Cassia is one of the oldest spices known to mankind. It was used as a mouthwash and to perfume the hair, and also used in cooking—since it’s similar in taste and smell to cinnamon. People didn’t wash their clothes or hair frequently, so applying cassia served a practical purpose. In Ezekiel 27:18–19 we learn that Cassia oil was also used in trade.
It came to Europe by Arabian and Phoenician traders and the buds were known in Europe by the Middle Ages.
The dried flowers of cinnamon were popular among the Israelites. It was an ingredient, along with myrrh and cinnamon bark, in the preparation of the holy anointing oil (Exodus 30:24); “Take the finest spices: 500 shekels of liquid myrrh, half as much (250 shekels) of fragrant cinnamon, 250 shekels of fragrant cane, 500 shekels of CASSIA— all according to the sanctuary shekel— and a hin of olive oil. Prepare from these a holy anointing oil, a fragrant blend, the work of a perfumer; it will be a holy anointing oil.… (Exodus 30:23-25)
Twice as much cassia had to be used as cinnamon. These dried flowers also served as a perfume, together with myrrh and aloes according to Psalms 45:8. Cassia was among the trade wares of Tyre as mentioned in Ezekiel 27:19. The name of Job’s second daughter found in Job 42:14 may indicate that the fragrance was highly valued.
Cassia is antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and an anticoagulant. It's mentioned in Ex. 30:24; Ezekiel 27:19; Psalm 45:8. We can also see how Cassia is a picture of prayer:
Cassia is “qiddah” in Hebrew. It's a bark folded into shriveled rolls, (Strongs: 6916. qiddah) The Hebrew word comes from the root word (Strongs: 6915 qadad) which means to shrivel up, or bend the body or neck, to bow (down) (the) head, stoop.
The word here presents a picture of bowing in submission, surrender and prayer. BOTH Cassia, as one of the ingredients in the holy anointing oil, AND our prayers are described as incense.
Cassia in Hebrew means to bow down the head. The word here presents a picture of surrender and prayer. Both Cassia, as one of the ingredients in the holy anointing oil, and our prayers are described as incense.
”…The twenty four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” (Revelation 5:8)
“Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.” (Psalm 141:2)
Cassia--a picture of bowing the head in prayer. Is it any wonder that it's also a cardiovascular oil? (It's good for the heart) Think of this the next time you use your cassia oil!
More information on cassia and its biblical roots and uses are found in video #4 Oils of the Bible Online Course https://oilsofthebibleonline.com/oils © Rachel Lee Carter
Rachel Lee Carter is an alumna of Word of Life Bible Institute in NY. There, she studied Bible Survey and Systematic Theology with an emphasis on evangelism and youth ministry. doTERRA has allowed her to expand her ministry and career to include Oils of the Bible training.