The story of the birth of Christ is perhaps one of the most often retold, especially at Christmas time. We all recognize the age-old details of shepherds, wise men, and a lonely stable. The gifts of the Magi presented to the baby Jesus were the most valuable ones available at the time: frankincense, myrrh, and gold. Gold is something everyone is still familiar with today, but frankincense and myrrh are not in general use like they were back then.
Frankincense and myrrh are essential oils extracted from the bark of trees. They have a sweet, resinous scent that makes them great for aromatherapy. They can be applied to the body in a number of different ways to promote health and healing. Both can be used to treat wounds and reduce scarring. Both have antibiotic properties and can be used to boost the immune system.
Frankincense can be applied topically to relive pain and inflammation. It can also improve your mood and relieve stress. Myrrh can be used to treat warts, insect bites, and brittle nails. Myrrh is also a natural antiseptic and disinfectant. It has a long history of being used to treat a variety of infections from canker sores to intestinal problems. It also causes the body to discharge mucous and helps with respiratory illnesses. It can increase blood flow and lower blood sugar.
With all of these uses, it's easy to see why frankincense and myrrh were valuable gifts at the time of Jesus' birth. They were viewed as being as precious as gold, if not more so, and were a mainstay of healthy living. The growing popularity of synthetic medicines caused frankincense and myrrh to fall out of general use, but they offer a great alternative for those who prefer natural treatments. These two essential oils are now inexpensive but invaluable when dealing with aches, pains, and illnesses.