The birth of Jesus was marked by the expensive gift of frankincense. Frankincense has a long history of use as incense in religious ceremonies, in perfume production and medicinally. Four different Boswellia species can be used to make frankincense, and each comes in various grades. The frankincense brought to the stable in Bethlehem was probably made from Boswellia sacra and is no longer used medicinally. However, frankincense made from Boswellia serrata continues to generate interest as a herbal remedy. It is also called “Indian frankincense” because of its long history of use in Ayurveda, the traditional medicine of India. The most common recommendations for its use are as a treatment for various inflammatory illnesses, in particular osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Detailed analysis of the contents of Indian frankincense reveals that it contains several compounds called boswellic acids. In laboratory tests these have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects. Studies in mice and rats have produced results that confirm these activities. A small number of randomised controlled trials have been published in which Indian frankincense was tested for various anti-inflammatory diseases. Today, frankincense is being promoted as a valuable gift to those suffering from osteoarthritis and other inflammatory diseases. For now, the early evidence suggests that frankincense may be effective for people with osteoarthritis.