You may not think of frankincense and myrrh outside of the gifts of the wise men in the traditional Christmas story. However, these two aromatic resins are used for a lot more than props in a nativity scene. Myrrh and frankincense have played a vital role throughout human history, and their sweet, smoky fragrances hold a wealth of potential benefits for us in the modern world as well. Read on to learn more about the history of myrrh frankincense products and how you can continue in the rich tradition of using it to support your own natural, healthy lifestyle.
What is Myrrh Frankincense?
A surprising fact for some is that “myrrh frankincense” is not considered one thing, although the two ingredients can be blended. Frankincense and myrrh, in fact, are both resins that are sourced from distinctive trees in the Middle East. Frankincense is harvested from the sap of the Boswellia carterii or Boswellia sacara tree found mainly in Somalia, while myrrh comes from the Commiphora myrrha tree found across the Middle East and Africa. Each are harvested by making cuts in the trees and allowing the sap to flow out and harden. After being harvested, the resin is distilled into essential oils that are used in a number of both topical and internal applications.
The History of Frankincense and Myrrh
Precious myrrh and frankincense resins were considered valuable for more than 5,000 years. The ancient Egyptians used them as facial salves and as a key part of their sacred embalming practice. Myrrh is mentioned no fewer than 150 times in the Bible and was burned as a part of worship and prayer in ancient Hebrew culture. These fragrant resins have never dwindled in usage and as essential oil knowledge grows, so does the use of frankincense and myrrh in modern herbal medicine.
Potential Benefits of Frankincense and Myrrh
Frankincense and myrrh are available in essential oil form and are regularly used both topically and internally. Many masseuses and aromatherapy experts swear by using these oils to provide relaxation and support for a healthy stress response. Detailed studies have been done which prove that myrrh may be helpful as a topical antiseptic, and could support wound healing. Oncological studies have also been conducted which explore the potential of using both frankincense and myrrh oil to inhibit the growth of malignant cells. Both resins have also been studied and have been shown to be a potential support against pain and inflammation, adding to the long list of reasons why these oils have a rich and lasting place in natural medicine.
Using Frankincense and Myrrh for Your Health
Even the most common and historically used substances should be used with caution, and frankincense and myrrh are no exception. Both oils generally used topically, however those with sensitive skin may have a reaction and should discontinue use if this occurs. Myrrh oil can also be taken internally, but could potentially cause stomach discomfort and could interact with other medicines, so discuss this with your health practitioner before ingesting either frankincense or myrrh.
Check out These Myrrh and Frankincense Products
If you’re ready to integrate these oils into your daily life, take a look at these products available from Natural Healthy Concepts.
Boswellia with Frankincense Oil from Terry Naturally: This supplement offers a blend of boswellia and frankincense that may support cell and tissue health. It comes in 60 softgels, which are a rich source of antioxidants that work to protect against dangerous free radicals.
Myrrh Gum from Solaray: This supplement contains 100 vegetarian capsules that support optimal health by promoting immunity, stimulating mental clarity, blood flow, and healthy digestion.
Yoga and Meditation Balm from Badger: This USDA certified organic balm stick contains the blended aromas of both frankincense and myrrh, working to bring a deep-rooted grounding experience to the user, which is essential those practicing yoga, mindfulness, or another type of meditation.
Were you at first confused about myrrh frankincense? Do you have your own history with these essential oils? We would love to read about it in the comments section below so feel free to share your experiences and questions.