Gift of the Magi

Frankincense is an aromatic gum resin obtained from trees of the genus Boswellia. primarily B. sacra. The hark of the tree is incised and a milky resinous liquid oozes out. hardening to droplets, or 'tears.' Used since ancient times by various cultures, including the Greeks. Romans, Egyptians. Assyrians and Babylonians, frankincense is familiar to many Westerners through the Christian story of the Magi, who brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the baby Jesus. The name comes from the Old French franc encens. or pure incense': that was. and remains, one of its principle uses. In China, fantiunxiang, as it is know n, is categorised as an herb for vitalising the blood, and is used to

Herbal eye oil

This fine-textured eye oil uses vitamin E to moisturize lashes and jojoba to reduce the appearance of fine lines. As a bonus, vitamin E also helps to slow down the aging process.

1V2 tablespoons jojoba oil 3 drops rose essential oil 2 drops frankincense essential oil 500-IU vitamin E capsule

1 Combine oil, essential oils and the contents of the capsule in a dark glass bottle.

2 To use, upend bottle onto your ring finger. Pat a small amount of the oil around your eyes.

The three Magi presented the baby Jesus with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

treal painful swellings and other ailments. Steam distillation of the dry resin produces an essential oil valued in modern aromatherapy to treat wounds, scars, acne and bacterial and fungal infections. The oil is also an ingredient in cosmetics soaps and perfumes.

Honey lip balm

Conventional lip balms generally contain petroleum derivatives, fake fragrances and potential carcinogens, and are best avoided. Try this plant-derived balm.

1 tablespoon grated beeswax

2 tablespoons almond oil 2 tablespoons castor oil

1 tablespoon cocoa butter 1 teaspoon honey 500-IU vitamin E capsule 10 drops rose essential oil

1 Place beeswax, almond and castor oils, butter and honey in the top of a double boiler. Melt over low heat, whisking constantly.

2 Remove from heat. Add contents of the capsule and rose oil. Place pan in a shallow ice-water bath and whisk until mixture becomes creamy. Spoon mixture into small jars. Store in a cool place for up to 6 months.

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Teetli and gums

Using herbal toothpastes and mouthwashes heals gums, freshens breath and even whitens teeth. Avoid conventional toothpastes that may contain chemicals such as sodium laurvl sulphate (a harsh detergent), as well as alcohol (which can be drying) and artificial colors and flavors.

Cinnamon tooth powder This inexpensive recipe polishes and whitens teeth, leaving your mouth feeling super-clean. Cinnamon has antibacterial properties, while clove is both antiseptic and healing.

2 tablespoons baking soda 1 teaspoon fine sea salt

'li teaspoon powdered cinnamon 5 drops clove essential oil

3 drops peppermint essential oil

1 Sift soda, salt and cinnamon together to remove lumps. Add essential oils, then sift again. Store powder in an airtight container.

2 To use, dampen your toothbrush and then dip it in the powder.

Continue reading here: Herbal breath fresheners

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