When the Three Wise Men gave the Christ child frankincense and myrrh, they were doing much more than giving him something that smelled good. They were giving him a gift of good health. Because in those days, these two aromatics were widely used as medicine. (And they are still used by herbalists.)

Frankincense, a natural antiseptic, sedative, and immune stimulant, was used as a treatment for respiratory problems, depression, infection, and tumors. Myrrh, a natural anti-inflammatory and astringent, was used as a tonic and as a cure for cancer, leprosy, and syphilis. Mixed with coriander and honey, it was also used to treat herpes.