What does the “gift” of the Three Wise Men mean in medicine?

Historically, gold has been used in dentistry. Its most obvious application is dental restoration.

Myrrh, gold and incense. The gift of the Three Wise Men to the Infant Jesus. Photo: Shutterstock.

According to religious beliefs, incense, myrrh and gold were the three gifts given to Jesus by the Three Saints at his birth. Throughout history, these three products have been considered by scientists for their respective health benefits, with clinical studies proving they can help treat arthritis, asthma and even cancer.

scientific research

Frankincense (frankincense) and myrrh continue to be subjects of research for Somali scientist Dr Ahmed Ali of Cardiff University in the UK, as both gifts have healing properties. As a result, he works to develop drugs to address problems ranging from cancer to wrinkles.

In fact, through his research, Dr. Ali discovered that Somali frankincense has a different chemical composition than other types of incense and can be used in a variety of treatments.

“We found that when a variety of Somali frankincense is extracted, it can be used to relieve cancer cell metastasis in vitro. That is, it can stop the spread of cancer,” he said.

Medicinal Properties of Myrrh

Myrrh is also being studied for its potential anti-cancer properties, especially the type known as scented myrrh. Therefore, Professor Richard Clarkson, who conducted the research with Ali, said the findings could be the breakthrough needed in cancer research.

“In general, identifying new drugs and new agents that can stop the spread of cancer in the body is highly sought after, but very difficult to implement at a clinical level,” he noted. He explained that these clinical studies take a long time and are expensive. And complex.

The professor assures that finding something that targets cancer cells and kills them without harming healthy cells is one of the most complex tasks carried out in the laboratory.

“If you are looking for a combination like myrrh extract, which targets cancer cells and kills them without harming healthy cells, and boswellia extract, which stops the cancer from spreading further, then this might be an option.” ,”He said.

Anti-inflammatory potential

Dr. Ali’s research team found that Somali incense has multiple benefits, one of which is that it can be used to stop inflammation or swelling.

“It can be used to help treat arthritis. It also seems to be particularly effective in reducing Symptoms of ulcerative colitis, inflammatory bowel disease. “

Additionally, he adds, frankincense can help prevent gum disease. However, it is important to realize that much of this research is still recent and currently limited to laboratories.

Three elements with multiple uses

Dr Rachel Gillibrand, professor of the history of medicine at Aberystwyth University, who conducted the same study, said she was surprised by some of the ways in which the three substances had been used previously.

“Boswellia isn’t just used for one thing. It seems to be used to treat several different ailments,” he emphasizes. “Myrrh is kind of interesting: it’s never used on its own, it’s always combined with something else. It’s mixed with other herbs, like syrup, and used to treat asthma.”

He even noted that myrrh, mixed with juniper berries and rum, was a cure for parasites in Victorian youth.

Gold medical equipment

As Dr. Gillibrand mentioned, gold is slightly different from myrrh and frankincense, but it also has some medical benefits.

Gold, on the other hand, is slightly different, but medically it also has its benefits. For example, Hippocrates prescribed gold for use in dentistry, and centuries later gold is still used in this field in some parts of the world.

“During an excavation in Greece, they discovered the skull of a Greek soldier. The soldier had been wounded in battle and his jaw had been tied with gold wire,” he added. “It just proves that these are not just things that are written down, but are actually practiced.”

between medicine and religion

Gold plays a vital role in cancer treatment as it is an inert metal used to charge tumors during radiation therapy, thereby improving the absorption of X-rays and increasing the effectiveness of the treatment.

Two thousand years ago, gifts had different meanings. Both frankincense and myrrh used as incense may have been sacrifices to the infant Jesus. Additionally, myrrh had other uses, as it was used as an antiseptic oil, while gold was highly valued primarily for its attractiveness, but also had religious significance associated with Jesus’ role as prophet, priest, and king in Christianity.

According to the authors of “Seeing Unknown Changes in the Combination of Two Natural Resins: Frankincense and Myrrh: Changes in Chemical Composition and Pharmacological Activity,” frankincense and myrrh are used in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. The combination has a history of thousands of years. Published in the professional magazine “Molecules” in 2019.

This combination has been shown to have more powerful therapeutic effects than these elements alone, with synergistic effects in the areas of anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, analgesic, antibacterial and blood activation. These findings highlight the historical richness and versatility of these gifts in diverse cultural and medical contexts.

Source reference here.

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