What is myrrh? Check out the health benefits of myrrh essential oil, myrrh resin or myrrh gum and myrrh powder. Find out also what is frankincense and myrrh good for?
The wounded bark of commiphora myrrha or myrrh tree produces oleoresin gum which is a mixture of oil and resin. The myrrh resin or myrrh gum and myrrh powder are commonly used for incense burning using charcoal as a base. When oleoresin gum is steam distilled, it produces myrrh oil.
According to recorded history, myrrh tree is native to eastern Mediterranean countries, Ethiopia, Somalia and South Arabia. The ancient Egyptians and Greeks used myrrh gum for religious purposes and rituals such as embalming. It was also used as medicine for treating various conditions and diseases such as cough, hay fever, herpes, spasms and healing wounds. Other uses of myrrh resin included as perfume, deodorizer and as flea repellent.
Researchers discovered that myrrh essential oil contains arabinose, beta-sitosterol eugenol, cadinene, compiphoric acids, campesterol, galactose, limonene, mucilage, pinene and triterpenes. Among its therapeutic and healing properties include astringent, antibacterial, antiseptic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, expectorant and immune system booster.
A research conducted at King Abd Al-Aziz University in Saudi Arabia found that when albino rats were fed with myrrh resin, their bad cholesterol levels dropped and good cholesterol levels improved. Though it is only a preliminary study, there is potential that myrrh may benefit the heart.
You can use myrrh as a mouth wash to treat bleeding gums, bad breath, mouth ulcers, sore throat and other oral infections. Just add 2 drops of myrrh oil to a glass of water and gargle. You may also apply myrrh oil to treat chapped lips, loose teeth and gingivitis.
Use myrrh oil as skin wash or compress to clean and treat acne, bites, cuts, scratches and stings. Its anti bacterial properties will help prevent infections. To use pure myrrh oil for topical application for skin inflammations or problems, mix a few drops with carrier oil such as grape seed oil or aloe vera.
If you want to make myrrh poultice to treat boils, bedsores, hemorrhoid, sores and wounds, mix myrrh gum powder with honey, water and wheat germ oil, place it on the affected skin, cover it and leave the paste to dry.
Myrrh essential oil is used in aromatherapy as a remedy for asthma, cough, arthritis pain, lung congestion and the common cold. Its expectorant action is helpful in dissolving thick mucus and removing phlegm. In addition to direct inhalation, massaging or rubbing myrrh oil with frankincense oil may provide relieve from sinus congestion and bronchitis.
When inhaled, the molecules of myrrh oil enter the brain through the nasal passages to provide relaxing and calming effects and may ease stress and nervous tension. Adding a few drops in a warm bath with ylang ylang oil will also help rejuvenate as well as tone the skin.
Inhaling myrrh oil stimulates the uterine and is used as a remedy for delayed menstruation and to increase menstrual flow. Pregnant women should not use myrrh essential oil as it has abortifacient effects.
Myrrh oil combined with frankincense oil when used as rubbing oil may provide temporary relieve from pains associated with fibromyalgia such as muscle pain, numbness and stiffness.
Myrrh is bitter and it is seldom taken as tea. If you want to take myrrh as a supplement, you can buy myrrh gum which is packed in capsules and also available as myrrh gum tincture. You can use it as a remedy for indigestion and gastro intestinal disorders.
Always test before using diluted myrrh oil before topical application because it may cause irritation especially if you have sensitive skin. If you want to take the capsule or tincture as a supplement or alternative medicine, follow instructions on the label. Talk to your doctor first before taking if you are on medication to avoid interaction.