Tree Resins: The Long Forgotten “Miracle” Medicines are Making a Comeback

Modern science is proving the medicinal value of frankincense, myrrh and other tree resins, which have been used for millennia to treat everything from toothaches to leprosy

Tree resin has been used in Ayurvedic, Egyptian, Chinese and Aboriginal medicine for thousands of years.

It’s the amber-colored, sappy substance that oozes out of coniferous trees when their bark is cut in order to help heal the wound.

Just as it helps protect trees against pathogens, parasites, fungi and disease, scientists are learning the impressive ability resin has to help us.

The most well-known tree resins are frankincense, myrrh, spruce, fir, cedar, balm of gilead, Canada balsam, and dragon tree.

While all tree resin has medicinal properties, especially in the area of wound healing, the following have been making waves in modern medical research:

Frankincense and Myrrh:

Frankincense and myrrh have been traded in the Middle East and North Africa for more than 5,000 years, according to

Babylonians and Assyrians burned them as incense during religious ceremonies. The ancient bought entire boatloads of the resins from the Phoenicians, using them to embalm pharaohs, repel insects, and as salves for wounds and sores.

At the time Jesus was born the two resins were worth more than their weight in gold.

Now frankincense is being studied as a possible treatment for some cancers, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, anxiety and asthma,

A 2009 study showed myrrh can help lower cholesterol, while

A 2017 study found a combo of the two resins reduced neuropathic pain in mice, while a 2015 study shows they are amazing at reducing inflammation.

Spruce resin:

A 2016 study found Norwegian spruce resin to be a promising treatment for chronic wounds, with “substantial anti-microbial, wound-healing, and skin regeneration enhancing properties”.

The chronic wounds treated in the study were those associated with diabetes, malnutrition, vascular conditions, and systemic diseases.

The study also found the resin to be effective against drug-resistant bacterial infections, including MRSA.

Bee Propolis: A byproduct of bees made from pine resin and mixed with wax flakes and pollen, believed to have antimicrobial properties. (5) It can be taken internally or applied topically. provides a simple recipe for making your own tree resin salve:


  • ¼ cup pine resin
  • ½ cup oil of your choice
  • 1 ounce beeswax, grated


  1. Combine pine resin and oil in a double boiler over low heat.
  2. Once the resin has melted, strain the mixture and return to double boiler.
  3. Stir in beeswax over low heat until melted.
  4. Pour into sterilized glass jars and seal once cooled.