Both myrrh and frankincense grow as small trees or shrubs; they are of the botanical family Burseraceae.
Myrrh and frankincense have had spiritual significance since ancient times and they also were adopted as medicines for physical ailments. When referring to this pair of herbs, Westerners might immediately think of their historic importance in religion. The herbs are best known through the story of the Three Wise Men (Magi) delivering gold, frankincense, and myrrh for the baby Jesus.
In the Chinese medicine books, frankincense was first mentioned in the Mingyi Bielu (Miscellaneous Records of Famous Physicians; ca. 500 A.D.). It was called fanhunxiang (calling back the soul fragrance) and ruxiang (nipple-shaped fragrance)
Its name, moyao, indicates the medicine (yao) of mo, the Chinese pronunciation of the Arabic name murr, meaning bitter.
Statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and are not intended to treat or diagnose any disease or health condition. The information on this website is intended for informational purposes only. It is recommended that patients check with their doctors before taking herbs, to ensure that there are no contraindications with prescription medications