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Myrrh Oil

Sunday, 10 January 2010

myrrh oilSouthern Arabian Peninsula and the Northeast Africa (Somalia, Ethiopia, and Yemen) are the home for a tropical tree of Burseraceae family, with knotted branches, aromatic leaves, and white flowers. This is Commiphora myrrha or myrrh tree, which grows up to 3 meters. The resin of myrrh is naturally found in the cracks of the tree or small incisions made in the bark of the tree. According to the legend, goats used to rub against the trees and the shepherds who tended them collected the resin which had stuck to the goats' hair; today, the collection of the resin is from man made cuts in the tree or by cultivation of trees. That's why myrrh essential oil has specific scent - smoky and resinous.

Myrrh has been used since ancient times in incense, perfumes, and holy ointments. The Egyptians used myrrh in embalming compounds and burned pellets of myrrh to repel fleas. Archeological evidence indicates that myrrh was carried in small pouches that wealthy persons hung around the neck for fragrance. Egyptian women included myrrh in their skin care preparations such as facial masks and body ointments, while the Arabs used myrrh to treat skin conditions such as wrinkles and cracked skin.

As mentioned above, myrrh was widely used for religious ceremonies and considered to be one of the most sacred ancient oils. The ancient Greeks saw the value of myrrh as a healing aid for wounds, and it is said that every Greek soldier had myrrh in his pouch when leaving for war. By the way, the word «myrrh» comes from Greek where it is synonymous with the word for «perfume». In Ancient Rome myrrh was priced at five times as much as frankincense, though the latter was far more popular. Myrrh was burned in ancient Roman funerals to mask the smell emanating from charring corpses. It was said that the Roman Emperor Nero burned a year's worth of myrrh at the funeral of his wife, Poppaea. The Romans were also known to use myrrh as a premier additive to wine.

Myrrh has a number of biblical references, indicating its use at that time, for example, it was one of the gifts the three Magi brought to honor the baby Jesus. In the Old Testament of the Bible (and the Torah), myrrh is mentioned as a primary ingredient in the holy anointing oil God commanded Moses to make, and as a component of the bitter solution offered to the crucified Jesus. The herb was traditionally mixed with wine and offered to prisoners prior to execution to ease pain.

Myrrh was a highly valued commodity for commerce on ancient spice routes, and is woven into legend and myth. In Syrian legend the myrrh tree is named for the daughter of Thesis, a Syrian king. She was transformed by the gods into a myrrh tree to escape her father's murderous wrath.

The use of myrrh medicinally was recorded in China in A.D. 600 during the Tang Dynasty. Myrrh is used in present-day Chinese medicine to treat wounds, relieve painful swelling, and to treat menstrual pain due to blood stagnation. Today, myrrh oil is traditionally used for incense during religious ceremonies. Myrrh oil has a wide range of therapeutic applications including rejuvenating mature complexions and smoothing out wrinkles and fine lines. In aromatherapy, myrrh essential oil is highly valued for its effects, including

  • Anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, anti-microbial;
  • Diuretic;
  • Stimulant;
  • Carminative;
  • Diaphoretic;
  • Expectorant;
  • Sedative:
  • Astringent;
  • Anti-fungal;
  • Tonic.

It is used in skin care to treat Athlete's foot, eczema, wrinkles, cracked skin and wounds. In dentistry, myrrh oil is used to help gum and mouth infections, relieve toothache, gingivitis, gum ulcers and pyorrhea. It is generally considered non-irritant and non-sensitizing; it has a gently calming effect on the nervous system, and can instill peace and tranquility through deepening the breath.

If halitosis (bad breath) is caused by the gastric distress, myrrh oil will help to cope with this problem. It is also helpful in the treatment of diarrhea, colds and flatulence.

Some research indicates that myrrh is effective in reducing cholesterol levels. It is a tonic remedy said to relax smooth muscles, increase peristaltic action, and stimulate gastric secretions. The myrrh resin has antimicrobial properties and acts to stimulate macrophage activity in the blood stream. The herb is being studied for its potential as an anticancer medication. In addition, myrrh can be used for menstrual problems and in the treatment of thrush by means of a douche. However, you should seek doctor's advice before using myrrh oil for this purpose.

Myrrh oil also stimulates white blood cells growth, thereby strengthening the immune system of the human body, has a soothing effect on the stomach, improves appetite, treats diarrhea, gases, reduces acidity, and relieves hemorrhoids.

Besides, myrrh oil brings relief for skin diseases, including gangrene, abscesses and sores, when used in combination with prescription treatments.

Myrrh can be found in mouthwashes and toothpaste. It is popular for use in perfumes, cosmetics and soaps and is found as a flavoring agent in drinks and food. It is helpful in the treatment of lung diseases, bronchitis, rhinitis, catarrh, sore throat, etc. Myrrh oil helps to remove phlegm from the lungs and relieves cough.

Myrrh oil can be used independently, or combined with other essential oils, including clove oil, lavender, frankincense, patchouli, sandalwood, and ferule. Myrrh essential oil should always be purchased from a trusted and well-known supplier of high quality therapeutic-grade oils that offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you're prone to allergies, be careful when using myrrh oil, as you need to test for allergic reactions first. Myrrh oil should be avoided during pregnancy and should not be administered to children. It should be kept away from the eyes and mucous membranes and out of children's reach.

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