Believers find healing powers in biblical anointing oils

by Fiona Soltes – The Tennessean

Six years ago, when David Stewart’s 85-year-old mother-in-law was diagnosed with cancer and given six months to live, the family chose an interesting path. They took her off her medicine, switched to natural supplements and herbal teas, and anointed her regularly with oil. She lived four more years.

Intrigued by the biblical principle of James 5:14-15 (“Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well.”), Stewart and his wife discovered that the scriptural oils were still available today � and the healing was every bit as powerful. Frankincense, myrrh, rose of Sharon, spikenard and other essential oils can offer more than fragrant aromas, Stewart and others contend.

Research has shown that high-grade essential oils carry electromagnetic frequencies that were part of the original plant’s regenerative system and that those frequencies can stimulate immune response, invigorate production of white blood cells and directly affect gland and chemical processes in humans, as well. And when they’re used in conjunction with prayer, Stewart said, the oils “magnify intent.” “Aromachemistry is really God’s love manifested in molecules,” says Stewart, a retired Methodist minister, former university science professor and author of “Healing Oils of the Bible” (Care Publications, $19.95).

“What I’ve come to realize is that these oils will respond to prayer. They have intelligence not found in chemical drugs. They can only be created by God, not made in a laboratory.” According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, an arm of the federal government’s National Institutes of Health, any “alternative” treatment � such as using essential oils � should be carefully studied before being applied.

Those who try them should discuss the treatments with their primary-care physicians. However, they’re not hard to find. In recent years, biblical oils of varying grades have become available through Christian bookstores, health-food stores and private distributors. Annie Huskinson, for example, is a Nashville, Tenn., distributor for ABBA Anointing Oils, based in Texas. Huskinson says her first experience with the oils was at a Christian women’s conference three years ago, when she purchased a combination of frankincense and myrrh.

“At that point, it was really about consecration for me,” she says, referring to the process of setting aside one’s own agenda and desires to meet with God. “And in time, as I came to understand the need for it, I realized I needed this not only for me, but also for my family. This is biblical. This is what the Lord says to do.”

In addition to applying essential oils directly to the body (they’re used in small amounts and sometimes combined with a “carrier” lotion or oil to dilute them), they also can be smelled.

According to Stewart, smell is the only sense directly connected to the central brain, rather than the frontal lobes. Because that part of the brain deals with nonverbal and emotional functions, he says, “our first response to anything we smell can be emotional rather than rational.” In other words, oils can also bring about emotional healing and increase spiritual awareness in ways we can’t fully understand. And that’s what Stewart believes happened with his mother-in-law.

Critics might contend that healing through biblical oils � whether instantaneous or after repeated applications � is only faith tricking the body into believing it has been healed.

“But she didn’t have a clue,” Stewart says. “She had lost that part of her brain function due to her previous chemotherapy and drugs. She didn’t know we were using the oils on her every day. “But in that time, she was able to access previous traumas and deal with them: the death of her husband, the loss of her son in Vietnam, the loss of another son. And then, by golly, one day, she was finished. And she didn’t take one bit of baggage with her.”

A sampling of oils and how they’re used

Different oils can serve different purposes.

Here’s a sampling from “Healing Oils of the Bible”:

  • Frankincense: Used to anoint newborn sons of kings and priests, this was one of the oils brought to the baby Jesus. Today it is used for cancer, depression, allergies, headaches, bronchitis, warts, herpes and more.
  • Myrrh: Myrrh is an antiseptic, said to help balance the thyroid and endocrine system, as well as support the immune system. Other specific uses include treatment of bronchitis, diarrhea, athlete’s foot, ringworm, wrinkles, chapped skin and more.
  • Spikenard: Traditionally associated with perfumes and incense. Today it is used to treat allergies, migraines, nausea and other conditions. It is also used for emotional peace and to elevate mood.
  • Hyssop: Hyssop is said to help provide healing at a cellular level, in addition to relieving anxiety, arthritis, asthma, respiratory infections, parasites, sore throats, cuts and wounds.

– The Tennessean

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