Growing up, I remembered hearing the Christmas story and the gifts the wise men brought. I wondered what the significance of frankincense and myrrh were. Gold seemed obvious, but I was curious about the purpose of the other two gifts.
After I started studying herbal remedies and discovered how frankincense and myrrh were traditionally used, I realized these gifts were actually even more practical than the gold.
Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh
Myrrh was used during ancient times (and still is) in anointing oils. This exotic resin is naturally anti-septic, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, antimicrobial, and antiviral. It was used on wounds to ward off infection and was often used on the umbilical cord to keep it clean while healing. Myrrh was also said to help soothe the emotions and could have been used on babies to calm them.
Frankincense was used in perfumes and was also helpful for improving hormone balance (like after pregnancy). It was historically used to soothe skin wounds and stretch marks. Some say it was used in traditional cultures to calm mom and baby after birth. As the baby grew, it was used to help them stay calm and relaxed. A 2019 animal study backs this up with its findings that Frankincense essential oil helps reduce stress levels.
Frankincense was also said to help digestive problems. According to a 2020 review, researchers found frankincense helped with inflammation and eczema. There are certainly deeper spiritual meanings to take from the gifts, but they also served a practical purpose.
In modern times, frankincense and myrrh are often used in natural remedies. Many include them in DIY moisturizing skin creams. I use frankincense in this face cream. You could also incorporate these oils into other skin care concoctions, like body butter or lip balm.
A Gift From Afar…
I was using diluted frankincense on my thyroid externally and wanted an easier way to apply it. I immediately thought of a lotion bar. With Christmas approaching, this is a fun way to combine the three gifts of the Magi into one lotion bar. The result smells woodsy and amazing and leaves a faint gold shimmer on the skin.
It is perfect for winter, easy for beginners, and so much fun to make. If you need some DIY gift ideas, try some of these frankincense, gold, and myrrh lotion bars (they make good stocking stuffers too!).
Lotion Bar Supplies
This homemade lotion bar recipe is simple to make with all-natural ingredients. We don’t even need preservatives since there’s no water in it. However, you could add some vitamin E oil to prevent the oils from oxidizing and extend the shelf life.
- Shea Butter – Rich in vitamins A and E, shea butter reduces inflammation and joint pain. It reportedly smooths skin and helps with fine lines and wrinkles.
- Coconut Oil – This oil easily melts into the skin but is solid at room temperature. It helps give the lotion bars their shape while hydrating the skin.
- Beeswax – Helps to add a protective layer to the skin and keeps the lotion bars firm.
- Gold Mica Powder (for color and shimmer)
- Frankincense Essential Oil
- Myrrh Essential Oil
Optional: Lavender and Peppermint Essential Oils. Lavender is calming and relaxing. Its floral scent mixes nicely with the woodsy scent of frankincense and myrrh. Peppermint is refreshing and invigorating for a nice pick-me-up.
Tip for Using Lotion Bars
If you haven’t used a lotion bar before, it’s basically hard lotion. If your home is really cold, the bars may seem really hard at first. You may find the lotion bars difficult to apply, but here’s a tip. Gently press the lotion bar onto your skin and let your body temperature warm it up first. Once it starts to melt it will glide on more easily.
Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh Lotion Bars Recipe
- Melt the shea butter, beeswax, and coconut oil in a double boiler.
- Remove the oils from the heat and then add the mica powder and essential oils.
- Pour the mixture into empty deodorant containers, lotion bar tubes, or silicone molds. Put them in the fridge and let cool until completely hardened.
- If using a mold, put the lotion bars in the freezer for about 10 minutes. This makes them much easier to pop out. Don't leave them in the freezer too long though or it will negatively affect the texture.
This article was medically reviewed by Jessica Meyers, MPAP, PA-C, RH(AHG), who specializes in herbal protocols and functional medicine. You can also find Jessica on Instagram. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.
Have you ever tried using gold, frankincense, and myrrh in a recipe before? Share below!
- Drugs.com. (2020, March 22). Myrrh.
- Okano, S., Honda, Y., Kodama, T., & Kimura, M. (2019). The Effects of Frankincense Essential Oil on Stress in Rats. Journal of oleo science, 68(10), 1003–1009.
- Robbins, Wendy. (N.D.) Myrrh Essential Oil. Aromaweb.
- Robbins, Wendy. (N.D.) Frankincense Essential Oil. Aromaweb.