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The Holy Oil of Moses, A Potential Healing Agent Volume 48- Issue 2

Doepp Manfred*

  • Head of Holistic Center, 13 Haupt St, Abtwil 9030, Switzerland

Received: January 18, 2023;   Published: January 26, 2023

*Corresponding author: Doepp Manfred, Head of HolisticCenter, 13 Haupt St, Abtwil 9030, Switzerland

DOI: 10.26717/BJSTR.2023.48.007629

Abstract PDF


In the Torah (Pentateuch) we find the chapter Exodus. It describes the exodus of the people of Israel from Egypt and the migration through the Sinai Peninsula. It describes how Moses received from God the recipe for a Holy (Anointing) Oil. He used it to treat the diseases of the people, with success. The composition of the oil is described here. A modern-day production would have to be considered.


When the people of Israel wandered through the desert of the Sinai Peninsula, it took them 40 years. The environment was quite hostile, the food supply meager. They stopped at Mount Sinai, where they camped for a long time and Moses went up the mountain. He brought down with him not only the 10 Commandments, but also the recipe for a mixture of plants/spices and olive oil. It was used to improve and heal the many health problems from which the people of Israel suffered. And it served for sacred religious purposes.

God’s Recipe

In Exodus 30:22-33 [1] we find the following sentences : « Then the Lord said to Moses, `Take the following fine spices: 500 shekels [a] of liquid myrrh, half as much (that is, 250 shekels) of fragrant cinnamon, 250 shekels [b] of fragrant calamus, 500 shekels of cassia—all according to the sanctuary shekel—and a hin [c] of olive oil. Make these into a sacred anointing oil, a fragrant blend, the work of a perfumer. It will be the sacred anointing oil. Then use it to anoint the tent of meeting, the ark of the covenant law, the table and all its articles, the lampstand and its accessories, the altar of incense, the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and the basin with its stand. You shall consecrate them so they will be most holy, and whatever touches them will be holy. Anoint Aaron and his sons and consecrate them so they may serve me as priests. Say to the Israelites, ‘This is to be my sacred anointing oil for the generations to come. Do not pour it on anyone else’s body and do not make any other oil using the same formula. It is sacred, and you are to consider it sacred. Whoever makes perfume like it and puts it on anyone other than a priest must be separated from their people. » Important is to emphazise: Calamus was a wrong translation into Greek and then into English, the right term is Cannabis. If we translate the quantities into today’s mass by weight and volume, we get: «Gather choice spices - 6 kg of pure myrrh, 3 kg of fragrant cinnamon, 3 kg of pounds of fragrant cannabis, and 6 kg of pounds of cassia fistula («manna»). Also get 12 liters of good olive oil. » Note: Since the absolute quantities are not significant, but the relations to each other, one can divide the quantities.


The following sentences concern frankincense (Exodus 30 :34- 37 [1]) « Then the Lord said to Moses, `Get some sweet-smelling spices. Get some gum resin, onycha and galbanum. Also get some pure frankincense. Make sure everything is in equal amounts. Have a person who makes perfume mix it all up into a sweet-smelling incense. It must have salt in it. It will be pure and sacred. Grind some of it into powder. Place it in front of the ark of the covenant law in the tent of meeting. There I will meet with you. The frankincense will be very holy to you. Do not make any frankincense for yourselves in the same way. Think of it as holy to the Lord. Whoever makes frankincense in the same way to enjoy its sweet smell must be separated from their people.’ “Frankincense [2,3] was and is used in many religions for cultic purposes and has been for many thousands of years. In addition, it has medicinal effects, as smoke as well as substantial. It works namely on the central nervous system calming, harmonizing, antiaggressive; and the religious use results from the fact that incense apparently has a dissolving effect against negative spiritual contents and entities in the brain and purifies and opens the pineal gland as a medium for contact with the soul [4]. It is noticeable that the myrrh is used as a substance in the sacred oil, and the frankincense, moreover, as inhaled smoke with healing abilities.

See Exodus 16:47-48 [1]: «Aaron did as Moses said and ran into the midst of the assembly. The plague had already started among the people, but Aaron offered incense. He stood between the living and the dead, and the plague stopped. »Myrrh and frankincense have psycheled effects in common [4,5]. It is of course also remarkable that Jesus (Jeshua ben Josef) received both as a gift for his birth, additionally gold (probably as colloidal gold, not pure). Since he certainly did not get these to fight a disease, because he was healthy until death, one can express the assumption that these three means were meant for our present time. Today we have to deal with problems for which these three remedies seem to be predestined [6].


Myrrh (Latin mirrafrom Greek myrrha, borrowed from the Semitic language root m-r-r, for this Arabic murr, Hebrew מֹר mōr, Aramaic ܐܪܝܪܡ mriro «bitter») or myrrh resin is the aromatic gum resin of several species of the genus Commiphora («myrrh bush») of the balsam family, primarily Commiphora myrrha [7]. This thorny shrub, up to three meters tall, grows in Somalia. Other myrrh-producing species thrive in southern Arabia (including Commiphora simplicifolia Schweinf., C. foliacea Sprague) and Ethiopia (Commiphora habessinica (O.Berg), C. hildebrandtii). In medieval medicine, myrrh resin was used, for example, in the treatment of wounds, with a distinction between white and red varieties. As myrrh tincture (often mixed with ratanhia tincture), myrrh has pharmaceutical significance today for inflammations of the oral mucosa: It is disinfectant, astringent, and promotes scarring; in addition, it has hemostatic properties. It also has antispasmodic effect, so it is also used in intestinal diseases: Myrrh reduces the state of tension of the «smooth» intestinal muscles; this reduces the number of intestinal contractions, intestinal spasms are relieved. Studies at the University of Leipzig have shown that the medicinal plant can also have a stabilizing effect on the socalled mast cells in the intestine. These cells can trigger diarrhea and intestinal motility disorders and are associated, among other things, with the development of irritable bowel symptoms [8]. In addition, myrrh reduces pro-inflammatory processes in the intestine and has the ability to reduce the formation of free radicals there, thus strengthening the antioxidant protection system. Combined with coffee charcoal and chamomile, an even greater anti-inflammatory effect is observed. With this combination, it could be shown that the medicinal drugs were comparably effective as the standard synthetic drug Mesalazine for maintaining the remission-free phase in ulcerative colitis [8].


The name cinnamon [9] derives via Middle High German zinemīn (also zimet, zimmat and zinmënt) and Old High German cinmënt via sinamīn from Middle Latin cinnamomum; this is from Latin cinnamum, Ancient Greek κιννάμωμον (kinnámōmon), which is derived from Semitic. From antiquity to early modern times, cinnamon bark was considered to have medicinal properties for coughs and colds, among other things, as a stomachic, as well as diuretic, laxative, menstrual, and also hemostatic, for example in hemorrhoids [10]. A possible blood sugar lowering effect of cinnamon in early stages of diabetes mellitus is controversially discussed in modern medicine [11].


In many cultures, marijuana (dried leaves and inflorescences whole) and hashish (the resin of the flower hairs of the female plant) are used in traditional medicine, but also consumed as stimulants and intoxicants. From the multitude of active substances contained in the plant (besides cannabinoids, mainly terpenes), Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) have been recognized in modern times as pharmacologically particularly effective components and researched separately. In addition to marijuana, standardized extracts and synthetic THC analogues are also used in therapy [12]. Cannabis has been used as a medicine in various cultures for thousands of years [13]. The Papyrus Ebers, written in the 16th century B.C., mentions a plant identified as cannabis as a component of a remedy «for the toenail.» The recipe suggests its use as a poultice. The classical Chinese book of Shennong of medicinal plants from the 2nd or 3rd century AD, attributed to the mythical emperor Shennong (c. 2800 BC), mentions the resin of the cannabis flower as a remedy for beriberi, constipation, women’s diseases, gout, malaria, rheumatism, and absent-mindedness. Even effects on glioma are discussed [14].

Cassia Fistula

The bark/bark of the cane cassia (john bread tree) contains tannins and is therefore used for tanning and the red dye for coloring. The wood ash is used for pickling [15]. The pulp contains 60 to 70% sugar, some tannic acid and dye. The fruits are sold worldwide in the dried state. The fruit skin is woody and relatively hard. If the peel is broken open, the fruit pulp is found as black slices not unlike licorice. The «pulp slices» have a delicate floral aroma, are suitable for consumption and are very sweet due to the high sugar content. The fruits of the tubular cassia were often called manna in the past. Furthermore, the pulp and seeds are said to act as mild laxatives and anti-inflammatory and as antioxidants [16,17].


The composition of the Holy - Anointing - Oil testifies to great wisdom. It deals with all the problems that people experience when staying for a long time in inhospitable conditions such as a desert, i.e., inflammation of all kinds, gastrointestinal infections and intoxications, but also depression and aggression. It would be worth considering whether this should also be composed, used and experientially tested in modern times. The oil could be used internally and externally


  3. Dieter Martinetz, Karlheinz Lohs, Jörg Janzen (1989) Weihrauch und Myrrhe : Kulturgeschichte und wirtschaftliche Bedeutung; Botanik, Chemie, Medizin (= WVG-Bildatlas). Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft, Stuttgart.
  4. A Moussaieff, N Rimmerman , Tatiana Bregman, Alex Straiker, Christian C Felder, et al. (2008) Incensole acetate, an incense component, elicits psychoactivity by activating TRPV3 channels in the brain. The FASEB journal 22(8): 3024-34.
  5. In: W Blaschek, G Schneider, S Ebel, AW Frahm, E Hackenthal (Eds.)., (1998) Hagers Handbuch der Pharmazeutischen Praxis. Band 2: Drogen A–K. Springer, Berlin.
  8. J Langhorst, I Varnhagen, S B Schneider, U Albrecht, A Rueffer, et al. (2013) Randomised clinical trial: a herbal preparation of myrrh, chamomile and coffee charcoal compared with mesalazine in maintaining remission in ulcerative colitis–a double-blind, double-dummy study. Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics 38(5): 490-500.
  10. LR Beuchat (1994) Antimicrobial properties of spices and their essential oils. Natural antimicrobial systems and food preservation, pp. 167-179.
  11. RT Yousef, GG Tawil (1980) Antimicrobial activity of volatile oils. Pharmazie 35(11): 698-701.
  13. Robert C Clarke, Mark D Merlin (2013) Cannabis. Evolution and Ethnobotany. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles.
  14. C Blázquez, L González-Feria, L Alvarez, A Haro, ML Casanova, et al. (2004) Cannabinoids inhibit the vascular endothelial growth factor pathway in gliomas. Cancer Research 64(16): 5617-23.
  16. Theeshan Bahorun, Vidushi S Neergheen, Okezie I Aruoma (2005) Phytochemical constituents of Cassia fistula. African Journal of Biotechnology 4(13): 1530-1540.
  17. Raju Ilavarasan, Moni Mallika, Subramanian Venkataraman (2005) Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities of Cassia fistula Linn. bark extracts. African Journal of Traditional - CAM = Complementary and Alternative Medicines 2(1): 70-85.