By Anastiscia Lang BCTN, CHNP, CHN

Jesus Christ was born in a manger and visited by three wise men. They’re sometimes referred to as kings from the East or the Orient, and sometimes as Magi, and they come bearing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Frankincense and myrrh are the dried sap of trees, also known as resin. Frankincense comes from the deciduous trees of the genus Boswellia, and myrrh from some species in the genus Commiphora, all of which are found on the Horn of Africa and the coastal countries of the Arabian Peninsula.

Extracting the sap for frankincense and myrrh is essentially the same process: Harvesters make a vertical cut in the tree’s trunk, piercing the sap reservoirs inside the bark. The sap oozes out and drips down the trunk and is left to dry and harden. After a few days or weeks, harvesters come back and collect the lumps of resin.

Both resins have traditionally been used as incense and medicine. Frankincense has a woody, fruity smell that is activated when it’s burned; it perfumed ancient Roman homes, old Egyptian rituals, and modern Catholic masses. In antiquity, physicians used frankincense to treat ailments ranging from poisoning to diarrhea to inflammation. In some Asian traditional medicines, it’s a treatment for indigestion and relieving inflammation also. Today in western society we see a lot of inflammatory concerns. One of the best herbs for helping inflammation is the species of Frankincense, Boswellia Serrata.

Myrrh, meanwhile, has a medicinal, somewhat bitter smell when it’s burned. It is an astringent (a substance that causes tissues to constrict), so it was often used to dress wounds. Today, it’s still used to prevent and treat gum disease, and it sometimes shows up in toothpastes and mouthwashes.

How can I help my inflammation, swelling or pain? Call for a Naturopathic Consult to learn more.

Visit Us

Our goal is for you to leave our office with a memorable and enjoyable experience, which is why our welcoming and compassionate staff will do everything they can to make you feel right at home.

Call Us Text Us
Skip to content