More people, including myself, are seeking to find out more about the mysterious myrrh oil. This oil has been important for a very long time. It is even mentioned in the Bible and closely associated with Jesus.
As someone who recently started using the product, I would like to share with you some information I managed to find during my research on myrrh oil.
You will learn about the history of myrrh oil as well as its many uses, benefits, and possible side effects and precautions with consuming the oil.
My Top 5 Best Myrrh Oil Brands In 2019
*The companies chosen above are based upon my personal opinion based upon me giving them a try and testing their quality.
What You May Not Know About Myrrh Oil
Myrrh comes from tree belonging to the Commiphora genus. The genus is native to areas of Africa, Arabia, and India. It consists of over 190 species.
The species come in the form of a small tree or shrubs. In liquid form, myrrh has a yellowish hue that darkens into brown when it becomes hard. In other words, myrrh is dried gum resin.
Some would describe the smell as earthy while others say that it has a black licorice scent. In my personal opinion, it smells like wood with a hint of vanilla.
Myrrh may be blended with flora scented (lavender, ylang ylang, etc.) and citrus oils if a sweeter scent is preferred.
The name originates from the term "murr" which means bitter in Arabic. As implied by the title, the taste of the resin is very bitter.
According to Greek mythology, myrrh trees are named after Myrrha, daughter of King Cinyras of Cyprus. Myrrha was transformed into a tree by the gods as punishment for deceiving her father into sexual relations. The myrrh is supposed to be her tears.
Usage of myrrh oil dates back centuries to thousands of years throughout various parts of the globe including Egypt, Greece, China, Rome, Syria, and areas of Africa. Several of the largest sources of Commiphora trees are Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia.
At the time of the ancient Egypt, myrrh was one of the sacred oils. These oils served a great purpose in religious ceremonies. Because of its scent, myrrh was burned as part of the ceremonies to give off a spiritual energy within the atmosphere.
In addition, myrrh was used as one of the materials for embalming the bodies of the deceased.
It is said that the Egyptians have been using myrrh oil since before 1500 B.C. Usage is even talked about in the Ebers Papyrus, medical texts dating to around that time. The first mention of myrrh oil in Egypt dates to 2500 B.C.
Pharaoh Sahure's expedition brought back great amounts of myrrh from the mysterious land of Punt (God's Land), widely believed to have been located in northeastern Africa. The land of Punt was the main trading partner of Egypt.
Referred to as "moyao" in the nation, Chinese use of myrrh oil was first recorded in A.D. 600, the period of the Tang dynasty. The Chinese used it as a medicine.
Traditional Chinese medicine combines myrrh with notoginseng, safflower petals, angelica sinensis, cinnamon, and salvia miltiorrhiza.
In ancient Greece, the soldiers would use myrrh oil to heal wounds.
During ancient Rome, myrrh was incorporated into funerals as incense to mask the scent of burning corpses.
The many chemical components of myrrh oil include:
Ways Myrrh Oil Is Used In The Modern World
Myrrh oil is widely used for medical purposes. It can be useful for treating various illnesses, infections, and conditions such as:
There are several ways to use myrrh oil.
Inhalation is a common method to treating a cold as it can clear up the nasal passages. Sprinkle a couple of drops of myrrh oil to a bowl of hot water. Place the towel over your head with the bowl. Face down into the bowl and inhale.
Another way you can do this by by putting a few drops of the oil on your washcloth and inhale.
Mix myrrh oil with several other essential oils and apply to the skin. Gently massage the combination into the skin.
Put a few drops of the oil into your bathwater and enjoy a warm, relaxing soak. Some people choose to add almond or rice milk to the blend.
You can make a mouthwash combining myrrh oil and other oils. You can also add a drop to your toothpaste.
Myrrh oil is a remedy for hair growth and treating dry hair. Take a small amount and massage the myrrh into your scalp to prevent dryness and eliminate dandruff.
Myrrh oil can also be used to reduce inflammation. Add some myrrh oil to a cold compress and press against the inflamed area.
Besides medicine, you can find myrrh oil in numerous products including lotions, mouthwash, soaps, shampoos, facial creams, perfumes, and more.
You can add it to your personal care products as well.
Concerning the topic of incense, myrrh is still being burned in Catholic churches today.
How Myrrh Essential Oil Can Benefit You
According to different sources, myrrh oil has a number of benefits.
- Anti-catarrhal properties can assist with respiratory illnesses
- Can help fight infections
- Can help get rid of bad breath
- Promotes menstruation
- Acts as an astringent to strengthen various organs of the body
- Boost the immune system with antioxidants
- Improves mental health
- It's antiseptic properties can help heal wounds, abrasions, cuts, and boils
- Useful for digestive problems
- Has potential anti-cancer effects
- Improves blood circulation
- Fights skin aging
What Are The Precautions and Side of Effects of Myrrh Oil?
While there are benefits to using the oil, there are possible side effects.
It is recommended to use myrrh oil in small amounts. According to the website WebMD, you should use no more than 4 grams as myrrh oil in higher amounts can cause problems with the heart.
Another potential side effect of myrrh oil is low blood pressure. For people suffering from low levels of blood pressure, it might be helpful to speak with a doctor before using myrrh.
In some cases, the use of myrrh oil has caused diarrhea and abdominal discomfort.
In addition, several sources have reported that large doses of myrrh can even cause irritation in the kidney.
If you are diabetic, it might be best to avoid myrrh oil as it can cause your blood glucose to become extremely low. Using the oil with anti-diabetic medications is especially risky.
It is also suggested for pregnant women to stir clear of myrrh altogether. Researchers state that taking myrrh during pregnancy could likely result in miscarriage. However, not enough research has been provided to verify this claim.
If you are about to undergone surgery, pause usage of myrrh oil at least two weeks preceding the operation.
Do not take myrrh oil if you are on anticoagulants (blood thinners). A doctor should provide you information on how these drugs can interact with myrrh oil. An anticoagulant known to interact with myrrh is warfarin.
Warfarin is used to reduce blood clotting. It is thought that myrrh could diminish the effect of warfarin. Warfarin is marketed under two brand names, Coumadin and Jantoven.
In addition, there have been reports of allergic contact dermatitis developing as a result of consuming Chinese herbal medicines that include myrrh as an ingredient.
Get medical advise on breastfeeding while using myrrh oil and about giving it to young children. For parents, make sure to put a place where the children can't reach it.
Avoid contact with the eyes.
Is Myrrh Edible?
Myrrh has been to flavor beverages, baked goods, frozen desserts, puddings, gelatins, baked goods, candy, and even meats. In some cultures, people consume myrrh as chewing gum.
In the book "Religion and Ritual in Ancient Egypt" by Emily Teeter, it is revealed that sweet myrrh oil was poured on the meat during the Feast of the Valley.
The myrrh oil may be taken as a dietary supplement under certain guidelines. It is considered safe for the oil to be consumed with four ounces of a beverage (preferably almond milk), but you only use a drop or two.
Myrrh Essential Oil Research & Facts
Researchers have gathered data from studies regarding myrrh and its potential benefits.
A cure to cancer has yet to be found; however, it has been shown that myrrh oil can help fight against the development of cancer. A study demonstrated myrrh oil to inhibit the activity of MCF-7 and HS-1 cell lines.
Additional research has noted myrrh oil to decrease proliferation for cancer cells A2780, SiHa, shikawa, and SK-OV-3.
Now I know many people will be skeptical about this one. I agree that more studies would be necessary for further proof that myrrh oil could be a valuable agent against cancer.
The studies provided so far have shown that the product has potential.
Studies have revealed that myrrh oil may have some anti-inflammatory effects. Myrrh oil is commonly used in the treatment of arthritis which occurs when one or more of the joints have become inflamed.
Another study, done on rats with ulcerative colitis, saw that myrrh helped counteract inflammation by increasing the production of mucus in the colon. Researchers also decreased levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
The mechanism of how myrrh oil fights inflammation isn't well understood. It possibly has something to do with the oil containing terpenoids. Also called terpenes, terpenoids are thought to be a source of anti-inflammatory compounds.
On a different note, scientists have suggested that because of its anti-inflammatory properties, myrrh oil is possibly beneficial for those who suffer from obesity.
In a 2014 trial, scientists saw a weight reduction in obese hyperlipidemic rats that were given 125, 250, and 500 mg/kg of myrrh every day for six weeks. In addition, rats that were treated showed improved blood lipid profiles.
Encourages You To Sweat
As uncomfortable as sweating can be sometimes, it's good for your body. The more your body sweats, it's eliminating salt, excess water, and toxins such as metals through your pores. Because of our lifestyles, toxic substances are going into our bodies.
We may not be able to get all of the toxins out of our bodies just by sweating. However, it can help little by little. You tend to feel better when those nasty substances aren't in your system.
Boost Your Immune System
A study with animals showed that myrrh can act as defender against PbAc-induced hepatic oxidative damage and immunotoxicity. Researchers saw an increase in levels of glutathione, an antioxidant enzyme.
It has also been demonstrated that myrrh can improves the function of white blood cells. White blood cells (leukocytes) are essential for the immune system to work properly.
Antibacterial, Antiseptic, and Anti-fungal
Using myrrh oil may help protect against bacterial and fungal infections. A study from 2000 revealed that sesquiterpenes, an active compound in myrrh, displayed antibacterial and anti-fungal activity in response to several types of bacteria.
Results of a 2012 study displayed myrrh as part of the most favorable combination against Bacillus cereus, a bacteria known to cause food-borne illness.
Recent research from 2018 suggest that vitro antimicrobial assays displayed high bacterial and fungal sensitivity to exposure from the liquid and vapor phases of essential oils, one of which included myrrh.
The antibacterial elements of the oil can be beneficial for people suffering from gum disease, mouth sores, and other dental problems caused by infection.
Myrrh oil's antiseptic properties have also been investigated. Treating cuts, wounds, and other injuries with myrrh oil dates backs to ancient times. It is known that the oil can speed up the rate at which a wound or cut heals.
According to different sources, the terpenes in myrrh oil have potential healing elements.
An astringent causes the body tissues to tighten. By myrrh oil being an astringent, it can tighten the gums, intestines, and muscles as well as other internal organs. It stops bleeding by causing the walls of the blood vessels to tighten.
In addition, myrrh oil can strengthen the hair follicles and prevent hair loss.
Improves The Digestive and Respiratory System
Myrrh oil can help improve digestive health by stimulating the release of digestive juices and bile. This is what makes it helpful for issues such as indigestion and diarrhea.
In addition, the oil can help fight against respiratory illnesses, such as the common cold, by helping remove excess mucus from the lungs and other parts of the respiratory system.
The common cold is a rather unpleasant condition and brings on pesky symptoms such as difficulty breathing, runny nose, sore throat, chest congestion, and more.
Promotes Blood Circulation
Myrrh oil is a stimulant. Therefore, it can help stimulate blood circulation.
Myrrh also has anti-parasitic properties. A 2004 study followed the results of myrrh treatment for children suffering from parasitic infections, fascioliasis and schistosomiasis.
An 100% cure rate of schistosomiasis was revealed after a couple of weeks of treatment while 90.9% was shown for fascioliasis.
The children with fascioliasis were completely cured once given a second dose.
Research from 2017 stated that treatment with myrrh interrupted the egg production by triclabendazole resistant Fasciola hepatica.
In another study from 2011, researchers studied the effects of myrrh on Trichomonas vaginalis, a one-celled parasite responsible for the development of a sexually transmitted disease known as Trichomoniasis.
In the end, a high percentage of the participants treated by myrrh were cured with researchers concluding that the plant extract could be a valuable agent for treating Trichomoniasis.
In 2004, researchers investigated the efficacy of myrrh on schistosomiasis haematobium and mansoni in Egyptian residents.
Data detected the prevalence of S. haematobium and S. mansoni to be 4.2% and 2.4%. In addition, information regarding the amount of eggs and urine in the stool was gathered.
Participants were given two capsules, totaling up to 600 mg in myrrh, for six days. Following a three-month course, the parasitological cure rates for both cases turned out with high percentages of 97.4% and 96.2%.
Urine and stool tests were given to evaluate the effects.
Boost Skin Health and Fights Aging
It is said that using myrrh oil can make your skin smooth and youthful by eliminating aging signs like wrinkles and fine lines.
The antioxidants in myrrh oil can combat damage from free radicals, widely believed to contribute to aging. As an astringent, myrrh can help tighten the skin.
The antibacterial properties of myrrh oil can kill off bacteria that causes acne.
Aids With Menstrual Cycles
Menstrual cycles are that annoying phase ladies have every month. Myrrh oil can help with menstruation as it encourages uterine bleeding. This is why myrrh is considered an emmenagogue.
Furthermore, some scientists say may be useful for easing those unpleasant cramps.
Consider an antidepressant, myrrh oil has calming effects that can help you look beyond a stressful circumstance whether it's work-related, concerning your relationship, etc.
There's a popular belief that it can allow us to get in touch with our deepest fears and encourage us to be more accepting of ourselves.
Effects of myrrh oil on our emotions may have something to do with the sesquiterpenes.
Sesquiterpenes are believed to stimulate the limbic system, a group of structures located within the brain. The limbic system is responsible for controlling our emotions and behaviors associated with them.
You may find it helpful to take the oil during relaxing activities to boost effectiveness. Find out more about how to incorporate myrrh oil into meditation and yoga routines.
Here are some interesting facts on myrrh oil
- Myrrh oil is referenced in the Bible 152 times.
- A traditional Chinese medication containing myrrh as an ingredient is the Xihuang pill which has been reported to have anti-cancer properties.
- Myrrh oil is considered one of gifts given by Magi, additionally known as Three Wise Men, in honor of Jesus' birth along with frankincense and gold.
- In ancient Egypt, myrrh oil was considered sacred to goddess Isis.
- Women in ancient Egypt used myrrh oil as eyeliner.
- The New Testament even states that Jesus was offered a beverage consisting of wine mixed with myrrh before his execution, but he refused.
- Myrrh was also believed to be the tears of Horus, God of the Sun.
- Roman Emperor Nero of the Julio-Claudian dynasty burned a year supply of myrrh at his second wife Poppaea's funeral.
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Final Thoughts On Myrrh Oil
Like other essential oils, myrrh oil can be beneficial for human health. For enhanced effect, you can try mixing the oils with each other. Be mindful that results will vary depending on the individual.
It's always helpful to do a little bit of research on essential oils. There's but so much you can find on them. Myrrh oil just happens to be one of the most interesting based on its historical background.
As it isn't considered safe to use myrrh oil in large amounts, you can talk to a doctor before your decision. If you happen to experience any side effects, get help immediately. Surplus, keep the status of your current health in mind.
I was a little cautious about using the oil as I have a history of medical problems. So far, I've been using 3 grams a day and noticed slight changes. For your safety, it's important to take the precautions seriously.
Hopefully, this article has provided enough information to help you with deciding whether myrrh oil could be useful on your journey to happy, healthy future. If this one doesn't work, there's always other products you can try.
Also remember that there are many different ways you can incorporate myrrh oil into your lifestyle. Add it to your bathwater or blend it with other oils to make a mouthwash.