Both frankincense and myrrh are tree resins, meaning the sap of trees. Frankincense (Boswellia sacra), and myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) are both trees native to the Arabian Peninsula. Today, most of the internationally-traded myrrh and frankincense are produced in the southern Arabian Peninsula (Oman, Yemen) and in northeast Africa (Somalia). The resin is obtained by making deliberate incisions with an axe into the bark of the tree. The milky liquid that exudes hardens on exposure to air into droplets or "tears," which are then easily detached by the collector about two weeks later.
The Magi, carrying myrrh, frankincense, and gold, came from the East, meaning, Arabia. The frankincense trade route by camel caravans, reached Jerusalem and Egypt from the Dhofar region of what is today Oman, through Yemen, turning north, following the Red Sea coast. Both resins have been recorded in use at least 7,000 years ago, in religious practices as well as medicinal uses. (You will find frankincense and myrrh still in use today as incense in Catholic and Episcopal churches).
Research in India has demonstrated that frankincense may have some positive effects in treating arthritis. Additionally, Dr Suhail, who is originally from Iraq, has teamed up with medical scientists from the University of Oklahoma in research into potential cancer treatments using this resin. Frankincense is used in mouthwashes, as a topical for arthritis, for throat and gum conditions as well as in anti-wrinkle creams and lotions.
|Up close, frankincense tears look almost like jewels.|
|Frankincense & Myrrh Kit in Keepsake Treasure Chest|