Ever wonder why gold, frankincense and myrrh were the gifts of choice given by the wise men from the east to the Christ child? The Bible makes reference to them, especially frankincense mentioned over 2,000 times. Christmas carols also make reference to them and we sing the songs with great reverence. The gold yes, always a nice gift, but why not gems, clothing, money or herds of sheep or goat? A child born into poverty yet destined for greatness would need money and wealth to travel and spread his message.


Frankincense is a gum resin from the bark of the Boswella tree native to Somalia, China, Ethiopia and southern Arabia. It is easily extracted by making a deep incision into the trunk. Over the following weeks a milky juice exudes that eventually hardens in the air.

Myrrh another gum resin exudes from the branches of the sturdy but small myrrh bush native to southern Arabia, Somalia and Ethiopia was well. The thick pale yellow liquid turns reddish brown as it dries and hardens in the air. Neither substance would be hard to produce, store or use if one had access to the trees and shrubs.


With further study into this Christmas mystery, it turns out frankincense and myrrh were two of the most powerful and highly prized substances of the ancient world. Frankincense when broken down to itÕs root words encens meaning incense and franc meaning luxuriant was as valuable as gems or precious metals. Myrrh, widely used and celebrated in perfumes of ancient Greece was also known for its healing properties. The term perfume had a much broader application and was used to treat battle wounds, promote healing and reduce inflammation. Their value was such that it had considerable influence on the economy of certain countries and was often the cause of political dispute and war.


Although perfumes have become something relegated to the dressing table as scents, frankincense and myrrh remain powerful gifts of healing from the natural world. Ignored today as healing agents despite their comprehensive use in ancient civilizations, these wonderful essential oils are still used today in European and middle east cultures for their healing properties.


And what of gold? Well, of course it spends and is still an international currency. But when taken internally in its elemental form gold helps promote natural restful sleep, boosts memory and sharpens oneÕs attention span.


Frankincense and myrrh are documented to be helpful in a number of ailments. They have natural antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. The world was plagued with many terrible diseases during ChristÕs time including HansenÕs disease and Scrofula better known as Leprosy and Tuberculosis. What better gift to give to the centuries greatest healer than the essential oils of frankincense and myrrh. Maybe not such a mystery after all. Merry Christmas everyone. Till next time, Rebecca