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The healing powers of gold, frankincense and myrrh
Most people in this country know the Christmas story with the Three Kings, who brought gold, frankincense and myrrh to the birth of Jesus. However, only a few are aware of the fact that the gifts of the three wise men are effective remedies.
According to Christian belief, the three wise men brought the three main gifts of incense, gold and myrrh to Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus. It is not known whether they were aware of it at the time, but with these gifts the three wise men gave natural remedies.
Frankincense has been used in traditional medicine for a long time
Frankincense has been used not only in the church, but also in traditional medicine for thousands of years. The expensive tree resin is said to have numerous positive properties. It is used in Ayurvedic medicine and aromatherapy, among other things, and is intended to strengthen the immune system.
In a book published at the beginning of the year, experts from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and the University of Nizwa (Oman) provide a comprehensive overview of scientific research and reliable knowledge about frankincense, its ingredients and their active principles.
As stated in a statement from the MLU, frankincense is obtained from Boswellia trees, which grow mainly in Oman, India and parts of Africa. In several places, cuts are made to the trees, at which a liquid then escapes. When it is dry, the frankincense resin can be harvested.
The boswellic acids in the incense are of particular interest.
For the treatment of chronic diseases
The researchers from Germany and Oman have edited over 350 scientific publications on frankincense and boswellic acids for their book. "Our goal was to provide a comprehensive overview of frankincense research," said chemist Prof. Dr. René Csuk from the MLU.
"Remarkably, recent studies on the effectiveness of frankincense confirm its traditional, very wide-ranging uses," said Csuk. For example, several studies have confirmed that boswellic acids in frankincense have an anti-inflammatory effect.
The substances also achieve good results in the treatment of chronic diseases such as osteoarthritis or Crohn's disease, skin diseases, malignant neovascularization or ulcers. Furthermore, some of them even work against various types of cancer. Some ingredients in frankincense could also be a very good addition to other medicinal substances and even increase the effects of other substances.
In addition, most studies do not describe strong side effects. "However, serious clinical studies on frankincense are still in short supply, and the clinical effectiveness has not yet been sufficiently researched and proven," explained Csuk. Frankincense itself has not yet been fully researched, so there could be other, previously unknown ingredients.
Myrrh for gingivitis
According to a report by the hkk health insurance company, the pharmacological effects of myrrh have been researched somewhat better. The ingredients of myrrh therefore have a disinfecting and wound healing effect. At the same time, they cause the tissue to contract - and they reduce the growth of fungal spores and certain bacteria.
According to the information, these effects are most pronounced in mucous membranes, so the most common application is a tincture, which can be used to treat mild inflammation of the mouth and throat mucosa. Appropriate preparations and mouthwashes are available in the pharmacy.
And myrrh may also be suitable for the treatment of chronic intestinal diseases. According to the cash register, research at the University of Leipzig shows that the resin has a spasmolytic, i.e. antispasmodic, effect. There is also a high proportion of bitter and tannins, which also have a calming effect on digestion.
Gold for rheumatism
Gold is not only used as a denture, but also against rheumatism. As explained on the website Medizin-Transparent.at, some patients with rheumatoid arthritis receive tablets with gold as basic therapy.
Alternatively, gold salts are injected into the body in some cases. For example, this treatment can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints to improve.
Gold treatments for rheumatoid arthritis are not the first choice. They are usually only used when other therapies are not fruitful. In addition, frequent side effects often lead to the treatment being stopped.
Some effects appear comparatively harmless, such as itching, rash and inflammation of the oral mucosa; however, serious and lasting side effects can also occur, such as damage to the blood system, liver and lungs.
Effects on the immune system
The results of researchers from Edinburgh University and the University of Zaragoza are also interesting. In their investigation, they discovered that the tiniest gold nanoparticles could be used to treat cancer.
However, more research is needed. The scientists published the results of their study in the journal "Angewandte Chemie".
And researchers from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), in collaboration with the Swansea University Medical School in Great Britain, examined the effects of gold nanoparticles on the immune system and reported in the journal "ACS Nano" that such particles stimulate so-called B-lymphocytes. These immune cells are responsible for the production of antibodies. (ad)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
- Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU): Miracle cure frankincense? New book published, (accessed: December 14, 2019), Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU)
- ScienceDirect: Chemistry and Bioactivity of Boswellic Acids and Other Terpenoids of the Genus Boswellia, (access: December 14, 2019), ScienceDirect
- hkk health insurance: incense and myrrh remedies, (access: 14.12.2019), hkk health insurance
- Medizin-Transparent.at: Colloidal gold: questionable “remedy” for drinking, (access: December 14, 2019), Medizin-Transparent.at
- Applied Chemistry: Gold ‐ Triggered Uncaging Chemistry in Living Systems, (accessed: December 14, 2019), Applied Chemistry
- ACS Nano: Polymer-Coated Gold Nanospheres Do Not Impair the Innate Immune Function of Human B Lymphocytes in Vitro, (accessed: December 14, 2019), ACS Nano