I used to be in the camp where I thought essential oils were hippy-dippy-baloney. (Thank you very much Lego Movie for the sweet new phrase).
I only knew a few people who used oils and each had a more wholistic and natural approach to health care than I did. Honestly, I thought it was weird that people would rub an oil on their bodies, use herbs to treat illness, or eat dirt as probiotics instead of popping a tylenol or turning to modern medicine. With my medical history, I’d a built up a lifetime of trusting in modern medicine for every ache, pain, and on more than one occasion, my very life.
To further the weirdness I felt for essential oils, my brain automatically translated the word “aromatherapy” to “New Age” and “crystals”. My ignorance made me uncomfortable because I believed the loudest noise: the ones that talked about finding your “chi”, or your “energy”, or your “life force”, none of which I knew were lost or why I should be looking for them in the first place! So, I disregarded the voices of well-intentioned people who were trying to offer help in ways I was seeking, but who didn’t provide the answers I thought I was looking for.
Then about 18 months ago, everything changed.
In short, a Jesus-loving friend who did not fit my stereotypical essential oil user shared an oil blend with me to help calm down my son during a serious meltdown in the middle of Disney World. And, it worked AMAZINGLY! In that moment I decided to pull back the curtain of essential oils and take a deeper look. What I found rocked my world as I began to uncover hundreds of references to plants and oils used in the B.I.B.L.E. While I’d read the Bible cover to cover a few times, somehow I’d totally missed this!
As a previous essential oil critic, let me give you 3 reasons why a Christian CAN in a good, clear conscious use essential oils.
1. The problem is NOT with using essential oils, but in having an unclear understanding of where oils came from.
Modern-day essential oils (and even the infused oils used in the Bible) all come from the vegetation God created.
Then God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them”; and it was so. 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. Genesis 1:11-13
In His infinite wisdom, God created plants and trees to be our source of food and to sustain our life.
Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so. God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. Genesis 1:29-31
One could even argue that a plant-based diet might be everything our bodies need for optimum health and wellness; for a plant-based diet is exactly what God gave Adam and Even. It wasn’t until 10 generations later (roughly 1100 years) in the time of Noah (after the flood), that God gives animals to become another source of food for us.
Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant. Genesis 9:3
2. The problem is NOT with using oils, but in how the use of oils has been distorted.
Since the beginning of time, most of what God has created has found a way to become distorted. Look at sex, marriage, food, relationships; even angels found a way to become corrupt. The problem is not with the essential oils themselves, but the way humans have once again distorted something God called “good”.
Because many people in the New Age movement encourage people to use essential oils in an ungodly way, it is easy to perceive essential oils as “bad”. And yet, essential oils are the very immune system of plants, protecting the plant from disease and bringing healing when needed. I find no mistake that the very creativity and wisdom of God allows for plants and humans to have a similar structure, creating a unique relationship where plants have the ability to help our human bodies heal themselves.
3. The problem is NOT with using oils, but in how the oils have become branded.
Most of my first experiences with essential oils were hearing of them being used for “spiritual awakenings” and in ways that are meant for God alone to spiritually uncover. I would hear of people using oils to “guard against negative energy”, to “enhance spirituality”, or to try and bring about visions and dreams. Therefore, this stamped a “brand” of essential oils being “scary” and “bad”, as they were being used more as a form of spiritual manipulation.
However, like many things in life I don’t believe this was God’s original intention!
If we want to re-brand what has become corrupted in the eyes of many, we must educate ourselves with a clear, biblical understanding of where oils came from, how they were used in biblical times, and how we can appropriately use them today. We must also be gentle in the way we respond to the concerns of others and careful in how we market these products. Essential Oils are not meant to replace God, nor are they the answer to every medical problem we face, or miracle “drugs”.
While essential oils can aid our bodies, God created our BODIES to be MIRACULOUS!
Imagine what would happen if our skin never healed itself. We’d walk around with open cuts and wounds oozing blood everywhere we went. (That’s a pretty gross picture, isn’t it?) Now think about how our bodies constantly create blood, can produce different tears based on why we are crying, fight bacteria and viruses, and constantly pump blood through our veins. This happens every second of every day.
Unfortunately, despite our best efforts sometimes we still get sick! And, in those times I am so incredibly grateful that we have a God-given natural way to help our bodies heal through essential oils. And, as I keep my eyes on the Maker and Creator of not just these plants, but more importantly my very soul, I find confidence and peace in HIS wisdom and design to give us this incredible resource.