Laura Christman and Deb Peterson have written interesting articles on these resins, which became forever famous more than 2 centuries ago.

Highlights follow.

What are they?

  • They are resins (not herbs) made from sap that oozes from cuts made in species of Boswellia and Commiphora trees and shrubs.
  • They were highly valued, but not expensive, at the time they were brought to Jesus.
  • Frankincense has a piney fragrance, and it has been used medicinally to stop bleeding.
  • In 1 study, frankincense combined with other Ayurvedic medicines had a positive effect on patients with osteoarthritis of the knee.
  • Myrrh has some antibacterial and anti-inflammatory actions).
  • Other types are prized for fragrance.

The bottom line?
In addition to the spiritual value, “The smoke,” writes Ms. Peterson “was also used to fumigate clothes and homes, repel insects, and counter the bad smells that were common in those days before modern sanitization.”

Have a merry CAM Christmas and happy holiday season.

12/23/08 20:08 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.