Were the three wise men really herbalists?  They brought gifts of Frankincense, Myrrh and gold (thought to have been Turmeric), three very powerful medicinal plants.

Thousands of years ago spices were more valuable than gold. Spices were an important component of ancient commerce, monopolized for centuries by the Middle East and North Africa.  

The traders guarded the locations of the spices with elaborate stories of great creatures that defended the spices.

Spices were not just used for cooking; they were also used for perfume making, embalming the dead, and preserving meat and in traditional medicines.

Wars were fought over the spice routes and the territories.

Frankincense, Myrrh and Turmeric were incredibly valuable in Jesus’s time and are still very valuable for medicinal uses today.

Frankincense (Boswellia serrate)

Frankincense opens the mind.  It is valued for its specific effect on the spiritual center connected with the pituitary and hypothalamus gland.

Frankincense is anti-inflammatory so good for inflammatory digestive issues. It reduces pain and stiffness associated with rheumatoid arthritis

Frankincense helps to improve circulation, improves blood flow to the joints.  It has been traditionally used to relieve pain and arthritis. It helps speed the healing of broken bones.  

Frankincense is excellent for the female reproductive system.  It is used for uterine congestion, fibroids, cysts and painful periods with clots.

For the male reproductive system it helps to bring blood to the penis and improve erectile function.

Myrrh (Commiphora molmol)

Myrrh can be used as a mouthwash or as a gargle for sore throats, tonsillitis and gingivitis.

Myrrh can be used on cuts, wounds and slow healing skin sores, bruises and broken bones.

Myrrh can protect the stomach lining from damage from drugs and alcohol.

It is good for stimulating the lymphatic circulation, reducing lymphatic congestion, inflammation, lymphedema and lymphatic swellings.

Myrrh is also good for the female reproductive system due to its circulation simulating properties.  This moves stagnant blood so is useful where there is a lack of periods, endometriosis or fibroids and painful periods with clots.

Turmeric (Curcuma longa)

What doesn’t turmeric help us with? Turmeric’s actions include being antioxidant, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, digestive, analgesic, anti obesity and anti-carcinogenic.

Turmeric is a powerful anti-oxidant that protects against damage from free radicals.  It enhances immunity and protects against cancer, especially colon and breast.

Turmeric aids in digestion and absorption and metabolism. It stimulates bile flow from the liver, helps with detoxification and protects the liver from damage.

Turmeric is very good after a course of antibiotics to regulate gut flora.

Scientific Research

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, frankincense and myrrh have been combined together in the same herbal formula for thousands of years. Together they have a better therapeutic effect on diseases than when used individually. The pharmacological effects of combining frankincense and myrrh seem magically powerful with the synergistic effects anti-inflammation, anti-cancer, analgesic (alleviates pain), antibacterial, and so on.

As we know, modern science always takes a little while to catch up with our wonderful ancient wisdom.

Research carried out in China in 2019 and published in the journal Molecules, substantiated what Eastern medicine, including Ayurveda. Tibb (Unani) and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) have known for thousands of years.

Those wise men knew it too!

Seeing the Unseen of the Combination of Two Natural Resins, Frankincense and Myrrh: Changes in Chemical Constituents and Pharmacological Activities – PubMed (nih.gov)

Siobhán Cosgrave is a qualified Medical Herbalist and Naturopath trained in both western and eastern medicine. Siobhán also has a degree in Physics with Applied Medical Physics.

Siobhán’s deep understanding of the human body as a whole, encompassing the mind, spirit, and emotions, enables her to uncover the root cause of symptoms and help bring someone back to full vitality, wellness and happiness. This is achieved through individualized nutrition advice, herbal remedies and any necessary lifestyle changes. Lifestyle includes things such as sleep quality, stress management, emotions, exercise, self-care, mindful living and our connection to nature and the universe.

Siobhán has a special interest in woman’s health, autoimmune conditions and gut health.