Chapter One: Should Christians Use Essential Oils?
I used to be in the camp where I thought essential oils were weird. I only knew a few people who used oils, and each person had a more holistic and natural approach to health care than I did. Honestly, I didn’t understand why people would rub oil on their bodies, use herbs to treat illness, or eat dirt as probiotics, instead of popping a pill or turning to modern medicine. With my medical history of cancer and child loss, I’d built up a lifetime of trusting in modern medicine for every ache and pain, and on more than one occasion, my very life.
To further the discomfort I felt for essential oils, I found that my brain automatically translated the word “aromatherapy” to “New Age” and “crystals”. My ignorance made me uncomfortable because I listened to the loudest voice: the one 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 everything changed!
We were at Disney World and our three-year-old son was having the mother of all meltdowns before we even got into the park. Now, I get Disney World is overwhelming and can be very over-stimulating. But friends, we were standing in the entrance line just trying to get into the park when he began to scream hysterically over ants — ants that were five feet away from him! I don’t even know how he saw them.
Had we not been meeting friends in the park, I would have turned around and gone home. It was that bad. Ten minutes later when we reached our friends I was DONE!
Seeing what was happening, my friend Traci asked if she could try something on him. In total and complete exasperation, I said, “Girl, I don’t care what you give him. If you can make this stop, make it stop!”
Traci placed an essential oil blend meant to bring focus and calming on the back of our son’s neck. Within minutes our sweet boy was totally chill, calm, and collected, bending down playing with the ants on the ground.
Did you catch that? He was playing with the ants!
Had I not seen this meltdown recovery unfold with my own eyes, or other witnesses to remind me I was not dreaming, I would not have believed it. And, this wasn’t just a momentary blip in his freak-out session; our son stayed relaxed and calm throughout the rest of the day and all through the night. At that point I was hooked. I told Traci I would need “that stuff” by the gallons.
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, spices, and oils used in the BIBLE. While I’d read the Bible cover to cover more than once, somehow I’d totally missed this!
As a recovering Essential Oil Critic, I have come a long way from my original understanding of what essential oils are, what they are not, and how they should be used. If you are anything like me, perhaps you have also struggled with wondering if using essential oils are compatible with a faith in God. I know the debate is out there, so let me share with you three reasons why Christians can in good, clear conscious use essential oils.
1. The problem is NOT with using essential oils, but in having an unclear understanding of where oils come from.
Modern-day essential oils (and even the infused oils of the Bible which we will uncover soon) 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 1:11-12
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 human bodies need for optimum health and wellness; for a plant-based diet is exactly what God gave Adam and Even. It wasn’t until ten 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. Think about how 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 initial exposures to 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, I branded essential oils as being “scary” and “bad”, because of the appearance that they were being used 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 people, we must first educate ourselves with a clear, biblical understanding of where oils come from, how they were used in biblical times, and how we can use them appropriately 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; they are not “miracle drugs”, nor are they the answer to every medical problem we face.
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, 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! In those times, I am so incredibly grateful that essential oils are a God-given, natural way to help our bodies heal. 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 ingiving us this incredible resource. I’ve learned that I am able to honor Him when I choose alternative therapy for my family because essential oils are simply another way He has chosen to provide for us.
If this Chapter peaked your interest, check out the book on Amazon!
What the Bible Says sets a biblical foundation for the use of modern day essential oils by studying Hebraic and Greek words and Bible verses used in the Old and New Testaments. You will learn where oils came from, how they were made, and how they were used in biblical times. As we dig deep into Scripture, we will also uncover an incredible story of God’s love and redemption.
The second half of this book reveals 12 different oils and spices found in the Bible. You will learn their histories and significance, their Hebrew and Greek roots, along with the verses of where they are mentioned in the Bible. We will also discover modern day oils, similar to these biblical oils that can be used today to help our bodies heal. You can purchase the book HERE!