Hildegard’s Essentials: Essential Oil Tips from a Saint

Saintly Tips

Who better to get essential oil tips from than a Saint?  Right? Hildegard’s Essentials are herbal remedies from Saint Hildegard adapted for modern-day essential oil use. Hildegard of Bingen was a 12th century nun, composer, author, herbalist, healer, and visionary.  Her visions from God inspired her to become a herbal healer and to write extensively about the subject throughout her life.  It is for these visions and writings that she was granted Sainthood by the Roman Catholic Church.

In her works she discusses the healing properties of 17 plants that are commercially available today in essential oil form; I’ve highlighted 10 of them here which I’ve named “Hildegard’s Essentials”.  Hildegard didn’t use essential oils.  She used the whole plants (steams, leaves, bark, or resin), which is the traditional way herbal medicine is practiced.  With today’s amazing distillation technology we are blessed to be able to use essential oils in our herbal remedies.  Oils are much more potent than there whole plant counterparts; and less oil is needed to be effective; making oils a natural choice for herbal remedies.  So, I’ve substituted essential oils for her herbs.


Hildegard’s Essentials

You can shop for any of these oils over on my retail page: Orange Tree Oils.



  1. Chamomile: First up is Chamomile.  This is a super popular oil today (and one of my personal favorites)!  Hildegard uses Chamomile to detoxify the body during fasting.  Use Chamomile oil the same way today.  You can add a drop of (safe for consumption) oil to a cup of hot water and drink as a lovely detoxing tea!  Shop my retail page for Chamomile oil that is safe to consume. 

2. Clary Sage:  I LOVE this oil!  It has so many uses!  Hildegard recommended it for gastritis and gas pain after meals.  Rub a little oil, along with a carrier oil over you belly if you are experiencing gas pain.  I can tell you it will work wonders!  It will also uplift your spirits!

3. Geranium: Hildegard believed that Geranium was the ultimate cold/flu herbal healer.  During a cold or flu rub it onto the chest with a carrier oil; or diffuse it.  It mixes well with other cold/flu fighters such as: Lavender, Chamomile, and Fennel.

4. Fennel: This is hands down Hildegard’s favorite herb.  Its multipurpose for her.  A great way to use Fennel oil is to diffuse it when you have a runny nose.

5. Lavender: Hildegard recommends drinking Lavender wine for chest congestion.  To use the oil for the same purpose rub it into your chest with a carrier oil.  You can also diffuse it.  Hildegard says that using Lavender will “provide the person with clear knowledge and a clear understanding”.  I’ll take some of that please!

6. Ginger: this is another herb Hildegard recommends for detox during fasting.  Today you can use the oil to flavor food or drink it in a glass of water for a detox.  Make sure you have Ginger oil that is safe for consumption.  Shop my retail page for safe Ginger.  Also, here’s a recipe for Gingerbread Cookies that Hildegard would definitely approve of!

7, 9, and 10. Marjoram, Oregano, and Rosemary:  Hildegard used are three of these herbs in the kitchen.  She believed that food also served as medicine and using herbs in culinary dishes for flavoring was a two for one.  You get excellent flavor and medicinal benefits all in one.  Hildegard liked to use these three particular herbs in her salad dressing.  Today you can substitute the actual herbal leaves for the oil.  It makes putting salad dressings together easier, less messy, and you need less of the oil then the leaves.


8. Myrrh: Hildegard recommended Myrrh to clean teeth.  Her method involved burning Myrrh resin, sucking the smoke through a straw and into clenched teeth.  The patient had to be careful to let the smoke envelop the teeth, but not inhale it.  Today its a lot easier to use Myrrh for your dental health!  Just add a drop of Myrrh oil to your toothpaste when you brush your teeth!  Myrrh has powerful cleansing properties and it will give you a super fresh feeling mouth!  Make sure your Myrrh oil is safe for consumption.  Check out my retail page for safe to consume Myrrh oil.

Hildegard’s Wisdom

To me using Hildegard’s Essentials and divine wisdom to support the health of my family and I is spiritual.  Like Hildegard, I believe that God gave us essential plant oils to support our health.  I truly believe that He intends for us to live our best lives through eating the right foods, exercising, and working to achieve overall health and wellness.  Essential oils should be used as a tool to aid in every person’s quest for wellness.  Hildegard was a deeply devout woman who spent a great deal of her life in prayer and meditation.  I truly believe that she was given her wisdom by God.  God does speak to us when we open our hearts and listen.  I am sure that Hildegard had an open heart and ear for God.

“I see things not with my external eyes, nor do I hear them with my external ears.  I see them rather only in my soul with my bodily eyes wide open, so that I am never overcome by ecstatic unconsciousness, but see these things when I am awake during the day and during the night.  The light that I see is not confined to space.  It is much lighter than a cloud which bears the sun within it.  I can recognize neither height nor length nor breadth in it.  I am told it is the shadow of living light.  In this light I sometimes, but not often, see another light which I am told is the living light.  When and how long I can see it I cannot say.  But as long as I see it, all sadness and all fear are taken from me, so that I feel like a simple young girl and not like an old woman.”

~ Saint Hildegard of Bingen

Hildegard books I’ve read and recommend:

Hildegard of Bingen’s Medicine

From Saint Hildegard’s Kitchen