Frankincense (Boswellia serrata) and Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) are gum resins that are extracted from shrub-like trees in the Burseraceae family, which grow in dry climates across parts of Asia and Africa.
They are extremely fragrant when burned, with frankincense giving off a sweet, citrusy scent and myrrh producing a piney, bitter odor. Combined together, these scents are often considered reminiscent of the holiday season.
What is the history of these ancient gifts, and how do we use them today?
Frankincense and myrrh are best known during the Christmas tradition as two of the three gifts of the Magi given to the newborn Jesus. The ancient Greeks and Romans imported these resins which they burned as incense. They were also used for thousands of years in religious ceremonies as well as a variety of healing remedies, salves and perfumes.
Myrrh is documented by Greek physician Hippocrates, who revolutionized the field of medicine in the fourth and third centuries B.C. Frankincense powder was even known to be an ingredient in famous heavy Egyptian eyeliner.
Frankincense and myrrh were considered significantly valuable gifts in the New Testament, but that is because they had both already been revered as precious substances for a few thousand years prior to the Christian era: Literally gifts for royalty.
These ancient gifts continue to be used largely in perfumery, but also in modern society for religious use as well as for therapeutic remedies.
The Catholic Church commonly uses the burning of frankincense, myrrh into specific rites. Alternative practitioners use frankincense and myrrh in various forms for their ancient healing properties which are actually now known from many clinical studies.
Frankincense oil and myrrh oil both deliver valuable aromatherapy benefits.
UNGUENTARII sources 100% pure premium wildcrafted frankincense and myrrh resin incense, available to you online or locally in Ashtabula, Ohio. Also available are traditional resin incense burners, artisanal frankincense essential oil and nebulizing diffusers.