We all know the story of the three kings bearing gifts when Jesus was born and we all know what gold is, but many people have no idea what frankincense or myrrh are.
They are similar, each is the sap or resin from a tree that grows in the Middle East.
To speed up sap gathering, large cuts are made in the tree trunks and the desert sun quickly dries the oozing sap to form hard, knobby chunks of sap called tears.
Frankincense was burned as incense and produced a strong aromatic odour. It was also used as a cosmetic by the Egyptians. Myrrh was used for diverse medicinal purposes.
The Egyptians used myrrh as part of the embalming process.
They are both believed to have great therapeutic qualities and can still be purchased today as incense or oils.