“And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and Frankincense, and Myrrh.” -Matthew 2:11 (KJV)
Why did the Magi bring Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh? The traditional gifts of this well-known Bible story probably had symbolic as well as practical value. It is widely believed that the gifts of the Magi were chosen for their spiritual symbolism: gold representing kingship, Frankincense representing a priestly role, and Myrrh as a foreshadowing of death and embalming.
However, in addition to their symbolic meaning, the gifts of the Magi may have been medicinal in nature, serving a more practical purpose. Frankincense has been long renowned as one of the most prized and precious essential oils because of its extraordinary health benefits.
Frankincense essential oil is sourced from the resin of the Boswellia carterii or Boswellia sacara tree. Different from many other trees in that it can grow with very little soil in dry and desolate conditions, Boswellia trees grow mainly in Ethiopia, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Oman. The sap, a milky white substance, is extracted from the tree bark, allowed to harden into a gum resin for several days, and then scraped off in tear-shaped droplets.
Traditionally burned as incense, Frankincense was also charred and ground into a powder to produce the eyeliner used by Egyptian women. Today, the resin is steam-distilled to produce an aromatic essential oil. Frankincense essential oil has an earthy, spicy aroma.
As discussed in previous articles here at voiceoftheangels.com, essential oils are naturally occurring, aromatic compounds found in plants, and can be used in a variety of ways. The therapeutic benefits of essential oils can be experienced aromatically, meaning that the benefits of essential oils are experienced through inhalation, and through topical application in which the oil is applied directly to the skin.
Long revered for its anti-inflammatory, astringent, antiseptic, disinfectant, digestive, diuretic, and expectorant properties, a growing body of research indicates that Frankincense’s healing properties may be even more encompassing than previously suspected.
In addition to its notoriety in the Bible, the Babylonians and Assyrians burned Frankincense in religious ceremonies and the ancient Egyptians used Frankincense resin for everything from perfume to salves for soothing skin.
This ancient knowledge contributes to the modern uses of Frankincense. Frankincense is known to support healthy cellular and immune function, reduce swelling and relieve pain, enhance vision, and relieve itching and congestion.*
Diffusing Frankincense promotes feelings of peace, relaxation, satisfaction, and overall wellness. Essential oil diffusers are specifically designed to break essential oils into small particles and disperse them into the air.
There are many essential oil diffusers available on the market; however, a favorite is the doTERRA® Petal Diffuser, available at doterra.com. This high quality diffuser permeates an ultra-fine, yet substantial, mist into the air, releasing the aromatic and therapeutic benefits of essential oils quickly and safely.
When using essential oils, it is important to choose a high quality, therapeutic grade oil. After trying several companies I now only use doTERRA® products because of the company’s commitment to quality. Every batch of doTERRA® essential oils is subjected to strict requirements set forth in the CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® quality protocol. This protocol ensures potency, purity, and consistency batch to batch.
The CPTG testing begins immediately after distillation with a second round of testing carried out at the production facility. A third review of the chemistry of the oil is conducted as the oils are packaged. Each of these tests confirms that the essential oil is free of contaminants and unexpected alterations during production.
Known in ancient times as the gift for priests, today Frankincense is referred to as the “King of Oils,” because of its countless health-promoting properties; for this reason, if I were only able to own one essential oil it would be Frankincense.
*These statements have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.