Have you ever wondered why the Three Wise Men carried gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh? Gold speaks for itself as a commodity for trading goods, but what about the other two gifts. At that time in ancient civilisation diseases were rampant but the physicians of the day were clever people, using herbs and spices to treat diseases. Amongst these were frankincense and myrrh. Both have continued to be effectively used in Eastern medicine, including Ayurveda. Tibb (Unani) and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

Research undertaken in China, and published in 2019 in the journal Molecules, identified the benefits of a combination of the resins of frankincense and myrrh. The researchers state “the main chemical constituents of frankincense and myrrh are terpenoids and essential oils. Their common pharmacological effects are anti-inflammatory. In TCM, frankincense and myrrh have been combined as drug pairs in the same prescription for thousands of years, and their combination has a better therapeutic effect on diseases than when used individually. After the combination of frankincense and myrrh forms a blend, a series of changes take place in their chemical composition, such as the increase or decrease of the main active ingredients, the disappearance of native chemical components, and the emergence of new chemical components. At the same time, the pharmacological effects of the combination seem magically powerful, such as synergistic anti-inflammation, synergistic analgesic, synergistic antibacterial, synergistic blood-activation, and so on.”

The researchers continue, “Therefore, based on the research value and great prospects of the significant efficacy of frankincense–myrrh compound for various chronic diseases, more in vitro, in vivo, and clinical studies are needed to verify the synergistic efficacy and safety of the frankincense–myrrh compound. At the same time, it is necessary to make further use of modern drug research methods to develop and utilize active ingredients rationally, develop them directly into new drugs, or design and synthesize more effective new drugs with active ingredients as leading compounds, thus expanding the clinical application of frankincense and myrrh.”

The Three Wise Men were indeed very wise.

The full research information can be found at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6749531/


Jackie Day ND