Unveiling the Three Wise Men's Gifts: A Health Perspective
During the December 2023 SIHA presentation, Albatina Phillimore, SIHA international coordinator from UK delved into the healthful essence of the Three Wise Men's gifts, unraveling their mysteries and discovering their relevance in our quest for well-being.
Here is a report, based on her presentation.
Note: Content is for educational purposes only (full disclosure below)
Gold, synonymous with earthly kingship, finds its modern counterpart in the vibrant spice turmeric.
Frankincense, symbolizing deity and divine nature. Through the aromatic oils extracted from its resin, frankincense offers relaxation, stress relief, and immune support.
Myrrh, emblematic of sacrifice and death, transcends its historical use as embalming oil to present-day applications in holistic health to benefit from its antimicrobial properties and potential anti-inflammatory effects.
Turmeric - the Golden Healer
Turmeric, often referred to as the golden spice, holds a treasured place in both the kitchen and the medicine cabinet. Belonging to the Zingiberaceae family, which also includes ginger, turmeric boasts a rich history spanning thousands of years as both a culinary staple
and a potent medicinal herb. At the heart of its therapeutic prowess lies a group of compounds known as curcuminoids, with curcumin being the most prominent, typically comprising 2-6% of turmeric.
One of the most renowned properties of turmeric is its natural anti-inflammatory effect. While turmeric in its natural form is revered for its health benefits, supplementation can offer a more concentrated and convenient option, with noticeable improvements often observed after 2-3 weeks of consistent use. Turmeric supplements come in various forms, including powder, tea, essential oil, and tablets, providing flexibility in incorporating this golden gem into daily wellness routines.
The health benefits of turmeric are vast and diverse, touching upon multiple facets of well-being. For those grappling with joint pain, whether from arthritis, tendonitis, fibromyalgia, or injuries, turmeric's anti-inflammatory properties offer relief and may improve flexibility and mobility. Moreover, turmeric's immune-boosting abilities are invaluable, particularly in combating chronic inflammation, which can compromise immune function and leave the body vulnerable to illness and infection.
Beyond its anti-inflammatory prowess, turmeric extends its healing touch to skincare, promoting a radiant complexion by calming sensitive skin, reducing scarring, and regulating oil production to combat acne and conditions like psoriasis. Furthermore, turmeric aids digestion by soothing reflux, alleviating excess gas and bloating, and stimulating gallbladder function.
The benefits of turmeric supplementation can be further enhanced by pairing it with black pepper, which aids in the absorption of curcumin, maximizing its therapeutic potential.
Caution - When NOT to take Turmeric
• Safe for most people when enjoyed in tea or food, if you are allergic to the spice, eating it may cause.
• Most of the side effects are associated with very high concentrations of curcumin found in supplements.
• People with liver or bile duct problems.
•Those on blood thinners - slows down blood clotting due to its anticoagulant properties.
• Low blood pressure: May relax blood vessels and lower blood pressure, so if you are already very low.
• Blood sugar-lowering medications -Turmeric naturally lowers sugar levels in the blood. May lead to hypoglycemia causing symptoms.
• Antacids - Turmeric normalizes stomach acid, so may counter the affects of PPI’s with some undesirable reactions Iron deficiency as it may affect absorption.
• Pregnancy & Breast feeding
Frankincense - Nature's Soothing Essence
Derived from the resin of the Boswellia tree, frankincense is a precious gift with a complex extraction process. The oil extracted from this sacred tree can be inhaled, applied topically
in diluted form, or ingested. Frankincense exerts its healing influence by inhibiting pro-
inflammatory processes, particularly through the modulation of enzymes like 5-lipoxygenase and cyclo-oxygenase.
The applications of frankincense are as diverse as they are profound, spanning from reducing inflammation and alleviating inflammatory diseases to potential benefits in cancer management. Research suggests that frankincense may hold promise in combating various types of cancer, including breast, prostate, pancreatic, skin, and colon cancers. A study published in the 'Cancer' journal in 2011 revealed promising results, with patients suffering from brain tumors experiencing reduced fluid in their brains after daily supplementation with frankincense. Moreover, frankincense's therapeutic reach extends to skincare, known to help in reducing wrinkles, blemishes, and scars by stimulating collagen production. Just two drops of frankincense oil in a cream can work wonders for rejuvenating the skin and promoting a youthful glow. Beyond its physical benefits, frankincense offers a calming influence on the mind, reducing stress, improving sleep quality, and enhancing cognitive function—all without any discernible side effects.
Frankincense also demonstrates its prowess in promoting cardiovascular health by lowering blood pressure through the reduction of heart rate. Additionally, its anti-inflammatory properties extend to the respiratory system, where it helps prevent the production of leukotrienes, thereby alleviating symptoms of asthma.
Intriguingly, frankincense holds spiritual significance as the "King of Oils," revered for its uplifting and purifying qualities. Whether used for inner peace, divine connection, or spiritual awakening, frankincense has been employed for centuries in rituals and ceremonies to cleanse energies and foster harmony.
Caution - When NOT to take Frankincense
• Pregnancy & Breast feeding
• May enhance the affect o drugs and may inhibit the liver enzymes that break down drugs, so avoid with other drugs before checking with pharmacist
Myrrh - Nature's Healing Resin
Myrrh, a precious resin with a storied history, derives its essence from the bark of select Commiphora trees, manifesting as a yellow, fragrant sap-like substance. Revered for its medicinal properties, myrrh has been used across the globe, with particular prominence in cultures like China and Egypt. With chemicals known for their pain-relieving and antibacterial properties, myrrh may be an alternative in healing and rejuvenation.
Known for its potential to help immune function and prevent illness, myrrh is also believed to aid in hormone balance and combat signs of aging when applied topically to the skin, offering a holistic approach to wellness.
However, it's important to note that while myrrh holds promise in certain areas, scientific research remains limited, and evidence supporting its efficacy in addressing conditions such as back pain, parasitic infections, diarrhea, and wound healing is lacking.
Caution -When NOT to take Myrrh
• Doses greater than 2-4 grams can cause kidney problems and heart rate changes
• Skin: Generally safe, but can cause a rash in some people
• Pregnancy & Breast-feeding
• Surgery: Myrrh might affect blood sugar levels, interfering with blood sugar control during or after surgery. Stop using myrrh at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery
• Diabetic medicines: Myrrh might lower blood sugar levels. Monitor blood sugar closely
• Warfarin/blood thinners: Myrrh may slow blood clotting
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