In the New Testament, Myrrh is typically common known as one of the presents given by the Three Wise Men to Jesus as it was cited 152 times in the Bible. It was essential because of its use as a spice, a natural treatment or to cleanse the deceased in Biblical times.
Until present-day, Myrrh oil is applied to cure different ailments. Due to its impressive antioxidant activity and possible cure for cancer, scientists become more curious about Myrrh. It has also exhibited to be compelling a particular category of parasitic viruses.
What is Myrrh?
In Africa or the Middle East, a tree called Commiphora myrrha is where you can obtain a resin or a sap-like substance called Myrrh. It is one of the universally leading oils in the world, and it has a close relation with Frankincense.
The tree of the Myrrh is extraordinary because of its white flowers and twisted trunk. It grows at times, in desert surroundings resulting in very few leaves. During severe weather and wind condition, from time to time it takes a different and twisted figure.
The release of the resin requires the cutting of the trunk of the tree. Once it is already dry, it will produce a sap like tears along the trunk of the tree. It is then gathered and processed for steam distillation to produce the essential oil.
Myrrh derived from the Arabic word “murr” meaning bitter. Its oil has a fumy, sweet or sometimes tart scent. The oil is yellowish and orange in color with a thick consistency and is an excellent base for scent and other aromas.
Myrrh has two primary active compounds, which is known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects; the active compounds are terpenoids and sesquiterpenes. Rumor has it that the Sesquiterpenes have a significant impact on the hypothalamus, the emotional center of our brain, which can help us remain balanced and calm. Both the terpenoids and sesquiterpenes have ongoing studies regarding their antibacterial, anticancer and other potential properties.
Myrrh Oil History
For the past centuries, religious ceremonies and healing therapies had been using myrrh essential oil.
The following are the common uses of myrrh oil:
- Antiseptic – to clean and heal wounds
- Paste – to help stop bleeding
- Treatment for hay fever
- Flavoring food
- Embalming in China, myrrh is commonly used as medicine up to this modern day, while the Egyptians used the oil for embalming the dead. The Jews are also known to use myrrh during their religious services.
However, with all these uses, the most common myrrh oil traditional use during the religious ceremony was to burn the myrrh resin over hot coals, by doing so, they believed that it would spell out the mysterious and spiritual presence into any room. Together with frankincense, they also use it as a fragrance due to its aroma during meditations or prayer.
The aroma of myrrh was known to symbolize burning at funerals, suffering, and other sad events. However, there are instances that myrrh is mixed with citrus oils to help produce an uplifting fragrance, which can be used to help promote emotional insights and inspiration.
Myrrh Oil Benefits
Myrrh oil has a lot of potential uses; although up to this day, researchers are still trying to study its potential benefits, determine their mechanism of action and the right dosages.
Key benefits of myrrh oil:
Myrrh has promising health uses and benefits to people. Its potent antioxidant property could help to prevent liver damage according to a 2010 study that utilizes rabbits for test subjects conducted in the Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology.
2. Anti-cancer property
Back in 2011, a conducted study revealed that myrrh reduces the replication of cancer cells. They found out the myrrh inhibited the growth and proliferation in 8 types of cancer cells, most specifically the gynecological type of cancers. Further research is still at work, but this initial study is very promising.
3. Anti-bacterial and Anti-fungal
It was utilized to cure injuries and obstruct infections even before which can is still applicable in this way on slight skin irritations such as athlete’s foot, ringworm, and acne. Before applying it straight to the skin make sure to apply a few drops to a clean towel first.
Fascioliasis infection is a parasite that is usually transferable by ingesting aquatic algae and other plants that have been causing disease in humans worldwide. Myrrh-added medications make an excellent treatment that will decrease signs of infections, as well as the release in parasite egg count found in the bodily waste.
2. Skin Health
In Ancient Egyptian times, Myrrh is used to obviate aging and preserve healthy skin. It is an ingredient that is included in skin care products to soothe with moisturizing and also for scents. It relieved chapped and cracked skin.
Myrrh is a frequent component in aromatherapy. It can be put on to warm bath or rubbed directly on the skin.
Usage of Myrrh Oil
For thousand of years, essential oil remedy made an enormous contribution when it comes to health benefits. Every essential oil has its distinct usefulness that makes an excellent alternative treatment in a variety of infection.
Most of the times, oils are breathed in, diffused in the air, rub into the skin and occasionally taken by the mouth. The amygdala and hippocampus are our scent receptors that are near next to our emotional centers in our brain that made aromas strongly linked to our emotions and memories.
Uses of Myrrh oil as well as other aromatherapy oils
1. Put it on directly to the skin
Before applying myrrh to the skin, to get best results mix it with carrier oils such as jojoba, almond, or grape seed. It can also be put together with an unscented cream. It is exceptional for anti-aging, skin revitalizing or recovery of wounds due to its antioxidant characteristics.
2. Dispense or breathe in
To use throughout the house, you can obtain an essential oil vaporizer to carry through a particular mood. It can also breathe in when you are not feeling well to help boost the indications of bronchitis, colds or coughs, just add a few drops to warm water and inhale the water vapor.
3. Apply as a cold compress
Myrrh is an antibacterial, anti-fungal and helps lessen inflammation and puffiness. Just add a small amount to a cold compress and apply it straight to any infected or inflamed part for comfort as it has numerous remedial properties.
4. Take it internally
When taking in essentials oils make sure to use it with caution. Myrrh has been approved by FDA as a safe food preservative, however, taking strong forms or high amount can have unfavorable results. It is advisable to seek a doctor or a licensed health care provider to prevent any complications. But typically, it can be used as a mouthwash to help prevent dental infection.
Adding myrrh with other ingredients can make different natural skin care products such as making homemade frankincense and myrrh cream to help treat and blend the skin.
Mixing it with other essential oils can create a new fragrance. It complements well with citrus oil, like bergamot, grapefruit or lemon to help lighten up its aroma.
It can be helpful for curing a particular ailment since it has some therapeutic effects. It can also aid in repairing tissue, clear toxins and prevent sickness. Myrrh oil usage for therapeutic purposes include:
1. Comfort for Upper Respiratory Complication
To ease the symptoms of coughs and cold, Myrrh can be an expectorant. It soothes congestion and helps lessen phlegm.
2. Reduce digestive complication
It relieves digestive problems like stomach upset, diarrhea and indigestion.
3. Aids in Preventing Gum Disease and Mouth Infection
It helps soothe inflammation of the mouth and gums caused by diseases such as gingivitis and mouth ulcers because of its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. It is often used as content in mouthwash and toothpaste to freshen your breath.
4. Treatment for Hypothyroidism
Myrrh helps lessen stress, which can also assist in reducing stress on an overtaxed thyroid. It is a usual remedy for hypothyroidism or a low functioning thyroid; just add 2-3 drops directly onto the thyroid part every day to help lessen the symptom.
5. Possible Treatment for Skin Cancer
It manifests properties valuable for treating skin cancer and is still under studies for its probable anti-cancer benefits. If someone contracted skin cancer, consider using it on top of the conventional treatments by applying a few drops per day directly to the cancer site.
Make sure always to test a small area first.
It acts as astringent that can help nourish the body’s cells. It was conventionally used to help stop bleeding. It may also contribute to preventing hair disappearance that strengthens the roots in the scalp because of its astringent effects.
6. Ulcers and Wounds Treatment
In 2010 study published in the Journal of Immunotoxicology, myrrh was discovered to lessen the occurrence of ulcers and improve their healing time because myrrh has the capability to increase the role of white blood cells, which is crucial for wound healing.
The primary use of myrrh oil is for fungicide or antiseptic. When put on directly to the affected part, it can help bring down fungal infections such as athlete’s foot or ringworm. It can also be used to prevent ailments on small scratches and wounds.
Side effects of Myrrh
Before using it therapeutically, it is best always to seek your doctor or trusted healthcare provider first as myrrh does have some results that needed to be reviewed.
Myrrh has been found to produce dermatitis or inflammation of the skin in some people since one of the typical uses of myrrh is topical. People with delicate skin should use it with caution. Before putting it on all over the skin, always assess it first in a small area to make sure you do not have any allergic reaction.
For pregnant women, it may strengthen uterine contractions and is not advisable.
If you are experiencing gastrointestinal problems discontinue its use even though it is not severe as it may cause stomach upset and chronic diarrhea that can lead to dehydration.
Anyone with a heart problem condition should seek a doctor before using myrrh oil because of its potential side effect of heart irregularities and lowered blood pressure. Although, it is usually present at a high amount of more than 2-4 grams per day.
It is not advisable for people with diabetes or other blood sugar conditions since it may lower blood sugar. It is advisable to stop using it at least for two weeks before surgery as it interacts with blood glucose.
For people using anticoagulants like Warfarin, it is not advisable, as it will have possible interactions with this medication. It is not advisable as well for people on diabetes medication as there is a probable drug interaction.
There are a lot of ways to use myrrh oil, with all of these benefits and uses you will surely see its usefulness.