Myrrh got its name from the Arabic word murr, which means bitter. The myrrh tree grows to be about thirty feet tall; it has knotted branches with musty-smelling leaves and white flowers. It can be found in the Middle East, India, and Northeast Asia. It is used in aromatherapy for its healing, purifying, and uplifting characteristics.
Myrrh oil is extracted from the trunk, stem, and branches by steam distillation. Myrrh oil blends well with juniper, cypress, lavender, frankincense, and tea tree, and vetiver oil. Some of myrrh oil’s healing characteristics are that it is an antiseptic, deodorant, stimulant, and a fungicidal agent and tonic.
In the past, myrrh was used by many cultures for religious ceremonies and as a healing agent. It was mentioned in the Bible as a gift at the birth of Christ. The Egyptians believed in its healing powers: they burned it every day as part of their worshipping rituals.
In the Greek culture when soldiers went to battle is was an essential part of their combat gear because of myrrh’s extremely high antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It was used to clean wounds and to prevent infection. It was also used to prevent the spread of gangrene in already infected parts of the body.
In today’s society since it has a cooling action it is used to alleviate ulcers, sores, wounds, and chapped skin. It is also still used to prevent the spread of gangrene. Some herbalists prescribe to help alleviate the athlete’s foot, ringworm, and eczema. It can be used to help alleviate wrinkles and to uplift old skin. It also is used to rejuvenate mature complexions.
Myrrh is a very powerful essential oil, it is best to use in moderation and avoid use during pregnancy. Also remember when using strong essential oils, such as myrrh; dilute them to a lower concentration.Myrrh