Saturday, December 24, 2011
New Take On Gifts Of The Magi
"Were the gifts of the magi meant to save Jesus from the pain of arthritis? It's possible, according to researchers at Cardiff University in Wales who have been studying the medicinal uses of frankincense. Since the early days of Christianity, Biblical scholars have offered varying interpretations of the meaning and significance of the gold, frankincense and myrrh that the magi presented to Jesus (Matthew 2:11). These valuable items were standard gifts to honor a king or deity in the ancient world: gold as a precious metal, frankincense as perfume or incense, and myrrh as anointing oil. But it is also possible that the gifts of the magi were a bit more practical--even medicinal in nature. Researchers at Cardiff University have demonstrated that frankincense (pictured) has an active ingredient that can help relieve arthritis by inhibiting the inflammation that breaks down cartilage tissue and causes arthritis pain. The new study validates traditional uses of frankincense as an herbal remedy to treat arthritis in communities of North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, where the trees that produce this aromatic resin grow. Did the Magi “from the East” know of frankincense’s healing properties when they presented it to young Jesus?