On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” Matthew 2:11
As a kid I would hear the story of the wise men bringing the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to baby Jesus. Immediately following the unfamiliar word frankincense, I would become distracted and start thinking about FrankenSTEIN. Clearly there was a disconnect and no significant meaning to this biblical detail for me at the time.
Fast forward to adult Ashley… a few years ago. I started studying essential oils for homemade house cleansers and personal products like toothpaste and deodorant —» check it out in my STUFF WE MAKE post. I remember the moment I came across Frankincense oil.
WAIT, I KNOW THAT WORD!!!
So clearly I was going to buy that one just because baby Jesus had it.
THEN I noticed the price and thought Hmmmm, maybe next time :/
↓ HISTORY LESSON ↓
Gold, frankincense and myrrh were standard gifts to honor kings in the ancient world – gold as a precious metal, frankincense as perfume or incense, and myrrh as anointing oil. Read more… Biblical Archeology
Frankincense is a white resin from Boswellia trees that has long been used for incense or perfume. This resin has also been used as a traditional medicine in some cultures. It has a long history dating back thousands of years and has proven to have antiseptic and inflammatory properties. It was considered an effective remedy for toothaches to leprosy (history.com)
Frankincense was valued greater than gold (whaaaaa????) during ancient times and only those with great wealth and abundance possessed it. It is mentioned in one of the oldest known medical records, dating from the 16th century BC – an ancient Egyptian list of 877 prescriptions and recipes. Wow that’s a lot.
Frankincense was used to anoint new born sons OF KINGS and priests… AND it was brought as a gift to the new born baby Jesus Christ!
♥ THE BABY SHOWER ♥
I believe the special gift of Frankincense was given for a few reasons::
1. It represented honor and status for Jesus. Frankincense was an incense burned before the ark in the Holy of Holies.
2. It symbolized his priestly role and Christ’s willingness to become a sacrifice for us. The Hebrew word “frankincense” means “pure or white,” because of the snowcapped mountains of Lebanon where frankincense is grown.
3. It was a WONDERFUL addition for Mary’s DIAPER BAG!
After discovering some of the health benefits… and enduring 2 natural child births of my own… I understand how much this gift rocks! The Frankincense could have replaced the need for diaper rash cream, hand sanitizer, ibuprofen, antibiotic ointment and a few bonus benefits for Mary!
KNOWN BENEFITS OF FRANKINCENSE
• Relief for inflammation and pain … after having a baby… YES
• It’s an antiseptic, meaning it will help eliminate bacteria and viruses… you know Mary loved this part… I mean, she gave birth in a barn… around animals… and a lot of poop.
• Can help with scar, wound, stretch mark healing… great for mama and awesome for active baby boy (my boy has taught me that boys of all ages need wound treatment!)
• Can relieve symptoms of indigestion … gas, constipation, bowel issues, PMS, cramps… ya know, some of those postpartum things they don’t warn you about before childbirth (TMI I’m sure for some of you #sorrynotsorry) and also great for when baby doesn’t kick out a good burp.
• Can help balance hormone levels, relieve pain, cramps, headaches, anxiety, nausea, fatigue, and mood swings. Frankincense oil also helps with regulating estrogen production and reduces the risk of tumor or cyst development in pre-menopausal women.
Joseph was like #winning
Every modern man is like ‘Where can I get this stuff?’
• Natural Cold or Flu Medicine… Isn’t it scary to think of your new baby getting sick? I had my son going into cold and flu season and I was totally freaked out. As a mom, I absolutely see how this was such a valuable gift back then – knowing that Joseph couldn’t just run to Walgreens to pick up some medicine if Jesus got sick. In oil form, they could add a few drops to a cloth to help fight sickness that their baby may have encountered.
• Frankincense is known to help with a respiratory infection, provide relief from coughing and helps eliminate phlegm in the lungs. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory in the nasal passages, making breathing easier, even for those with allergies or asthma.
• Helps reduce stress reactions & negative emotions… I wonder if Mary struggled with postpartum depression?
Benefits of Frankincense SOURSE:: Dr. Axe
These are just a few of the benefits that made me realize how valuable this gift from the wise men truly was. We do not know exactly how old Jesus was when the Magi found him and presented these gifts. Some believe as old as 2 years. So I don’t know exactly how Mary and Joseph used the gifts, but I imagine it was a humbling experience and they were a cherished and valuable resource for this small family.
CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS TODAY
We’ve started a new tradition of diffusing Frankincense on Christmas day. These kind of traditions help us reflect on the reason we celebrate Christmas.
Thanks for reading and I hope YOU have a very Merry Christmas!