used in our beauty regimen. I have really dry skin, so I cleanse my face with a cleansing oil (Bobbi Brown Soothing Cleansing Oil) and I add a few drops of almond oil to my daily moisturizer.
This is starting to sound like an infomercial… but wait there’s more! No, really… a lot more. So many more I couldn’t possibly write about them all.
You are your own biggest advocate, and this is our only body. I am not a doctor or expert in essential oils, but I do have a newfound interest in holistic health after writing this post. I encourage you to do your own research and increase your awareness about the ingredients in the products you use.
Challenge yourself to find a natural substitute for your best health!