The Place of Essential Oils

Today I’m sharing a little more of my heart than I usually share publicly online. But I may have been mistaken not to share this a long time ago. (Heads up this definitely falls into the category of TLDR (too-long-didn’t-read) This might be a good reading material for your next rainy snowy day.)

I have strong beliefs on why my family and I choose to use essential oils. I love learning about them and sharing about them with others if they ask. (I’m an introvert and definitely don’t share about oils with someone if they are not asking. So ask if you’re curious. I’m not going to come knocking on your door.) I believe essential oils fall in the category of health care. (You may disagree on that point, but I’m not here to argue. Just sharing my stance.) I also believe you are responsible for your own health care. I can’t take care of or be responsible for anyone else’s health. (Outside of my immediate family. I’m not talking about my children God has blessed David and I with.) In the same breath, I also thank God for doctors, nurses, and hospitals. I am in no way against them and so very grateful emergency medicine and their skills and training are there should my family or I need it. We integrate these oils into our life. We don’t ignore advice and council from medical professionals. But we do partner with medical professionals who are like minded in our beliefs about the place of essential oils, emergency medicine, and pursuing health and healing verses treating symptoms.

(All this is to preface where I’m going in this post. This topic can open so many different other conversations I couldn’t possibly fit them into this post and would much rather talk to you in person.)

Please forgive me if I haven’t made it clear before the place that the oils have in my life and our household. They are not above God. I’m a fallen human, thankful for the saving grace of God that I do not deserve. I would hate to think that I’ve given the impression to anyone, ever, even a glimpse of the impression, that I praise these oils above God. God in Heaven, the Creator of all plants that produce these essential oils, and Creator of me is Who I worship.

One of my favorite things about essential oils is where they come from. Many people are surprised to realize they are mentioned in the Bible. Genesis talks about oils used for burial and embalming (this is also mentioned in the Gospels), Exodus references oils related to worship, kings are anointed in Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles. Matthew and Luke bring up oils as items to be tithed. In Esther and the Song of Solomon they are used as perfumes and they are used for healing in many many books! (Including Numbers, Leviticus, Isaiah, Mark, John, and James) I won’t even get into the places oils are used or alluded to for their spiritual and emotional effects.

Side stepping here for a moment for a few definitions:
Essential oils: This is the vital fluid of plants, their “life blood.”  Essential oils are tiny molecules. Different than fatty oils, like vegetable oils from your kitchen, that can’t be absorbed into your skin. EOs penetrate our skin down to the cell level. If you’re interested more I’d recommend learning about the botany of plants and essential oils and the biology of how they work with the biology of the human body. Beyond fascinating! Only God could have created something so detailed and finely tuned that works so fluidly (pardon the pun) to bring comfort and healing to our bodies.

Let me start back at the beginning. Genesis 3, the third day. OK, so not the very beginning but pretty close ;-) I believe the Bible and that on the third day God spoke vegetation into existence, “The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good.”

I just love that God has given us these plants (and the oils inside of them) BEFORE He even created us. I believe prayer heals. I also believe the oils heal. I’ve seen both work many, many times. But the power when you combine the two? Now that’s the sweet spot! For me using oils is an act of worship. A thankful celebration I can take part in daily, praising Him for the gift of life.

I try to remember to pray each and every time I use or even smell an oil. (I’m sure I forget more than I realize, but I do try.) Ask my kids. They know, even if they just get a paper cut that lavender is the oil we use. And they also know we pray for whoever gets an owie. (They even ask to pray when they hear sirens because “someone might be in trouble.”)

One day we studied Exodus 12 and the Passover so we got out the bottle of hyssop essential oil. “Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. None of you shall go out of the door of your house until morning.” Exodus 12:22. You might also remember hyssop from Psalms. “Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean. Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow… Blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:7,9-10

(Did you know that hyssop is high in monoterpenes? Technically, monoterpenes are a compound found in essential oils with 2 isoprene units: 10 carbon atoms and 16 hydrogen atoms.) For me though, I focus on the fact that monoterpenes can reprogram mis-written information in our DNA. (cellular memory) To me this is show.stopping. As I mentioned, we avoid pharmaceuticals when we can. Just looking into the number of ill side effects and numbers of further health issues that can come about from the use of pharmaceuticals you better believe I’m going to research an oil that I can try first. (I’m not going to get into the area of the roots of medicine, but it’s an interesting study if you’d like to check it out. It’s also a jaw-dropping number study comparison if you look check out the number of deaths from proper essential oil use versus pharmaceuticals.)

Colossians 1:16-17 says “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” Still to this day (if I’m not mistaken and there’s been a breakthrough I’ve missed) scientists don’t know how the atom is held together. They have not been able to identify what is in the (rather large) space between the electron and the nucleus of the atom. I believe Colossians. I believe that is is God holding it all together. In the beginning with His words He created and still today He is holding creation together.

I don’t believe the commentaries that say when oil is mentioned in the Bible it’s only talking about fatty oils, like olive oil. Just like the Bereans (Acts 17), study the Scriptures for yourself. Don’t believe everything you read or hear. Know for yourself why you believe what you believe. (Note: Including what you read here in this post. Please go research this yourself.)

This year I’m a part of the Bold Year Challenge and we are inductively reading through the New Testament. About a month ago one morning I was reading Mark 14. The woman breaks the alabaster flask of Spikenard on Jesus. Obviously, I found my bottle of Spikenard essential oil. I wanted to know what that room smelled like once she broke open her flask. I also grabbed my reference guide to read a bit about the plant it comes from and some of the properties it contains. My oldest two (6 and 4yrs) came downstairs while I was still studying and asked about the oil. Hello perfect teaching moment! I gladly shared what verses I had been reading and gave them a multi-sensory experience allowing them to smell the oil as well. I’m sure you all know from your own experience how close smell is related to memories in your brain. I pray that the story of the woman, the alabaster flask, and Jesus stick with them better through their experience of smelling the Spikenard along with the Bible story. (This is an interesting area (smells and your memory) to research if you want to know more.)

Please don’t be afraid of God’s creation. Yes, I believe people can use and twist essential oils for evil. But know that they were and are from God’s creation. “New age” use of essential oils are not how they originated. I am standing my ground, on The solid ground of Word of God and I’m claiming (or re-claiming if you feel it’s been taken) for God! For our family, I will not let Satan twist essential oils into something of him. I pray that that would be the same in your house as well.

The Bible doesn’t go into much detail on how the oils were used. I don’t know about you but I would have loved to be a fly on a wall in a house back then! Oils are mentioned hundreds and hundreds of times in the Bible, so that tells me it was common enough that there was no need for the authors of the Bible to explain how to use them.

The Hebrew for the word “anoint” is mä·shakh’ Now I’m not sure how to pronounce that, but the definition is: to smear, anoint, spread a liquid. Don’t let anyone convince or confuse you of the fact that when mä·shakh’ is used in the Bible it means something about just one drop of oil. We are talking about anointing with a fair amount of oil here. Psalm 133:2 says, “It is like the precious oil upon the head, Running down on the beard, The beard of Aaron, Running down on the edge of his garments.” That’s a lot of oil people. Am I right? Remember how the disciples “flipped out” a bit when the woman broke the flask of Spikenard and used ALL the oil it contained on Jesus. I understand that. Essential oils are not cheap. Depending on what part of the plant the oils are extracted from it can’t take a great quantity of leaves, stems, bark, root, or etc to get a small bottle of essential oils, let alone a big one! Straight essential oils without additives, that is are expensive. I’m not going to get into the purity of oils debate or places to purchase oils, but please be careful if an essential oil bottle is labeled with warnings about ingesting. Your skin is your largest organ, therefore putting that oil on your skin (or any body product (lotion, shampoo, etc) or oil you use on your skin) goes into your body.*

We know the story well. The wise men come from the East bringing gifts for Jesus: Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh. I believe Mary knew what those oils could be used for, and that she didn’t need a reference guide. Once I read about the healing properties found in just these two oils there’s no question in my mind about why 2 of the 3 gifts brought were essential oils.

As a mom, I could not be more grateful that God’s great green creation is all around me, and I have access to pure essential oils. (The times my family or I have used these to treat an illness or health issue and received complete healing, sometimes immediate healing, is too long to list here. These give me the option, for example, to treat a headache with peppermint, rather than a drugstore purchase with a long list of negative side effects. I would never not go to the doctor or hospital if there was a health emergency that needed doctor care. Please understand that. No matter what I will pray first, and if I have an oil I know has healing properties for the injury or illness that has come up you better believe I will try that first with prayer.

I love sharing with others what I’m learning, not because I feel like know enough to share, but because I’m excited with the experience I’ve seen first hand using oils. It’s fairly common knowledge now that I think most people know, but a prescription will not help a virus. Did you know there are anti-virus oils? Recently my youngest picked up a virus somewhere and I had an oil with high anti-viral properties that I used. It was already in my house; I didn’t have to make an extra trip to the drugstore or spend more money.

I’ve been using essential oils for 7 years now, and my collection of oils has grown. Some people will claim there is an oil for everything. I’m not sure if that’s true. I haven’t experienced “everything” and I don’t own all the oils. But I know we don’t buy over-the-counter medication anymore. We use an essential oil instead. I praise God that my family is very, very healthy. My children rarely get sick, and if they do it isn’t for long. I love that God has blessed the world with vegetation and that we can use the oils from that vegetation for healing. I love that as a mom I’m not helpless, relying only on a doctor and their office schedule to help my family should they need it. Yes, my children have regular check-ups. But each year our sweet doctor laughs with me as our appointments are so short it that does feel somewhat pointless. Again I say I’m so, so, very thankful God has blessed us with a healthy family. I’m doing what I can to keep it that way. (To name a few ways: Drinking clean water, (without chlorine, fluoride, impurities, etc. We love our Berkey water filter.) getting adequate sleep, and of course eat real food. As well as, when at all possible avoiding pharmaceuticals with negative side effects.)

As far as I can tell, from the reading I’ve done, there aren’t negative side effects of essential oils when used properly. They are cleansing by nature, so often we can experience a detox reaction and depending on the state of health of the person that detox can vary in intensity. Detox is a good thing in my mind. Who want’s to have toxins in their body, right? Some people might need to be extra cautious and use an even small amount of oil if they are experiencing a strong detox. But I’m not a doctor and could never give suggestions about anyone else’s health. Like I mentioned before, please see a qualified physician.

As you can hopefully see, essential oils in the Bible are a big passion of mine. I’d love to write pages and pages more. If you’re still reading this never-ending-post and actually want to hear more, I am having a class at the end of March and will be facilitating the Bible study God’s Forgotten Gift around the middle of the year. I’d love for you to join me!

*I’ve researched several oil companies promoting their oils as ones without additives. If you’d like to know more why I chose Young Living Essential Oils please ask me, I’d be happy to share why.

A few of my favorite resources if you’d like to do your own research, I’d recommend these. (Be careful doing research online, it isn’t always a trusted source.)

Reference Guide for Essential Oils by Connie and Alan Higley

Essential Oil Desk Reference by Life Science Publishing
Chemistry of Essential Oils Made Simple: God’s Love Manifest in Molecules by David Stewart

Healing Oils of the Bible by David Stewart

Gentle Babies by Debra Raybern

I am not a doctor, and I would never try to diagnose or claim that essential oils will cure or heal what ails you. Please find a qualified health practitioner in your area of need. Never stop taking a medication without consulting your doctor.

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  • Sandy

    Love it! I’m right there with you. So grateful for God’s provision!

  • http://dogfuranddandelions.com/ Elizabeth @ DogFur&Dandelions

    Love this!

  • http://www.createdessential.com Tracy Bartosik

    Ok, I seriously LOVE you and want to be your best friend! Thank you so much for writing this and even more so for the spirit in which you wrote it. I’ve been using YL for just over a year and my husband is a pastor of a small church in a small town. Thank you also for the reminder to pray each time I use the oils. I am embarrassed to admit that I often forget to use the two together. Any “press” that we can give essentials oils in the light that God wants them to be in is a good good thing. Satan tries to hijack everything God uses for his own purposes and I believe that the New Age movement has done just that with these oils. One of the troubling things I see is new oilers and/or new Christians using and adopting things that seem “spiritual” but are not Godly. It’s nice to see someone else on the same page. :)

  • http://www.amycornwell.com/ amy cornwell

    I love this post so much. I shared it with my Facebook followers (at Natural Living Real Life) – you are spot on! Thank you for sharing!

    • http://sarah-proverbs226.blogspot.com/ Sarah Ronk

      You are very welcome!!