Perfumes and oils in the Bible and history

Perfumes and oils in the Bible and history
To discuss perfumes unavoidably involves discussing oils, since historically oils have been the base of perfumes, and in many cases, comprise all the ingredients of perfumes. However, once man learned to produce synthetic compounds that are less expensive than obtaining the natural aromatic ingredients, the synthetics have been used increasingly in the composition of perfumes. (Generally the base of colognes is alcohol, even though the word comes from the French eau de cologne, meaning “water of Cologne.”)
“‘Ointment and perfume delight the heart’ (Proverbs 27:9). Historically “ointment” and “perfume” were made with natural and harmless ingredients, such as myrrh, frankincense, aloes and cinnamon (Song of Solomon 3:6; Proverbs 7:17).
Colognes aren’t needed to cover up foul body odors like they were in ages past when people didn’t bathe regularly. Today’s popularity is akin to cosmetics, a customary part of dressing up. Advertising and imagery certainly play major roles in boosting sales and usage. This may seem harmless, but the fly in “the perfumer’s ointment” (Ecclesiastes 10:1) is the increasing use of chemicals in fragrances to make the scents travel farther, increase the time they linger in the air, cut costs and boost profits.”
from “Colognes, Chemicals, Compassion, and the Church
Fragrant aromatic substances, including ointments, anointing oils, and incense are mentioned in quite a few places in the Bible. They were used for religious (rituals, etc.), health (medicinal), personal (pleasure, cosmetic), and funeral purposes. When a useful substance (like olive oil for anointing or to protect the skin in the hot, dry climate) didn't smell particularly good by itself, adding a fragrance added pleasure, a sense of significance, and a distinctive association.

Several fragrant spices and oils are mentioned in the Scriptures. A few of the fragrant substances were native to Palestine, and the others had to be imported, mostly from tropical countries. Most were relatively expensive, so. their uses were reserved by most (the non-rich) for special occasions.

The “sweet incense” (lit. “incense of the aromas) burned on the altar of incense in the tabernacle was fragrant incense made of equal parts of stacte, onycha, galbanum, and pure frankincense (Exodus 30:7, 34-35). This was for this sacred use only; God did not permit any personal use. “Whoever makes any like it, to smell it, he shall be cut off from his people” (Exodus 30:37-38). The Scriptures clearly show that the burning of incense is a type of prayers going up to God (Psalm 41:2; Revelation 5:8; 8:3-4). Our prayers are a sweet smell to God.

The word “perfume” occurs only three times in the KJV of the Bible, all in the Old Testament. The Hebrew word translated “perfume” (including the famous Proverbs 27:9) occurs about 58 times in the Old Testament. In almost all the other places, it is translated as “incense” or “sweet incense,” meaning fragrant incense. The Hebrew word translated “perfumes” (plural) in Isaiah 57:9 occurs only that once in the OT.

The word “ointment” occurs 15 times and the word “ointments” occurs 3 times in the Old Testament. The Hebrew word translated as such is usually translated as “anointing oil.” In the New Testament, “ointment” and “ointments” together occur 14 times. They are translated from the Greek word “muron,” meaning fragrant anointing oil. It is closely related to the Greek word “smurna” (or “smyrna”), which is the word for myrrh.

The predominant oil of the Bible is olive oil. Olive trees grow naturally in the Middle East. The word “oil” is derived from the word “olive.” It had many purposes: food, cosmetic, funereal, medicinal, fuel for lamps, and ritual. In the United States, the popularity of olive oil is increasing as people are rediscovering the healthful benefits of it.

The use of olive oil in Isaiah 1:6 and Luke 10:34 for “wounds and bruises and putrefying sores” has largely been viewed as strictly an emollient to soothe and soften the skin and scabs. However, the more we learn about olive oil, the more we understand that there are other medicinal benefits. And sometimes other medically beneficial oils were mixed with olive oil. Olive oil used to anoint the sick (Mark 6:13; James 5:14) was a symbol of the Holy Spirit, which God uses to miraculously heal. It also was strikingly appropriate to anoint with a substance that has healthful properties.

Many aromatic ointments mentioned in the Bible were olive oil with aromatic oils and resins added. In fact, the holy anointing oil used by the priests was mixture prescribed in Exodus 30:23-25. It was olive oil, myrrh, cinnamon, “sweet-smelling cane” (calamus), and cassia. Like the incense, any other use of this recipe than the God-ordained sacred uses was strictly forbidden (Exodus 30:31-33).

Most of the other oils mentioned in the Bible are what today we call essential oils. Why are they called “essential oils?” Each of these extracts or oils is the “essence” of the plant it comes from. Here are three definitions of “essence” from the 1969 American Heritage Dictionary: 1.) The quality or qualities of a thing that gives it its identity; the intrinsic or indispensable properties of a thing. 2.) The most important or effectual ingredient; crucial element. 3.) An extract of a substance that retains its fundamental or most desirable properties in concentrated form.

One of the definitions of “essential” is “absolute, undiluted.” So essential oils are the extracts from plants that are distilled into concentrated, pure oils that retain the unique aromatic and medicinal qualities of that plant but in concentrated form. This dictionary also lists “essential oil,” and defines it as A volatile oil, usually having the characteristic odor or flavor of the plant from which it is obtained, used to make perfumes and flavorings. The main thing missing from this definition is the healthful benefits that can be obtained from many of the oils.

Historically, most “perfumes” were essential oils. The production and use of essential oils has been going on for thousands of years. but not until recent times could man view them microscopically and understand them scientifically as we can now.

A good example of a vegetable that is claimed to have powerful health benefits is garlic. The juice can be bought in concentrated form as oil of garlic. (Garlic, though, fails to be aromatic!) Cinnamon oil or clove oil have been sold at pharmacies, and they are indeed concentrated. A drop can burn one’s skin and one drop goes a long way in flavoring something. Tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) has been fairly popular as a topical treatment for several conditions.

Esther was given oil of myrrh (Esther 2:12). (According to the KJV, she was also given “sweet odours,” and according to the NKJV, she was given “perfumes.” The Hebrew word here is usually translated “spices.”) Several sources of essential oils are listed in Song of Solomon 4:13—“Fragrant henna with spikenard, spikenard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense (galbanum), myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices.” Frankincense (Boswellia carteri) and myrrh, two of the gifts to Jesus from the magi, come from aromatic gum resins from certain trees.

Some other oils mentioned in the Bible are algum (probably what is known as sandalwood today), amomum, balm (balsam), cassia (similar in flavor and aroma to cinnamon), coriander, dill, lily, mastich, mint, mustard, and stacte.

Today, many people use essential oils. Some use them merely for the pleasure of their smell, but more use them for the healthful benefits of their special properties. Some easily-recognizable names of oils are basil, cedarwood, chamomile, citronella, eucalyptus, frankincense, ginger, hyssop, juniper, lavender, lemongrass, myrtle, oregano, peppermint, pine, rosemary, rosewood, sandalwood, spikenard, tarragon, thyme, and valerian.

Generally, some oils are ingested orally, some are absorbed through the skin, with some, the scent is inhaled, and some are enjoyed in all three ways. The fastest way a person receives either the benefit or harm from any substance is inhaling. The efficiency and speed of the olfactory system is amazing.

The use of essential oils for aromatherapy has become popular again, so producers and sellers naturally jump on the aromatherapy bandwagon, hoping to profit. The competition leads some to produce or sell lower quality, less costly oils. Low-cost oils may be satisfactory if one’s goal is merely emotional benefits—a pleasant, soothing, uplifting experience. But true therapeutic benefits are not likely to be had with inferior quality oils. It takes time and a larger investment to produce pure, potent essential oils. “You get what you pay for.”

Why don’t doctors prescribe essential oils? This article won’t get into that, but to some extent, they do, because sometimes an ingredient in a prescription is an essential oil more or less disguised with another name.

This article has three goals in introducing this subject of essential oils. The first is to show how essential oils have played the major role in the history of perfumes. The second is to help people become aware of a perfume option. If someone likes to wear fragrances, but wants them to be environmentally-friendly (harmless to themselves and harmless to others), there are two options: essential oils and perfumes that have all natural ingredients. But that kind of perfume may be more expensive than essential oils, and the ingredients may be essential oils!

That is not to say that no one would be bothered by the scent of any essential oil. It seems that people can become allergic to almost anything. Many people are allergic to certain flowers. They likely would be allergic to the essential oils made from those flowers. But if it is chemical sensitivity that makes someone intolerant of most commercial colognes, that person probably would not feel any unpleasant symptoms from the scents of pure essential oils.

Essential oils are commonly sold both as single oils and blends of several oils. After smelling various products of essential oils, one may decide he/she prefers some with a single oil and some with a mixture of oils. Learning about this option may be “a breath of fresh air” to some readers.

The third goal for discussing essential oils is to use this as an example of a healthful alternative to encourage the readers to become more interested in building and maintaining good health. (Essential oils are generally beneficial for health, whereas many commercial colognes are deleterious to health.) Humans tend to forget the lessons of history and make innumerable mistakes that could be avoided. The way to good health if by taking full personal responsibility for one’s health. Doctors, supermarkets, advertising—none of them are going to guide you to make the thousands of good decisions about what to do and what not to do, what to eat and what not to eat, what to inhale and what not to inhale, and so on, ad infinitum.

Satan wants to destroy us in any way he can, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Satan has led the world to be a Babylon of complexity to make if difficult to find spiritual truth and the ways to good health and safety. This means we must be diligent in constantly learning what is right and wrong, what is healthful and what is unhealthful. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowleldge” (Hosea 4:6).

Please don’t misunderstand. This is not meant to promote essential oils as a magic bullet for good health. A major mistake commonly made is for people to latch on to one healthful product or activity and expect it to make them healthy. The best health is achieved by conforming one’s total lifestyle to healthful choices—good nutrition with natural foods, adequate sleep, exercise, maintaining positive attitudes and peace of mind through a close relationship with God, keeping stress down, maintaining a safe and clean environment, avoiding accidents and injuries, etc.

Now let’s summarize the history of perfume and the present time we live in. Historically, humans have used fragrances to add pleasure, attraction, and special significance to many activities. In hot climates conducive to profuse perspiration, the use of fragrances became important to cover up and mask bad odors from a lack of bathing. It’s interesting and telling that the Hebrew word for soap (spelled “sope” in the KJV) occurs only twice in the Old Testament (Jeremiah 2:22; Malachi 3:2). The words “soap” and “sope” do not occur in the New Testament. Apparently God doesn’t emphasize soap as an important factor in bathing, even though water for bathing is emphasized a great deal. But plentiful water has not been available in many parts of the world.

When a bath or shower was not accessible, fragrances were especially important when large groups of people were in close quarters, such as at feasts, wedding, and other special occasions. Thus, those natural oils and ointments aided large gatherings, whereas today, most commercial colognes hinder large gatherings, somewhat by excessively powerful scents, but more importantly by causing negative physiological reactions, ranging from mild discomfort to intense suffering. With indoor gatherings, the combination of different airborne chemicals plus the elevated concentration equates to serious air pollution.

Until recent times, the sources for "ointment" and "perfume" were natural and harmless. They were flowers, wood, gums, resins, spices and oils, and we cannot improve upon God’s perfect and awesome creation. Ah, let’s thank God for the sweet and spicy smells He has created!

Today, most fragrances are totally or in part chemically-synthesized. Modern man has the impressive ability to make imitations of natural fragrances, invent new scents, and to extend the reach and lingering capacities of those products. But some of these efforts are showering our environment with more and more chemicals whose biological effects are largely untested.

The big question is: What price are we paying health-wise?
by Don Hooser

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Could seaweed help cut fat in your chocolate? Scientists develop alternative that use microscopic agar bubbles to bulk out the treat

AGAR- The NEW Miracle Food????

It would be the perfect festive treat for those looking to keep the weight off –  low-fat chocolate.

And scientists claim to have found a way to make it happen. 
The have come up with ‘choco-lite, which contains microscopic bubbles of a jelly made from seaweed that bulk out the chocolate. 
Scientists at Warwick University claim they have found a way to make tasty low-fat chocolate using agar bubbles
Scientists at Warwick University claim they have found a way to make tasty low-fat chocolate using agar bubbles

The agar bubbles are also high in fibre, a natural appetite suppressant.
Previous attempts to reduce the fat content of chocolate – usually about 30 per cent – while retaining the taste and texture have failed.

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Vitamin Bashers Are Wrong, Says Top Doctor Brownstein

Dietary supplements, such as the vitamin B sup...
Dietary supplements, such as the vitamin B supplement show above, are typically sold in pill form. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
"Don't stop taking your multivitamin."

That's the simple advice offered by board-certified family practitioner David Brownstein, M.D., in the wake of heavily publicized recent studies that concluded a daily multivitamin does not have health benefits.

After carefully reviewing the studies, Dr. Brownstein, one of the nation's top practitioners of holistic medicine, concluded that they aren't worth the paper they're printed on.

Get Dr. Brownstein's Bestselling Diet Guide For Only $4.95 — Save 67%. Click Here.

"I have been practicing medicine for more than 20 years, and I can assure you I have never seen a patient harmed by taking multivitamins," Dr. Brownstein tells Newsmax Health. "However, I have had many patients harmed from FDA-approved pharmaceutical drugs.

"In the first place, one of the studies used very low potency vitamins — so low that I don't expect anyone would think that they could help anything. Second, most of the multivitamins used in the studies were cheap synthetics, not natural vitamins. Inexpensive vitamins are made with synthetics, and many of the substances are made from petrochemicals, which provide a suboptimal response and can even be dangerous."

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Protect Yourself From An Inexperienced Surgeon

An operating theatre (gynecological hospital o...
An operating theatre (gynecological hospital of Medical University of Silesia in Bytom) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Inexperienced young surgeons are flooding hospitals as medical schools cut back on operating-room training. The results can be dangerous – even deadly – for patients, says a top cardiologist.
Doctors don’t get nearly as much surgical training as in the past because of new rules that limit hospital work hours.
“When I went through training, I was on call every day for years,” said Chauncey Crandall, M.D., director of preventive services at the Palm Beach Cardiovascular Clinic.
“Now they want to protect young doctors from fatigue, but the result is that they are graduating doctors who are undertrained and don’t have the surgical experience they need. This is a terrible thing for patients.”
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Grocery bag bans: The battle rages on...Does "better for the environment" mean "worse for your health?"

It’s still too early to predict which side will enjoy ultimate victory in the “should we or shouldn’t we ban disposable plastic shopping bags” war, though both sides can honestly claim to have won recent battles.

In California, a state appeals court upheld San Francisco’s citywide ban on plastic shopping bags. (Of course, this does not negate the possibility that a still-higher court might later rule differently.) 

Meanwhile, in Colorado, voters in Durango overturned a city council initiative that would’ve mandated a ten-cent-per-bag tax on disposable grocery bags.

The old “paper or plastic?” shopping-bag debate has since yielded ground to the newer “disposable vs. reusable?” argument. The case for taxing or outright abolishing disposable grocery bags almost always rests on environmental or anti-waste concerns: plastic bags fill space in landfills at best, pollute the ocean and kill sea animals at worst; and even for biodegradable and presumably eco-friendly paper bags, there’s no denying that “disposable substances” are inherently more wasteful than “reusable substances.”

Breeding grounds   Read more here>>>>>>>>>

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Bedbugs Come in the Mail: How to Protect Your Home

Bedbugs (album)
Bedbugs (album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The rising popularity of online holiday shopping has given rise to an unexpected horror: Bedbugs and other insects are spreading into homes through shipped goods.

"Cardboard boxes are especially problematic because they offer good insulation for bugs," says Dr. Shripat Kamble, former director of the certification program for the Entomological Society of America and a professor of entomology at the University of Nebraska. “They have a lot of corrugation and corrugated materials offer a lot of hiding places for insects.”

What can be hiding inside the packages you order online?

For starters, live adult specimens and egg cases of biting insects such as bedbugs, spiders, ants, and fleas. Packages also can harbor pests such as Asian cockroaches, Indian meal moths, carpet beetles, red flour beetles, and wood-boring insects such as termites and powder post beetles.

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8 Drugs Doctors Won't Take - so why should you?

Feb. 5, 2009; Irvine, CA – An FDA microbiologi...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Advair. This asthma medicine has been estimated to contribute to as many as 5,000 asthma-related deaths annually because its active ingredient, the beta-agonist (LABA) salmeterol, can actually make an attack worse. Dr. Teitelbaum instead recommends getting to the root cause of asthma by pinpointing allergies or nutritional deficiencies such as low vitamin C. Alternatively, he advises treating the condition with the anti-inflammatory herb, boswellia.

Avandia. Treating Type 2 (non-insulin dependent) diabetes with Avandia, (rosiglitazone) can be dangerous, says Dr. Teitelbaum. Studies have shown that people who took this drug to help control their diabetes for at least a year increased their risk of heart failure by a whopping 109 percent. Teitelbaum says an older diabetes drug, metformin, works well, is less inexpensive, and safer.
Celebrex. This pain reliever has been linked to kidney and liver damage. According to a 2005 study, those taking 200 milligrams of Celebrex twice daily more than doubled their risk of dying of heart disease. People who took twice as much tripled their risk.
Dr. Teitelbaum says that head-on studies of patients who took herbal pain killers such as curcumin and boswellia had as much relief from these safer alternatives as they experienced with Celebrex.
Ketek. This antibiotic, generically named telithromycin, can cause sudden and serious liver damage. Four fatal cases of drug usage have been reported. It’s been traditionally been prescribed for respiratory tract infections, but in 2007 the FDA limited usage of Ketek to the treatment of pneumonia. Ask your doctor if there is an alternative that is specific to the infection you have, advises Dr. Skip Lenz, a Florida-based compounding pharmacist.
Prilosec and Nexium. These stomach acid blockers have been linked to osteoporosis and can increase the risk of hip fractures. They can also increase pneumonia risk. "Your body needs a certain amount of stomach acid," says Dr. Teitelbaum. "When you experience heartburn, it means you are suffering from poor digestion. Try a plant-based digestive enzyme or use a vinegar-based salad dressing to help quell the fire. Drinking a small amount of diet cola can also help digestion."
Pseudoephedrine. This popular decongestant can dangerously raise blood pressure and heart rate and has been linked to heart attacks and strokes. Use saline solutions to clear nasal passages and increase your intake of vitamin C, says Dr. Teitelbaum.
Visine. Cary Silverman, M.D., medical director of EyeCare 20/20 in East Hanover, N.J., states it simply: "I hate Visine. It works great at 'getting the red out' but the problem is, when you stop the Visine, the red is back. We call it the rebound phenomenon. It's kind of like getting addicted to the medicine. I recommend using an over-the-counter artificial tear drop first. If this doesn’t work, some OTC allergy drops such as Zaditor are good.
"If this doesn't solve the problem, it's time to see your ophthalmologist."
Stephen Sinatra, M.D., a top cardiologist, says that Avandia, Celebrex, and pseudoephedrine are the three that trouble him the most. "These three bother me the most from cardiovascular point of view," he says. "Avandia, because of its role in congestive heart failure; Celebrex because it causes thickening of the blood, which no cardiologist would condone; and pseudoephedrine because it's a powerful vasoconstrictor that can damage tissues."

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The shocking images that reveal what diabetes can do to your feet in just 10 DAYS

These gruesome pictures show the horrific damage diabetes can do to the body in just a matter of days.

They were taken by a 50-year-old man who had developed lesions on his feet after his new shoes rubbed.

The man, who was obese, had no idea he was suffering from diabetes, doctors said.
Damage: The images show how quickly the infection in the diabetic man's foot took hold
Damage: The images show how quickly the infection in the diabetic man's foot took hold - going from a red lesion on day one to a wound in urgent need of surgery. The 50-year-old man had developed lesions on his feet after his new shoes rubbed 

The small lesions quickly escalated into a full-blown infection - within days his right foot was black, weeping pus and in urgent need of surgery.

His story, reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, highlights the devastating impact diabetes can have on all parts of the body - especially the feet.
Every 30 seconds, someone in the world with the condition has a lower limb amputated, according to the charity Diabetes UK.
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What does your pee say about your health? New diagram shows when to be alarmed

From healthy 'pale straw' to potentially dangerous 'brown ale', urine comes in a wide range of colours.

Now doctors at a U.S. medical centre have drawn up a diagram to illustrate what is normal and what is not.

The chart, developed at the Cleveland Clinic, in Ohio, says urine usually ranges from a deep amber or honey colour to a light straw colour, with many shades in between.
The Cleveland Clinic, in Ohio, has created a diagram which shows all of the different possible shades of urine colour and what they say about your health
The Cleveland Clinic, in Ohio, has created a diagram which shows all of the different possible shades of urine colour and what they say about your health

It says the colour of a person's urine says a lot about what is going on inside their body, and that people should take heed of its warnings.
The diagram shows that if a person's urine has no colour, it suggests they are drinking too much water and should consider cutting back.

These Subtle Signs Reveal Impending Cardiac Arrest

James Gandolfini
James Gandolfini (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Sopranos star James Gandolfini might have been saved if he had recognized any of the symptoms that can warn of a cardiac arrest up to a month ahead of time, a top cardiologist tells Newsmax Health.
“There are warning signs that often precede sudden cardiac arrest, but the problem is that people don’t recognize them,” says Chauncey Crandall, M.D., director of preventative medicine and clinical cardiology at the Palm Beach Cardiovascular Clinic. “James Gandolfini and hundreds of thousands of other heart victims like him could have been saved.”
Editor's Note: Top Cardiologist Discovers 'Simple Heart Cure'
Gandolfini died of sudden cardiac arrest last June at age 51 while he was vacationing in Rome with his family. Although his death seemed to strike without warning, that was probably not the case, Dr. Crandall says.
“Asymptomatic cardiac death is pretty rare. When you go back and talk to those who survive it, or their families, you’ll find that there is always something that provides an indication that something was wrong before the attack,” he says.
“The symptom could be chest pain, even very minor – or shoulder pain, neck pain, back pain, or episodes of nausea. Perhaps their blood pressure was suddenly elevated. All these things can indicate that a heart attack is going to happen or is happening.”
Warning signs may be even subtler. “Perhaps their color is off, they feel dizzy, they are short of breath, they fainted, or they are extremely fatigued – all these things can be telltale warning signs,” says Dr. Crandall, author of the No. 1 Amazon best-selling book The Simple Heart Cure: The 90-Day Program to Stop and Reverse Heart Disease.
About 325,000 people die from sudden cardiac death each year, many of them, like Gandolfini, middle-aged men. It is the largest cause of death in the U.S.
Sudden cardiac death occurs when the heart suddenly ceases to beat, usually because the heartbeat is irregular and dangerously fast. 

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