Oils of the Bible – Fragrance Descriptions
Oils of the Bible – Fragrance Descriptions
SPIKENARD ESSENTIAL OIL
(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 before his death would be worth almost $35,000.00 in today’s currency. It would have cost a common laborer in the time of our Savior a year’s worth of wages to buy one alabaster box of spikenard.
This is a rare and costly fragrant oil, and was used by Mary of Bethany to anoint the head and feet of the Messiah two days before His death, as recorded in John 2:12: Then Mary took 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 odor of the ointment. It speaks of the Bride’s extravagant adoration of and intimacy with the Bridegroom, in total abandonment, without regard to cost. We call Spikenard The Fragrance of the Bride, for it symbolizes the bride who has made herself ready, as it is written in Song of Solomon 1:12: While the king sits at his table, my spikenard sends forth its fragrance.
FRANKINCENSE ESSENTIAL OIL
(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, Frankincense is good for everything from gout to a broken head in other words, from head to toe. If in doubt, use frankincense. Other names for frankincense are libanum or Oil from Lebanon.
In temple days, sweet incense containing frankincense was placed on the Inner Altar of the Tabernacle and burned morning and evening. It speaks of intercession. Frankincense was one of the three prophetic gifts given to the Messiah at His birth, representing His role as Priest and Prophet.
It is mentioned in Song of Solomon 3:6: Who is this coming in a pillar of smoke, smelling of myrrh and frankincense?
MYRRH ESSENTIAL OIL
(commiphora myrrha) Myrrh 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 our Savior prior to his crucifixion.
Myrrh, an exotic Biblical spice, was used in purification and beautification rites, the formula for the Holy Anointing Oil, and burial spices. Queen Esther was bathed in oil of myrrh 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 mentions myrrh: A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me.
HYSSOP ESSENTIAL OIL
(hyssopus officinalis) Hyssop has a very long history as a cleansing herb. It is a protective herb of the heavens, touched with the love and protection of the divine.
Hyssop, another exotic Biblical plant, was used for sprinkling in the ritual practices of the Hebrews. Exodus 12:22 reads, And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the basin; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning. Because of the reference found in Numbers 19:6 (And the priest shall take cedar wood, and hyssop, and scarlet, and cast it into the midst of the burning of the heifer), we have called this fragrance Holy Fire. Hyssop speaks of spiritual cleansing, as is so aptly put in Psalm 51:7: Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
ONYCHA ESSENTIAL OIL
(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, friars 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 smell of vanilla. Onycha was valued anciently for its ability to speed healing of wounds and to help prevent infection.
ALOES / SANDALWOOD ESSENTIAL OIL
(Santalum album) Sandalwood is the most valuable tree in the world. It takes ten 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.
It is mentioned in John 19:39: And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to our Savior by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.
CASSIA ESSENTIAL OIL
(Cinnamomum cassia) Cassia comes from a slender, evergreen tree, which grows up to 20 feet tall, and is native to China. The oil is steam distilled from the bark. Cassia was an ingredient in the holy anointing oil given to Moses.
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. It is antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and an anticoagulant.
Cassia was one of the principal spices of the holy anointing oil used to anoint priests and kings. Likewise the coming King Messiah’s robes will smell of cassia. The root word, kiddah, in both Hebrew and Arabic, signifies a strip and refers to the strips of bark from which the spice is made. In the spiritual sense cassia speaks of humility, being stripped of pride, set apart (holy) with a servant’s heart. The deep, exotic aroma and the rich color of cassia oil make it a unique biblical oil.
Psalm 45:8 mentions cassia: Your robes are all fragrant with myrrh, aloes and cassia.
CYPRESS ESSENTIAL OIL
(cupressus sempervirens) Cypress has been used since ancient times for purification and as incense. It 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.
ROSE OF SHARON ESSENTIAL OIL
(Cistus ladanifer) is also known as rock rose, and has a soft honey-like scent. It has been studied for regeneration of the cells.
Song of Solomon 2:1 speaks of this oil: I am the Rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valley.
This flower from the region of Sharon in Israel is actually not a rose, but is part of the hibiscus family. Its blooms are nonetheless beautiful and glorious, just as Isaiah depicted the millennial reign when the Bride of Messiah shines forth in all the radiance of her heavenly glory and beauty.
CEDARWOOD ESSENTIAL OIL
(cedrus atlantica) Cedarwood is produced mainly in Morocco, and 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.
Cedars of Lebanon are the strong, fragrant woods used to build David’s house, Solomon’s house and much of the First Temple. It was also used along with hyssop in the cleansing of a leper’s house. It speaks of strength, permanence and wholeness. Psalm 92:12 says, The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
MYRTLE ESSENTIAL OIL
(Myrtus communis) The Hebrew name for Queen Esther was Hadassah, meaning myrtle. Myrtle oil is steam distilled from the leaves. It is anti-mutagenic, a liver stimulant, a prostate and thyroid stimulant, a sinus and lung decongestant, and is antispasmodic.
It is mentioned in Isaiah 55:13: Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree.
GALBANUM ESSENTIAL OIL
(Ferula gummosa) Galbanum was valued for its medicinal and spiritual qualities. It was known as Moses favorite oil. Exodus 30:34 reads, And the Almighty 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.
CINNAMON ESSENTIAL OIL
(Cinnamomum) Cinnamon is 73% phenylpropanoids, and is among the most antiseptic essential oils with a high antioxidant rating. It has been produced in Sri Lanka for over 2,000 years. It invigorates and rejuvenates mind and body.