Most of us are familiar with the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh that the wise men brought to young Jesus. However, have you ever thought about why the wise men might have brought those particular gifts in honor of Christ?
While the gift of gold was likely given to honor the divinity of Christ as Emmanuel (meaning “God with us”), there were likely physical, emotional and spiritual reasons why the wise men also brought frankincense and myrrh.
Today, we also can benefit from these oils.
Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)*
Frankincense essential oil is steam distilled from the gum resin of a tree. Traditionally, this resin was burned in religious ceremonies and was an ingredient in the holy incense burned as an offering to God. Frankincense is referenced more than 50 times in the Bible, and it was considered to be a holy oil in the Middle East.
Role of Frankincense in the Biblical Christmas Story
Because frankincense symbolized holiness and righteousness, during Biblical times, the gift of frankincense to Jesus symbolized His willingness to become a holy sacrifice for the sins of the world.
Frankincense essential oil exhibits many potential health benefits for a variety of conditions, including allergies, asthma, coughs, diarrhea, headaches, scarring, ulcers, warts and wrinkles.
Frankincense may help to improve emotional balance, increase resistance to stress and tension, and may also help to improve one’s attitude. Frankincense also may help those with mild depression.
How to Use
Frankincense oil can be applied to the bottoms of the feet, directly applied to the area of concern, diffused in a diffuser, or taken internally as a dietary supplement (for those over the age of six years).
Sacred Frankincense (Boswellia sacra), found only in modern-day Oman, is considered by many to be the most highly valued variety of frankincense on Earth. Experts believe that this is likely the variety of frankincense that was given as a gift at Christ’s birth.
Biblical References to Frankincense
Exodus 30:34; Leviticus 2:1, 2, 15, 16; 5:11; 6:15; 24:7, Numbers 5:15; Matthew 2:11; and Revelation 18:13.
Myrrh Essential Oil (Commiphora myrrha)*
In the ancient world, myrrh was highly prized as one of the most costly items in the world. Myrrh is extracted from a tree in the same fashion as frankincense. It was traditionally used as a spice, in religious rituals, for embalming applications, and for a number of health conditions such as leprosy.
The Role of Myrrh in the Christmas Story
In Biblical times, myrrh symbolized bitterness, suffering and affliction. As a gift for Jesus, it symbolized the fact that He would suffer greatly and would ultimately sacrifice His life to bring eternal life to a lost world.
Myrrh essential oil also exhibits many potential health benefits, including for allergies (skin), athlete’s foot, chapped/cracked skin, coughs, diarrhea, eczema, stretch marks and ulcers.
Myrrh essential oil also may help to promote improvement in mood and emotions.
How to Use
Myrrh essential oil can be applied to the bottoms of the feet or applied directly to the area of concern. It may be taken orally as a supplement by those over the age of six years, and must be used with caution if taken during pregnancy.
Biblical References to Myrrh
Genesis 37:25, 43:11; Exodus 30:23; Esther 2:12; Psalms 45:8; Proverbs 7:17; Song of Solomon 1:13, 3:6, 4:6, 4:14, 5:1, 5:15, 5:13; Matthew 2:11; Mark 15:23; John 19:39
*Some words of caution: This information is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to diagnose or treat any particular health condition. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health practitioner to determine if these or other essential oils are right for your individual health condition(s), and those of your children and loved ones.
How do you use frankincense and myrrh? Share your tips in the section below