In the Bible, there are more than 188 references to precious oils (essential oils as we call them today). A few of the more commonly known essential oils are: frankincense, myrrh, cassia, rosemary, and cinnamon. These were used not only for anointing, but also for healing of the sick.
Essential oils are widely considered mankind's first medicine. Available for centuries, these natural healing oils, have been used to treat a multitude of illnesses and physical needs. Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics and Chinese manuscripts can trace the uses of healing oils as far back as 4500 BC. Three oils commonly used today (frankincense, cedarwood, and myrrh) were not only used in temple and pyramid religious ceremonies and rituals, but even in the embalming process.
Let's take frankincense for example. This natural oil was lavishly applied in religious rites. Wikipedia states - In the Book of Exodus in the Old Testament, it was an ingredient for incense (Ex 30:34); according to the book of Matthew 2:11, gold, frankincense, and myrrh were among the gifts to Jesus by the Biblical Magi "from out of the East."
Essential Oils and Traditional Medicine
Many scientific uses of frankincense as ayurvedic (a system of traditional medicine native to the Indian Subcontinent and practiced in other parts of the world) and alternative medicine are under investigation. A number of the studies are as a treatment for chronic inflammatory diseases such as Crohns disease, ulcerative colitis, and osteoarthritis. An aroma therapeutic study (reported in May 2008 FASEB Journal) showed frankincense smoke is a psychoactive drug that relieves depression and anxiety in mice.
Research has also proven, the essential oil of frankincense may be able to bring relief to people suffering from osteoarthritis. One study, using an enhanced frankincense essential oil extract, helped patients in a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study show major improvement in their arthritis in as little as seven days.
Pure Frankincense is edible. Chewy in its resin form and -and I'd say purer as well- as a healing oil, it is often used for digestion and healthy skin in various Asian traditional medicines. Ayurvedic medicine has used Indian frankincense for hundreds of years for the treatment of arthritis.
Another use, for the oil of frankincense, is as an aromatherapy oil. It has a nice balsamic and sweet fragrance, and very fresh smell. Frankincense aromatherapy oil is found in many perfumes. Although, fresh smelling to people, burning frankincense acts as a mosquito repellent. In fact, many of the essential oils and aromatherapy blends for mosquito repellents on the market today (it's easy to make your own as well) have frankincense as one of the ingredients.
As you can see, we have been blessed with a whole world of wonderful and natural healing oils we can use for all kinds of uses. And one my favorite ways to take advantage of the power in essential oils, is to let their aroma therapeutic scents drift in, to lift spirits, balance moods, and dispel negative emotions.