FRANKINCENSE and MYRRH! What are they?
The word frankincense comes from the term ‘franc encens,’ which means quality incense in old French. Frankincense originates from the Middle East and Africa and Frankincense is one of the most famous resins, the pale gum that oozes from the bark of the Boswellia tree.
The dried gum is ground to a powder and the resin has a sweet, warm, balsamic aroma being a key ingredient in incense. The essential oil is steam distilled from the Frankincense resin and smells sweeter, cleaner and fresher than the resin.
In ancient times, Frankincense was considered a passageway between the earthly and divine worlds and in aromatherapy today, it is used to promote relaxation, bringing inner peace and calm.
Whereas frankincense has become an increasingly popular ingredient in wellbeing, skincare and fragrance products, less is known of its modest partner. In fact, myrrh is by no means the poorer cousin of the two.
Myrrh is an essential oil with a wide and interesting history. This simple shrub has appeared in numerous historical records, dating back nearly 4,000 years. Popular throughout ancient Egypt, myrrh was an expensive spice used for medicinal purposes and cosmetics from the embalming of mummies to the preparation of skincare treatments for well-to-do women.
The Greeks also enjoyed myrrh’s cooling and healing properties, using it in fragrance blends and applying it to wounds to help inflammation and prevent infection.
Like Frankincense the bark of the Commiphora myrrha tree is tapped to let the resin ooze and dry before scraping the fragrant gum off the tree and using steam distillation the essential oil is created.
In aromatherapy, myrrh can be used to treat a host of physical and emotional ailments. Applied in a compress, the oil has been known to help draw out infection from a wound. Blended with floral oils or frankincense in a diffuser, myrrh is said to relax the mind, calm the spirit and dissolve negative feelings.
Looks like those three Kings could pick the perfect Christmas gift.
These days we do not need to be a King to enjoy the benefits of Frankincense and Myrrh essential oils.
You can try the Christmas blend of Frankincense and Myrrh today. www.wiltija.com.