Frankincense and myrrh were used for embalming and incense in ancient times. In traditional Chinese medicine myrrh was applied to treat wounds too.
- Frankincense was used as an anti-inflammatory in Ayurvedic medicine, which is a form of alternative medicine native to the Indian subcontinent.
- Today both are used in aromatherapy. Frankincense is soothing as it helps slow down breathing.
- The spices have spiritual links too. Frankincense is burned in churches during prayer and myrrh for meditation.
- Lighting a little of each in an oil burner may help conjure up the smell, if not the spirit, of a very traditional Christmas.