Why Frankincense And Myrrh?

Posted on: 22 January 2018

Everyone has heard the stories of gold, frankincense, and myrrh being given as a gift. Gold tends to make sense as a precious gift, but why frankincense and myrrh? And what are frankincense and myrrh?


Frankincense comes from trees in the Boswellia genus of the tree family. There are several different species which fit under that category, so there are different kinds of frankincense. The way that it works is that the trees produce a really sticky or gummy sap. The sap is allowed to sit and dry out on the trees. When it has dried out and hardened, it can then be scraped off the tree and used. Frankincense is actually edible and non-toxic, so it can be used as gum as well as burned as incense or used to make essential oils.  


Myrrh is very similar to frankincense, except it comes from a different kind of tree. It comes from the Commiphora genus of trees. Again, there are several species of Commiphora trees, which means that there are various kinds of myrrh out there. It is made the same way as frankincense is, and used in the same ways. 

Frankincense and Myrrh in History

Frankincense and myrrh have both been used for all kinds of things throughout history. For example, since there are frankincense producing trees that are native to parts of China, it has been used as part of traditional medicines for thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians valued both frankincense and myrrh for all their various uses. Frankincense can be used as an insect repellent as well as an antiseptic for wounds. It was also used in the embalming and mummification process. Myrrh as used as a skin care product to help Egyptian ladies look younger. Other peoples viewed frankincense and myrrh as something very precious and sacred. The ancient Jews used them as incense and burned them in their temples during rituals. Ancient Greeks and Romans burned both frankincense and myrrh as part of their funeral proceedings when people were being cremated. 

There are so many reasons why frankincense and myrrh were considered a gift as precious as gold. They were used in medicines, in sacred rites and rituals, as part of funerals, and as a trade item. These days, people aren't using frankincense and myrrh for all the same reasons, but they are still used in many places and in many ways. Contact a company, like Ancient Essence INC, for more help.