Gifts of the Magi
Frankincense was one of the precious gifts given to the Christ Child by the Magi. The history of frankincense goes further back than this however.
The earliest recorded use of frankincense is found on Egypt's Queen Hathsepsut's tomb. The ancient Egyptians used frankincense as an incense, then used the charred resin-ground into a powder (called kohl) and used it as eyeliner. Who isn't familiar with the ancient Egyptian art and figures with the distinctive and striking eyes. In addition to this, they used it in their embalming rituals and in the embalming medium itself. Frankincense has also been found in their other cosmetics and perfumes as well.
Frankincense was probably never as popular and sought after as during the first century B.C. Emperor Nero actually burned it by the ton at ceremonies. Its popularity continued until high taxes were imposed and demand declined-along with the fall of the Roman Empire.
Many people don't realize what frankincense really is, or where it comes from. It technically is a oleo-gum-resin. What? Oleo =oily/fatty looking or in nature, Gum=partly soluble in water, Resin=either all or partially soluble in alcohol. So...frankincense looks oily, and is partly soluble in water and in alcohol.
To harvest frankincense, lengthwise cuts in the bark are made and the gum is allowed to seep out. After around 3 months, the gum has been allowed to harden into "tears". These tears are collected and graded.
Frankincense is used in many ways. Many churches of different faiths use it either alone or in blends for incense in ceremonies or celebrations.
In skin care it is reputed to be antiseptic and to be good in anti wrinkle preparations. It has been used in creams and balms for stretch marks.
Frankincense is being tested in European hospitals at this time and is being used therapeutically there. Frankincense is good for conditions involving the respiratory system. It is useful for wounds, acne, and mature skin.
In aromatherapy, it is an uplifting oil-helping to control negative moods and promote a positive attitude.
It is a lovely essential oil, a bit expensive, but worth it. The scent is wonderful. Add a drop or two to your favorite facial cream or oil and you will be doing your skin a favor.
Therapeutic benefits and royal romantic history--frankincense is a gift you should consider giving to yourself.