The origins of myrrh and frankincense are traced to the Arabian Peninsula.
According to Herodotus (5th century BC): “Arabia is the only country which produces frankincense, myrrh, cassia and cinnamon…the trees bearing the frankincense are guarded by winged serpents of small size and various colors.”
Myrrh is a resin, or sap-like substance, that comes from a tree called Commiphora myrrha, common in Africa or the Middle East. Myrrh is botanically related to Frankincense, and is one of the most widely used essential oils in the world. The myrrh tree is distinctive due to its white flowers and knotted trunk.
Sandalwood oil is extracted from the woods for use. Sandalwood is the second most expensive wood in the world, right after African Blackwood. Both the wood and the oil produce a distinctive fragrance that has been highly valued for centuries.
Onycha, spoken of in Exodus 30:34, was one of the ingredients of the sacred perfume. It consists of the shells of several kinds of mussels, which when burned emit a strong odor.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction… Or simply said from the psychological perspective “You cannot touch without being touched!”
Back in the day my brother, five years older than I, took the physical science road and became a physics teacher, while I took the life science road and became a biology teacher. It seemed like we were on opposites sides of the road.
As time passed, I moved from my biology platform into psychology, but still teaching in my own ways, both in practice and in college. Last week, my brother shared Newton’s Third Law…”You cannot touch without being touched,” and I realized the more things appear different, the more they are the same.
When we touch another person’s life, we are touched in return. Precious are these interactions and not to be taken lightly. Vital is conscious awareness as to how our “touch” of another rebounds and has effect on ourselves.
I recently completed teaching a trimester in both Intro to Psychology and Human Relations at Berkeley College. I realized, in our last class, that I had touched my students and they had deeply touched me. Every moment of interaction has its impact, a Universal impact. The laws of science and of interpersonal relations are one.
We humans move through life often semi-conscious and seeing things solely from our point of view. The ability to empathize, embrace the position of another person is our willingness to be touched. The perception of isolation and individuality is a limitation, just as the idea that the laws of science don’t apply to all things.
So I’m glad I’ve lived long enough to see separation become connection. Thank you to my brother for his wisdom…
With love, Rosanne
Jasmine belongs to the Genus ‘Jasminum’ and includes over 200 species of plants, most of which originated in tropical and sub-tropical areas.
Its name comes from the Persian word ‘yasmin’ meaning gift from God.
Flowering in Jasmines takes place in summer or spring which is usually six months after planting. The Jasmine flower releases its fragrance at night after the sun has set and especially when the moon is waxing towards fullness. Jasmine flower buds are more fragrant than the flowers.
Jasmine originated in the tropical regions of Asia but is now grown worldwide. While tropical Jasmine will not survive in temperate regions, some modern varieties do.
Cultivated versions are also sold as houseplants. Many gardeners add jasmine to flower gardens or grow them in pots on the deck or patio to scent the night air.
Jasmine is used as a fragrance in perfumes, soaps, and lotions and is even used to add its rich scent to jasmine tea. Jasmine tea isn’t really made from jasmine. The tea is brewed from green tea, and then infused with the fragrance of jasmine.
Jasmine is believed to be both an antidepressant and an aphrodisiac making it a popular scent in the bedroom. Jasmine is also thought to be a sedative and sleep aid.
The Chinese Wolfberry is one of the most antioxidant-rich fruits around.
Chinese Wolfberries are said to contain more beta-carotene, a type of antioxidant, than carrots. Antioxidants may have anti-aging and cancer-fighting effects.
Chinese Wolfberries can be cooked, turned into wine or eaten raw.
In Chinese cuisine and medicine, the berries are used in numerous dishes such as porridge, meat and vegetable dishes, soups and teas. In the West, they are often eaten in their dried, uncooked form.
My father was an artist and didn’t realize he was funny. He had the ironic type of humor that let him laugh at life and even at death.
I think I’ve shared the story of his battle with cancer… My friend Mary had paid him a visit and knocked on the door. He asked “Who is it?” Mary isn’t to be denied her own sense of humor and said, “It’s Dr. Kvorkian.” My father answered, “What the hell took you so long!?”
Of all the gifts my father gave me, and there were many, the ability to find humor in the moment is the best and most enduring. As a practicing psychologist (where humor was at a premium) and in the classrooms of life, injecting irony and a sharing of how ridiculous some moments are has been salvation.
When I was in third grade, my classmate Joel Baskin and I were in trouble for laughing at the words to a song as we were singing. I remember it vividly… “Nymphs and Mermaids gather flowers, underneath the sea…” Really? Say the word nymph. Better yet, look in the mirror as you say it. Then picture twenty-five third graders singing it.
Joel and I were banished to the hallway to “compose ourselves” only to return and continue cutting up. We couldn’t help it. I think Joel became a social worker. No surprise.
The danger of living a long life is becoming too serious. No doubt, a long life means lots of loss and “patina,” as I’ve previously shared. All of it in the rear view mirror, all of it taxing but not without the moments of light-hearted delight that give dimension and lift us up.
Maybe you smiled or chuckled as you read this… I hope so.