The Miracle of Onycha Oil
by David Stewart, PhD, DNM
Onycha is a Biblical oil mentioned in Exodus 30:34 as an ingredient in
the Holy Incense to be diffused in temples of worship. Onycha oil (Styrax
benzoin) is also a powerful antiseptic and facilitator of rapid
healing. It goes by several common names including Friar's Balm and Javanese
Frankincense. It is extracted from the resin of a tree that grows in
the Far East, specifically in Indonesia.
For more than 200 years, hospitals have used an alcohol solution of
this oil as their primary antiseptic. Dissolved in ethyl alcohol, it is
called Benzoin or Tincture of Benzoin. It is the smell of this tincture that
used to give hospitals their peculiar "hospital smell."
Following World War II, hospitals started to employ other antiseptics
derived from petroleum that were less expensive. They are now
discovering that bacteria can become resistant to these synthetic antiseptics, but
do not become resistant to Tincture of Benzoin. Hence, many of today's
hospitals are returning to the natural antiseptic of Benzoin realizing it is
more effective and does not contribute toward the creation of resistant
strains of virulent pathogens.
Resistant strains of bacteria are a major and growing problem in
hospitals today resulting in thousands of deaths every year. Even visitors to
hospitals can pick up these pathogens, which can be fatal. Even the most
powerful antibiotics, such as vancomyacin and microcillin, do not kill these
germs. The answer is to be found in natural products such as essential oils.
Chemistry of Onycha Oil
The chemical composition of onycha oil is unique. It contains more
organic acids than any other oil. These include benzoic and cinnamic acids. It
also contains a compound named "vanillin aldehyde" which is a dominant
compound in the beans of the vanilla plants of tropical South America (Vanilla
planifolia and Vanilla aromatica). These are the sources of the extract
with the distinctive aroma and flavor of vanilla we love so much.
complete analysis of onycha oil is given in my book,
The Chemistry of Essential Oils Made Simple.
Onycha oil is an absolute, extracted from a tree resin by solvents,
not by distillation. It is darkly colored and very thick. It will not usually
pour through the small opening in the dropper cap of most essential oil
Onycha as a Healing Oil
Oil of onycha is unparalleled in its therapeutic action on open
wounds. Let me give you a couple of examples.
A year or so ago, I was using a sharp knife and was not following the
appropriate safety procedures nor common sense. The knife slipped and
cut my left thumb down to the bone. It bled profusely. I first applied
some frankincense to stop the bleeding, which it did within a few minutes.
Then I packed some onycha oil, which is very viscous and thick, into the
I did not use a bandage or Band-Aid or any other covering. I
exposed the wound to sunlight a few times during the day and replenished the
onycha oil in the wound several times. The cut began to show signs of
healing right away. It did not form a scab. Instead, the wound came
together and the two sides began to knit together. It never got infected nor
did it get sore. Within a week, it was totally healed with virtually no scar.
Another more dramatic example is with a friend of mine. He was using
a power saw when he accidentally let his thumb get into the whirling
blade which gouged out a chunk of flesh from the pad of his left thumb. He
went to the hospital emergency room where they applied some antibiotics and
other allopathic potions and bandaged it up. A few days later I saw him in
church with his bandaged thumb. I mentioned that I had an oil that might
help, but he was not interested. "I'll let the doctors take care of it," he
The next week at church, his thumb was still bandaged. When I asked
him about it he said, he had been back to the doctors several times, but
the wound was not healing and was festering and getting worse. Again, I
mentioned that maybe an essential oil would help. He was still not
interested, his faith in allopathy still strong and intact.
Later that week, his wife approached me and asked if there was an oil
that might help her husband's thumb to heal, that it was not getting any
better and that the wound was still open, refusing to seal up and mend itself
despite the fact they had applied all the medicines and done everything the
doctors had prescribed. I told her about onycha oil. She said she would gladly
buy a bottle if I had some. Fortunately, I did have a partial bottle, and
sold it to her.
The next Sunday, he came to church with his wife. They were both
smiling. "This stuff seems to work," he said. "My thumb is starting to heal.
The wound is closed and it is not draining pus any more like it was." His
wife went on to say that they had completely stopped using the prescription
medications and were using only the oil. I told him to keep applying
the onycha, which he did.
Two weeks later he came to church with no bandage. "I can't believe
how this thumb has healed up," he exclaimed. "Look," he said, "There is
hardly any scar and the missing flesh gouged out of my thumb has grown back.
I told my wife," he went on, "We need to get some more of that oil and
keep it on hand."
How to Obtain Therapeutic Grade Onycha Oil
At this time, the only way I know to get onycha oil is in the
Twelve Oils of Ancient Scripture Kit sold by Young Living. It is not available by
I do many programs on
Healing Oils of the Bible
each year and use a
lot of these kits. Since Onycha Oil is so thick and does not easily pour from
the bottle, when the other oils of the kit have run out, there is still
lots of onycha left in the bottle. So I save these and can keep a supply of
onycha on hand for emergencies and first aid whenever I need it.
Information contained on this
site is not intended to diagnose, treat or prescribe.
For medical conditions, contact your licensed health care professional.