Myrrh essential oil is obtained by steam distillation of the resin collected from the Myrrh tree. In this post, I’ll share some of the benefits for beauty and health of this substance that has been used since ancient times.
Myrrh trees are native to parts of Africa and the Middle East. Myrrh is extracted from the tree by cutting through the bark so that the sap oozes from the tree. When the sap hardens it is collected.
The name Myrrh comes from the Arabic murr, which means bitter. The oil can have a smokey, sweet or bitter smell and can be strong and overpowering. Many aromatherapists create blends using Myrrh as a bottom note and then using top notes such as citrus oils to tone down the strong aroma of Myrrh.
Myrrh was mentioned in the Bible many times. It was one of the gifts the wise men brought to the baby Jesus. It was used throughout the ancient world both as a beauty treatment as well as for holy ceremonies. It was used in the anointing oils for Hebrew priests and the temples in Jeruselum. It was also burned as incense in the Holy Temples. The Egyptians used it as part of the mixture used to embalm the dead. It has been used medicinally in many ancient cultures and is still regarded as useful in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine.
Myrrh Essential Oil Benefits
One of the myrrh essential oil benefits is that it has been shown to have benefits for dry or chapped skin. It is added to many skin care products which can be purchased today. In ancient Egypt women used Myrrh to sooth dry chapped skin and to help the skin appear younger.
You can use Myrrh essential oil to help heal the skin and prevent wound infections. A study from 2010 found that Myrrh increased white blood cell counts in rats and the cell counts remained high after injury, helping in the healing process. Myrrh also has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. It can be used on wounds to prevent infection and can also be used to treat fungal infections such as athlete’s foot fungus.
Myrrh essential oil can be used to assist with relaxation by mixing with a carrier oil and using it in a relaxing massage. This also allows the Myrrh essential oil to heal repair the skin. As with all essential oils you should make sure you aren’t sensitive to the oil by doing a patch test before using on large areas of the skin.
Myrrh was also found to inhibit the proliferation of skin cancer cells, as well as gynecological and breast cancer cells in laboratory testing. You can use Myrrh essential oil in addition to your other treatments for skin cancer. Simply add a few drops to a carrier oil and massage into the area daily.
An animal study performed in 2010 found that Myrrh is a potent antioxidant substance and protected the liver damage. Antioxidants are important to protect the body from damage resulting from oxygen free radicals that can damage the cells.
Myrrh Essential Oil benefits For Oral Health
Myrrh essential oil is used in many commercially available oral health products. Myrrh essential oil can be used at home to make a cleansing mouthwash or a few drops added to toothpaste to enhance the cleaning power. Since it is a powerful antibacterial substance it can help clean the mouth and improve oral and gum health.
Upper Respiratory Illness
Myrrh essential oil may help as an expectorant during upper respiratory illness. It can help break down phlegm and relieve congestion and cough. You can use it in a diffuser or you can simply open the bottle and inhale deeply a few times. It may be even more effective when paired with Frankincense essential oil.
Myrrh oil may also be helpful in relieving digestive issues such as diarrhea, indigestion, and some inflammatory bowel disorders due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Our ancestors used Myrrh as a beauty treatment and medicinal treatment. You can get those same benefits from Myrrh essential oil today. It should be noted that although Myrrh is considered generally safe for ingestion in small quantities you should consult a qualified health professional or aromatherapist before ingesting any essential oil. Myrrh essential oil may interact with some of the medications you may be taking. It should not be used by those who are nursing or pregnant. It may increase uterine contractions so it should be avoided by pregnant women. It may also lower blood sugar so it should be avoided by diabetics.