Frankincense and myrrh are both resins -- dried tree sap -- that come from trees of the genus Boswellia (frankincense) and Commiphora (myrhh), which are common to Somalia.
The way that people collect the sap is similar to the way people collect rubber-tree sap or pine-tree sap. Cutting the tree's bark causes the sap to ooze out of the cut. The sap used to create both frankincense and myrrh comes slowly and is allowed to dry on the tree. The hardened sap is collected and used as frankincense and myrrh.
Both in the time of the three wise men and today, frankincense and myrrh are commonly used to create incense. You mix frankincense with things like spices, seeds and roots to create different aromas. Traditionally, you burn the powdered incense with charcoal in a small stand.
Frankincense is edible and often used in various traditional medicines in Asia for digestion and healthy skin. Edible frankincense must be pure for internal consumption, meaning it should be translucent, with no black or brown impurities. It is often light yellow with a (very) slight greenish tint. It is often chewed like gum, but it is stickier because it is a resin.
In Ayurvedic medicine Indian frankincense (Boswellia serrata) commonly called as "dhoop" has been used for hundreds of years for treating arthritis, healing wounds, strengthening female hormone system, purifying atmosphere from undesirable germs. the use of frankincense in Ayurveda is termed as "dhoopan". In Indian culture, it is suggested that burning frankincense everyday in house brings good health.
Burning frankincense repels mosquitos and thus helps protect people and animals from mosquito-borne illnesses, such as malaria, West Nile Virus, and Dengue Fever.