Special Insight into the Magi's Gifts
With the Christmas season upon us, I'm reminded of a blend I put together a few years ago to resemble the botanicals the magi brought to Jesus. While we realize that the gifts were not likely essential oils as we know them today, I'd like to use this blend to illustrate a simple chemistry lesson that may help you create your own blends.
"And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense and myrrh." (Matthew 2:11) Some researchers suggest that the "gold" mentioned here may refer to infused fir oil since it is mentioned elsewhere in ancient literature as "gold." Another possibility is that "gold" refers to a golden flower grown in the region known as helichrysum, which is derived from the Greek words helisso (to turn around) and chrysos (gold).
Now for the fascinating chemistry lesson. Chemically speaking, Fir and Frankincense are mostly monoterpenes and Helichrysum has a significant amount of esters, which are both, relatively speaking, smaller molecules. Myrrh is mostly sesquiterpenes, which are larger molecules.
Smaller molecules (such as Helichrysum, Fir and Frankincense) evaporate faster, are absorbed rapidly, metabolized quickly and have delicate fragrances. Larger molecules (such as Myrrh) are absorbed more slowly and last longer.
When oils with small, light molecules are blended with oils that have large, heavy molecules, the fragrance of the oil with the light molecule lasts longer and, when absorbed topically, the components may linger in the body longer. Adding "heavier" oils to "lighter" oils is referred to as "fixing" the oils. The effectiveness of essential oils can be enhanced by combining them with this in mind.
Myrrh is an ideal fixing oil. It has a gentle fragrance that rarely interferes with other fragrances. It is also used in ointments for therapeutic value and to keep any other small-molecule oils around longer and help them be more effective. In Hopewell's Magi blend, the larger molecules of Myrrh work to keep the smaller molecules of Frankincense and Fir around so that each oil can deliver maximum benefit when inhaled or absorbed.
In ancient and Biblical times, herbs and infused oils were the primary source of medicine used to prevent infection, disease and plague. They were used for pain, grief, pregnancy, childbirth as well as easing death.
Properties of the Magi Blend
Frankincense is considered a holy anointing oil in the Middle East and has been used in religious ceremonies for thousands of years. It is uplifting, eases stress, anxiety and is has the reputation to "cure every ill known to man." It stimulates the immune system and has muscle relaxant properties. It has been used to ease anxiety, respiratory issues, inflammation and to boost the body's natural immune response.
Balsam Fir has anti-coagulant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is refreshing, uplifting, soothes muscles and pain and is used to ease throat/lung/sinus infections, fatigue, arthritis, rheumatism, urinary tract infections, scoliosis, sciatica and may help the body reduce cortisol production. (Cortisol is referred to as the "death hormone".)
Myrrh has anti-microbial properties and the plant is referenced in both the Old and New Testaments. The essential oil has one of the highest levels of sequiterpienes, which is a class of compounds known to have direct effects on the hypothalamus and pituitary glands responsible for activating hormone and immune response and on the limbic system (the center of memory and emotions). Myrrh is mentioned in one of the oldest known medical records (Ebers Paprus dating from 16th century BC). It has powerful anti-oxidant, anti-tumoral, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-parasitic and analgesic/anesthetic properties. Myrrh has been used to balance hormones and thyroid function, to ease asthma, fungal infections, tooth/gum issues and soothe numerous skin issues including boils.
Our family and the crew here at HEO wants to express to each of you the thankfulness and blessing we feel in getting to know you. May the Lord continue to bring you health through His marvelous gift of essential oils.
Linda and the HEO crew