"And if there come the singers, and the dancers and the flute players - buy of their gifts also. For they too are gatherers of fruit and frankincense, and that which they bring, though fashioned of dreams, is raiment and fod for your soul." Kahlil Gibran.
Tree resins have an extensive history in certain parts of the world, and are often highly revered by the cultures that produce them. Frankincense and Myrrh have both been used in sacred rites, religious and mystical ceremony, beauty and health care for millennia and for good reason.
We harness the wonderful fragrances and beneficial properties of Myrrh and Frankincense in many of our skincare products. The oil we use is extracted from resin, which drips in a golden liquid from a tree or a shrub when it is wounded, and this is key to understanding their therapeutic properties.
Frankincense and myrrh start life in the form of a gummy sap that oozes out of the Boswellia and Commiphora trees respectively when their bark is cut. This natural sap that the trunk or branch produces will seal over and heal wounds, and protect the plant from pests and infections.
Here are some illuminating facts about these extraordinary tree resins:
· It i commonly thought that by the time Jesus was born, frankincense and myrrh were worth more than their weight in gold.
· They are the most ancient documented magical resins – both have been traded in the Middle East and North Africa for over 5,000 years.
· The ancient Egyptians bought boatloads of the resins from the Phoenicians, using them in incense, fragrance and perfume, insect repellent and salves for wounds. They were also important ingredients in the embalming process.
· Frankincense was charred and ground into a power to make the heavy kohl eyeliner Egyptian women wore and Myrrh served as a rejuvenating facial oil.
· Sacks of frankincense and potted myrrh trees feature in murals on the walls of a temple dedicated to Queen Hatshepsut, who ruled Egypt for roughly two decades around 480 B.C.
· According to the Hebrew Bible, frankincense and myrrh were ritually burned as holy incense in Jerusalem’s sacred temples during ancient times
· Researchers have found in studies that frankincense and the scent of frankincense can alleviate depression and anxiety. Research shows that lab mice exposed to frankincense were more willing to spend time in open areas, where they typically feel more vulnerable.
· In a 2004 study, Indian frankincense/boswellia was tested as a treatment for knee Osteo Arthritus. 30 people with knee OA were given a daily supplement containing 333 mg of Indian frankincense/boswellia and reported less knee pain, better mobility and an ability to walk longer distances.
· According to Touwaide, myrrh appears with more frequency than any other plant substance in the writings of the Greek physician Hippocrates, who revolutionised the field of medicine in the fourth and third centuries B.C.
· In the early years of Christianity, incense was expressly forbidden because of its associations with pagan worship;
· Later, the Catholic Church, would incorporate the burning of frankincense, myrrh and other aromatic items into specific rites.
· Resins contain antimicrobial properties that help prevent decay and fungal infections, and also decrease water loss during droughts or plant injury.
· The antioxidant properties in resins are anti-aging and can help to smooth out wrinkles around the eyes, and nourish and heal our skin: repairing tissue, locking in moisture and protecting from damaging free radicals. We harness the medicinal, hydrating and healing properties of both Myrrh and Frankincense in some of our richest creams and oils including Face Cream #3, and Intense Repair Facial Serum