What Are Resins? The Benefits, Properties And More!
Leaves, barks and flowers might all be familiar to you, but what about resins? Resins are the plant material from which essential oils of Elemi, Frankincense, Galbanum, Myrrh, Opoponax and Peru Balsam come from. A resin is a sticky sap that exudes when a tree is cut or injured. Resin acts like a bandage to cover the tree’s wound and to protect the tree from insects, parasites and other pathogens.
For centuries, resins have been used for their health benefits, sought after aroma and use in religious rituals. Contrary to the belief that essential oils were given, Frankincense and Myrrh resin were given as a gift by the Magi at Jesus’ birth. These resins were prized gifts in biblical times and used to make incense and oil infusions. In fact, Myrrh was an ingredient in holy anointing oil.
Furthermore, the iatrosophia, or “medical wisdom” in Greek, were medical texts and recipes used in hospitals in Greece during the Byzantine era. These texts often touted resins as having the ability to heal a gamut of ailments. One topical ointment made of Frankincense resin, pig fat and egg white was used to treat rheumatism. In ancient Rome, Frankincense resin was also used as a cure for gout.
Even today, the resins from which popular essential oils are obtained, are used to better lives. Frankincense resin, which is rich in boswellic acid, has been shown to have antitumoral, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as improve cognitive function. Myrrh resin has also been shown to have similar properties. Resins are often grinded down and used in preparations, serums and ointments. They can also be burned and diffused as incense.
Much like their essential oil counterparts, resins are highly beneficial aromatics that have been used to benefit people throughout history. Have you used resins before? Let us know in the comments section below!