The History Behind Frankincense and Myrrh

The History Behind Frankincense and Myrrh
“And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.” Matthew 2:11
As a child, gold, Frankincense and Myrrh were just some strange sounding gifts brought to Jesus by the Three Wise Men.

It wasn’t hard to figure out what gold was growing up in this modern world where gold, money, and other materialistic items are considered very valuable. But, what were Frankincense and Myrrh? I imagined that they were some type of valuable minerals or something similar to gold.


FRANKIN’CENSEnoun [frank and incense.] A dry resinous substance in pieces or drops, of a pale yellowish white color, of a bitterish acrid taste, and very inflammable; used as a perfume.


MYRRHnoun mer. [Latin myrrha.] A gum-resin that comes in the form of drops or globules of various colors and sizes, of a pretty strong but agreeable smell, and of a bitter taste. It is imported from Egypt, but chiefly from the southern or eastern parts of Arabia; from what species of tree or plant it is procured, is unknown. As a medicine, it is a good stomachic, antispasmodic and cordial.


It wasn’t until a few years ago when I was introduced to essential oils that it all started to click and I realized that Frankincense and Myrrh were plant derived like all other essential oils.

According to an article on How Stuff Works, both Frankincense and Myrrh come from tree sap, or gum resin. They are native to the Arabian Peninsula and East Africa.

They are most often used as essential oils now to help many health issues, including abrasions, abscesses, bleeding gums, blisters, coughs, cuts/wounds, diarrhea, gingivitis, bad breath, mouth ulcers, splinters, wrinkles, skin care, asthma, circulation, and the list goes on and on (source: The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy).

They were very valuable but perhaps not in the same way as gold.

The word oil is mentioned in the Bible 189 times. Frankincense is mentioned by name 17 times and Myrrh 16 times.

The word oil is first used in Genesis 28:18:  And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it.

The first reference to topical and aromatherapy oil use is in Exodus 25:6: Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense.

I am still new to using oils for myself and my family, but I have found that they are very beneficial for us. Knowing that they were often used in the Bible, just confirms that learning how to use them is an important step to take in caring for my family’s health!

I use essential oils in my cleaning products and homemade detergents and so have eliminated the toxins found in commercial products.

As aromatherapy, oils can be used to not only make our home smell wonderful but may purify the air while promoting healthy bodies/immune systems to fight off viruses and bacteria.

I use Frankincense & Myrrh essential oils often and love them! They have an earthy, tree -like scent.

I am not 100% brand loyal but have found that Beeyoutiful has quality essential oils for a very sensible price. I buy from them most often but have bought from other brands, too.

What are your favorite ways to use Frankincense or Myrrh Essential Oils? 


3 thoughts on “The History Behind Frankincense and Myrrh

  1. Frankincense we add (with other oils) to a coconut oil pull. When Abby's tooth enamel failed a dentist recommended we add it to a pull- and it and the other oils we used really seemed to help! Some of her small pits healed up. With the bigger damage it soothed the tooth pain and despite exposed nerves she never got an infection. Pretty neat stuff! Not sure it would safe for little ones who don't understand they must spit it but for grown ups? Merry Christmas to you and yours Clarissa! I have really enjoyed your blog this year!

  2. I have both Frankincense and Myrrh! Susie bought the Myrrh when she was out here last fall and left it with me 🙂 I just received my Frankincense in the mail from Beeyoutiful:)

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