You might have heard of frankincense and myrrh in relation to the Christmas story or as ingredients in high-end beauty products.
But did you know these two natural substances have an intriguing history and have been used to boost health and well-being for centuries?
Frankincense and myrrh are both resinous compounds derived from tree sap. Frankincense is derived from the Boswellia tree, whereas myrrh is extracted from the Commiphora tree.
They have been used for thousands of years for their medicinal, therapeutic, and spiritual properties, mainly in the Middle East and Africa.
In a world where so many things are synthesized and created artificially, it is critical to investigate natural remedies that have been used for generations. Frankincense and myrrh are fascinating since they have a long and rich history and are supported by scientific evidence.
In this post, we'll look at the anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer characteristics of frankincense and myrrh, their ability to strengthen the immune system and slow aging, and their impact on mental and emotional well-being.
We'll also review how to incorporate frankincense and myrrh into your everyday routine to reap incredible health benefits!
Table of Contents
- Frankincense and Myrrh History - Uncovering Their Ancient Roots
- What is Frankincense and Myrrh?
- The Miraculous Duo: Health Benefits of Frankincense and Myrrh
- The Power of Frankincense and Myrrh: Unlocking Spiritual and Emotional Well-Being
- How to Use Frankincense and Myrrh: Unraveling Their Magical Potential
- Frankincense and Myrrh Aromatherapy Oils
- Frankincense and Myrrh Incense
- Frankincense and Myrrh Tea
- Frankincense and Myrrh Lotions and Creams
- Key Takeaways
Frankincense and Myrrh History - Uncovering Their Ancient Roots
Frankincense and myrrh may appear to be niche health products or trendy essential oils - but they are two of the world's oldest and most well-known aromatic substances and have a long and illustrious history closely tied to the development of civilization itself.
Used in combination since 1500 BC, frankincense and myrrh were two of the most precious substances in the ancient world and were widely used for their aromatic, medicinal, and spiritual properties.
Frankincense and Myrrh Historical Journey
Frankincense was used by the Persians, Babylonians, and Assyrians for medicinal purposes and was thought to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects. It was also burned as incense and used in religious ceremonies.
Likewise, myrrh was a famous Egyptian treatment utilized in embalming rituals and was regarded as a sign of immortality. Just like frankincense, it was also used in religious ceremonies in the ancient world.
Frankincense and myrrh were highly prized in ancient Greece and Rome. The Greeks believed that the natural resins had a purifying effect on the body and mind, and they were burned as incense in the temples of Apollo as an offering to the gods.
The Romans used frankincense and myrrh in their religious ceremonies and also as medicine and perfume. Together, they were used to treat various diseases, such as respiratory problems, digestive issues, and skin conditions.
Frankincense and Myrrh Biblical Significance
Both frankincense and myrrh are referenced in the biblical book of Exodus as sacred articles in the early Jewish and Christian faiths.
In the Christmas story, gold, frankincense and myrrh are part of the three gifts brought by the Magi (Wise Men) to the baby Jesus.
Myrrh was often used as an anointing oil, while frankincense was popularly known as a perfume. The third gift, which was gold, was highly valued due to its worth.
Together, the three gifts held great spiritual significance: gold symbolized earthly kingship, frankincense represented divinity, and myrrh was associated with death and embalming.
Frankincense and myrrh are burned as incense by the traditional Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Anglican/Episcopal churches even today.
What is Frankincense and Myrrh?
Both frankincense and myrrh are resinous compounds derived from trees.
What is Frankincense?
Frankincense (Boswellia) tree, Salalah, Oman
Frankincense is an aromatic resin from about five species of Boswellia trees and is primarily found in the Arabian Peninsula and parts of Africa and India, and is commonly harvested in Somalia, Oman, and Yemen.
The resin is extracted by making incisions in the bark of the tree and collecting the sap that oozes out. This sap hardens into small, tear-shaped droplets, which are then cleaned and sorted by hand.
What is Myrrh?
Myrrh (Commiphora) tree sap
Myrrh is a natural resin derived from the Commiphora tree, which grows throughout Africa and the Middle East and is typically found in Somalia, Ethiopia, and Eritrea. The term "myrrh" is derived from the Arabic word "murr," which means bitter.
The resin is extracted by making incisions in the tree's bark, which causes a sap-like substance to seep out. The sap hardens into small yellow-brown beads that are gathered by hand.
After being harvested, the beads are sifted and cleaned to remove impurities. The resin can then be used in its natural state or further processed into different forms, such as essential oil or tincture.
Differences Between Frankincense and Myrrh
While both substances have similar characteristics, they do differ in some ways.
Frankincense has a sweeter, citrusy aroma, while myrrh is more earthy.
Frankincense is generally used to promote relaxation and emotional well-being, whilst myrrh possesses anti-inflammatory and wound-healing qualities.
Frankincense and myrrh are both popular as essential oils, which can be diffused in a room, or applied topically to the skin. They can be found in many products, including incense, creams, and lotions.
The Miraculous Duo: Health Benefits of Frankincense and Myrrh
Alright, we've covered the history and background of frankincense and myrrh. Now let's get to the good stuff - their incredible health benefits!
One of the most well-known benefits of frankincense and myrrh are their anti-inflammatory properties. Both resins have been shown to reduce inflammation in the body, which can help alleviate symptoms of conditions like arthritis, asthma, and inflammatory bowel disease. So, if you're looking for a natural way to soothe inflammation, frankincense and myrrh might be just what you need.
Another exciting benefit of these resins are their promising anti-cancer properties. According to some studies, frankincense and myrrh may help prevent cancer cell development and even promote cancer cell death. While more research is needed in this area, the potential of these natural chemicals in the battle against cancer is encouraging.
As we age, our skin tends to lose elasticity and develop wrinkles. Both resins have been found to offer anti-aging properties for the skin, including reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Research also suggests that frankincense and myrrh can enhance memory and be a natural treatment for brain and memory disorders. If you're looking for a natural way to keep your skin looking youthful and your brain sharp, adding frankincense and myrrh to your daily routine may be worth a try!
Immune System Enhancers
Frankincense and myrrh have been shown to stimulate the immune system and may help the body fight off infections and diseases. If you want to boost your immune system, trying frankincense and myrrh aromatherapy can be a smart idea.
From reducing inflammation to potentially fighting cancer, this magical duo has much to offer. Thus, the next time you see the blend in a skincare product, essential oil mix, or aromatic incense, remember that they are more than just fancy ingredients - they might be your passport to greater health!
The Power of Frankincense and Myrrh: Unlocking Spiritual and Emotional Well-Being
Frankincense and myrrh have even more to offer than just their health benefits. They can help us find a sense of calm and relaxation in our busy lives, reduce feelings of anxiety and depression, and improve our overall mood and mental clarity.
Religious and Spiritual Practices
For thousands of years, frankincense and myrrh have been used in religious and spiritual rites. They are mentioned extensively in religious books, including the Bible, and were originally thought to be more valuable than gold. They are embraced by various cultures and used in ceremonies and rituals for spiritual purification.
Relaxation and Stress Relief
Frankincense and myrrh have a calming effect on the mind and body, which makes them excellent for reducing stress and promoting relaxation. They are used in aromatherapy for this very reason and can also be added to a warm bath or diffused into the air to create a peaceful atmosphere.
Mood and Mental Clarity
In addition to promoting relaxation, frankincense and myrrh are believed to improve mood and mental clarity. They can help reduce anxiety and depression, and some studies have even found that they may improve cognitive function.
So, whether you use them for religious rituals or to improve your emotional well-being, frankincense and myrrh are remarkable substances that have stood the test of time!
Incorporating them into your spiritual or emotional wellness routine can be as simple as lighting some frankincense and myrrh incense or diffusing an essential oil blend - great ways to take a moment to connect with the spiritual and emotional benefits of these ancient resins.
How to Use Frankincense and Myrrh: Unraveling Their Magical Potential
Frankincense and Myrrh Aromatherapy Oils
Essential oils are one of the most popular ways to use frankincense and myrrh. When diluted with a carrier oil, they can be diffused into the air or used topically.
They can be used alone, in combination with each other, or bought as a ready blend to create a more personalized aromatherapy experience.
Here are 5 ways to use frankincense and myrrh essential oils:
Inhalation: Add a few drops of frankincense and myrrh essential oils to a diffuser or a bowl of hot water, and inhale the steam. This can help clear congestion, ease respiratory issues, and promote relaxation.
Topical application: Dilute frankincense and myrrh essential oils in a carrier oil such as almond, coconut, or jojoba oil and apply it to the skin to help with pain relief, inflammation, and skin rejuvenation.
Bathing: Add a few drops of frankincense and myrrh essential oils to your bathwater for a relaxing and therapeutic soak to help reduce stress, calm the mind, and soothe sore muscles.
Massage: Mix frankincense and myrrh essential oils with a carrier oil and use it for massage therapy to promote pain relief, alleviate inflammation, and promote relaxation.
Meditation: Use frankincense and myrrh essential oils in meditation by applying a few drops to your palms, rubbing them together, and inhaling deeply. This can help you to focus, calm your mind, and promote spiritual awareness. Alternatively, you can also burn some natural frankincense and myrrh incense.
Frankincense and Myrrh Incense
Incense is another popular way to use frankincense and myrrh, and the benefits are backed by science.
An article from Science Daily suggests, burning incense activates channels in the brain to alleviate anxiety or depression:
Religious leaders have contended for millennia that burning incense is good for the soul. Now, biologists have learned that it is good for our brains too...This suggests that an entirely new class of depression and anxiety drugs might be right under our noses.
Pre-made incense sticks or cones can be purchased, or raw resins can be burned on charcoal discs. Burning frankincense and myrrh incense is a wonderful way to purify the air and create a serene and soothing atmosphere.
Especially when you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, burning some 100% natural frankincense and myrrh incense instantly creates a peaceful and calming environment and can help you find a moment of stillness in the chaos of everyday life.
Frankincense and Myrrh Tea
Frankincense and myrrh resins can be steeped in hot water to make a fragrant and tasty tea with several health advantages such as being used as a home remedy for congestion, to increase fertility, and stimulate brain function. It's an excellent way to get the benefits of these resins on an internal level.
Here’s how to make frankincense and myrrh tea at home:
- 1 teaspoon of Frankincense resin (not all Frankincense resin is water-soluble, make sure to buy the water-soluble type)
- 1 teaspoon of Myrrh resin
- 2 cups of water
- Honey (optional)
- Fill a tea kettle or pot with 2 cups of water and bring it to a boil.
- While waiting for the water to boil, crush the Frankincense and Myrrh resins using a mortar and pestle. This will help to release their aromatic oils and increase their potency.
- Once the water has boiled, add the crushed resins to a small saucepan and pour the boiling water over them.
- Let the mixture steep for a few hours or overnight. You can adjust the steeping time depending on how strong you want the tea to be.
- After the tea has steeped, strain it through a fine mesh strainer into a teapot or cup.
- If desired, add honey or other sweeteners to the tea for added flavor.
Enjoy your fragrant cup of frankincense and myrrh tea!
Note: The taste of Frankincense and Myrrh tea may be slightly bitter or resinous. You can adjust the amount of resin or steeping time to suit your personal taste.
Frankincense and Myrrh Lotions and Creams
Frankincense and myrrh are popular in high-end skincare products due to their anti-aging and hydrating effects.
Here are a few ways you can experience these skin-care benefits at home:
Facial serum: Add a few drops of frankincense and myrrh essential oils to a carrier oil such as jojoba or argan oil. Apply the mixture to your face and neck every night before bed to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and to promote healthy, glowing skin.
Body lotion: Add a few drops of frankincense and myrrh essential oils to your favorite unscented body lotion or body butter. Apply to your skin after showering to promote hydration and improve skin tone.
Bath soak: Add a few drops of frankincense and myrrh essential oils to your bathwater, along with Epsom salt and your favorite carrier oil. Soak for 20-30 minutes to relax your mind and body and promote healthy skin.
We've covered a lot of ground in this post about frankincense and myrrh!
From their rich history to their wide-ranging health, spiritual and emotional benefits - it's clear that these resins have a lot to offer. Let’s do a quick recap…
- Frankincense and myrrh are ancient resins with a long history of medicinal and spiritual significance.
- For centuries, religious practices have used frankincense, which has anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and anti-aging properties.
- Myrrh has a long history of use in traditional medicine and has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and immune-boosting qualities.
- Several of the health advantages traditionally associated with frankincense and myrrh have been proven by scientific investigation.
- When combined, frankincense and myrrh have been found to provide emotional benefits such as stress relief, relaxation, and improved mood.
- Frankincense and myrrh incense, essential oils, tea, and beauty products are a great way to incorporate these ancient resins into your daily routine and experience their benefits firsthand!