Why use oils on the body

May 2, 2024
By Dennis Klocek 2 min read

Since the most ancient times, the application of fragrant oils to the body has provided a special and harmonizing experience. From the language of anointing in the ancient texts to the current research in essential oils the recognition that a unique dimension is offered to humans in the application of fragrant oils to different areas of the body. 

Fixed oils offer protection and nutrition to the outer sensory dense layers of the body. Essential oils engage the liver and spleen, pancreas and kidney. When blended together, oils with a warm sulfur content like in black seed cumin oil, the sulfur in the cumin engages the protective volatility of a resinous essential oil like pine to form an alchemical “wedding”. This marriage enhances the activity of both and the blend serves as a highly extractive mother oil for other more specifically warming herbs.

It is in the warm infusion oils that an interesting process of anointing can be instructive regarding the power of oils to protect and energize the body. The carrier oil is infused with the leaves of ashwagandha, valerian and marjoram and the seeds of wild anise, all warming herbs. The application of the warm oil to three specific areas in the body is intended to activate what in traditional Chinese medicine is called the triple warmer or triple cooker. When superimposed on the triple warmer diagram, the lymph drainage pathways from the right arm, right shoulder, neck and head are an exact match. This is the lymph pathway to the venous circulation into the heart.  The left side of the lymph circulation to the heart drains the intestines and digestive organs under the diaphragm as well as the lymph from the head and arms in addition to the lymph from both legs. The primary intestinal lymph cistern for lower lymph return is just above the navel. The primary upward lymph return vessel(thoracic duct) crosses the diaphragm and through body motion moves lymph upwards to the venous return under the breastbone and on into the heart. There are then three centers for lymph circulation throughout the body. The intestinal cistern, the thoracic duct and the venous return near the breastbone (heart and lung). Anointing these areas with oils activates stagnant lymph that often underlies degenerative disease patterns.

Oil is fire manifest in a substance. The flower that produces it is a living flame immolating the lower elements and distilling them into plant oils; remarkably active and highly sensitive substances.

In ancient times, fat was second only to blood in the pantheon of holy substances. Anointing the body with oil was all at once protection, nutrition, and celebration.

A simple ritual of anointing for the triple cooker unites both body and soul through the relationship between oil, lymph, and blood. A drop or two of the oil circled around the navel followed by a few drops horizontally under the rib cage with a final horizontal movement under the breastbones can easily be accompanied by prayers for health or balance and is in reality a dynamic but simple ritual to protect, nourish and celebrate the miracle of the unity of a human soul with a human body.


Dennis Klocek

Dennis Klocek, MFA, is co-founder of the Coros Institute, an internationally renowned lecturer, and teacher. He is the author of nine books, including the newly released Colors of the Soul; Esoteric Physiology and also Sacred Agriculture: The Alchemy of Biodynamics. He regularly shares his alchemical, spiritual, and scientific insights at soilsoulandspirit.com.


  1. Barbara Booth on May 3, 2024 at 7:35 am

    Always grateful for your transformative work. Are you familiar with Eric Dollard’s work?

  2. Ann Marie Dale on May 3, 2024 at 8:37 am

    I am glad you are bringing the Art of Oil Anointing to Anthroposophy. You may wish to know that in Ayurveda, which word means “Science of life” or Life Knowledge “ and has as its main tenet “Know Thyself,” says that Oil is Love. The Sanskrit word Shneha is used for Love and Oil. Stupendous Love is Shnehana. All those little kernels, nuts or seeds, gave themselves in an act of love to be wedded to the human being ! 💛

    The art of self oil anointing is called in Ayurveda, Ahbyanga.

    The essential oils of these sacred trees and plants are called oil by misnomer. Their active constituents distilled into potency and their reproductive powers offered chastely to the human.

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