There are many interpretations of the meaning of the gifts — gold, frankincense, and myrrh — the three wise men brought to the manger for the newborn baby Jesus.
By Chris Cohan
There are many interpretations of the meaning of the gifts — gold, frankincense, and myrrh — the three wise men brought to the manger for the newborn baby Jesus. Regardless of which hypothesis you adhere to, many plants and spices associated with Christmas contain real health benefits.
Cinnamon – Good for colds and diabetes, it is an antioxidant that helps increase circulation. Extensive studies have concluded it has anti-clotting, anti-inflammatory, and microbial properties, and assists in blood sugar control. Even the smell has been documented to stimulate brain function. Add to your daily diet.
Holly – Good for lowering cholesterol and staying awake. A stimulating and emetic herbal tea containing Ilex paraguariensis, a relative of holly found in the rainforests of South America, can help lower cholesterol levels.
Ivy – Good for treating coughs. Extract of common ivy irritates the stomach, which acts as an expectorant for the respiratory tract.
Mistletoe – Good for boosting the immune system. Homeopathic clinics use mistletoe to help cancer patients cope with the side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy by strengthening the immune system. Dangling a sprig above a fetching beauty helps in grabbing a kiss — which also helps circulation. Study after study shows that kissing, like chicken soup, can’t hurt!
Frankincense – Good for easing osteoarthritis. Frankincense, a resin tapped from the Indian boswellia tree, has long been known as an anti-inflammatory.
Myrrh – Good for combating gum disease and lowering blood glucose levels. The gum resin and oil produced by the bark of the myrrh tree is an antiseptic used in mouthwashes, toothpastes, and gargles.
Nutmeg – Good for fighting bacteria because of key component, isoeugenol. It helps to reduce bad breath. Add to tea and it not only improves digestion but aids in kidney and liver detox.
Pine – Good for anti-aging. Pycnogenol, an active ingredient in pine bark, is both an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory.
Cloves – Good for tummy ache. Cloves contain eugenol, which has anaesthetic properties and is still widely used in dentistry.
Gold – While not recommended for consumption, it will add to financial well-being and thus reduce holiday stress and tension.