12/09/2013

Frankincense and Myrrh

Copyright©Jim Long 2013
Ever wonder why frankincense and myrrh are associated with Christmas? Just what, exactly is it, and why was it so valuable?
Frankincense, resin from the Bowsellia tree.
Frankincense and myrrh have been used for eons, for incense. Records show it was traded in North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, where it has grown, for the past 5,000 years. You'll find it still used in Catholic and Episcopal churches around the world. Both resins have a sweet, warm, balsamic fragrance when burned on charcoal or fireplace embers.

Frankincense, as well as myrrh, are the aromatic resins, or solidified sap from trees. It was burned as offerings in the early Hebrew temples and because of the distance it had to travel on the trade routes, was considered almost worth its weight in gold.

But burning frankincense and myrrh as incense (slightly akin to burning stacks of $100 bills today) wasn't the primary use. Both frankincense and myrrh have proven antiseptic and inflammatory properties. They were once considered remedies for everything from leprosy to toothaches, and very helpful in caring for newborn infants because of the antiseptic properties. The ancient Egyptians used great amounts of both resins for use in insect repellents, facial treatments, salves for wounds and sores. They also used myrrh in their embalming practices.
Myrrh "tears', hardened gum resin from the Commiphora tree.
Today, both frankincense and myrrh continue to be used for their healing properties. Both are used in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicines. You'll find myrrh in many toothpastes because it has proven helpful to dental and gum health. There is current research into its use in cancer treatments, Crohn's disease and many other conditions. It is used in salves for healing cuts, burns and injuries and you can easily make your own. We have frankincense and myrrh in the bulk on our Bulk Herbs page.

Frankincense and Myrrh Incense Kit

We also offer a wonderful Frankincense and Myrrh Kit which includes a packet of each gum resin, special easy-light charcoal tablets, a ceramic tile and complete instructions, all boxed in a keepsake wooden treasure chest. Click here to see and order. We ship the day following receipt of your order.
Thank you for stopping by.

1 comment:

Kim Campbell said...

Frankincense smells amazing wafting through out the home, very cleansing and purifies the air. Love this stuff :D Lovely article