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Common myrrh, Commiphora myrrha, or gum myrrh, is a small, very piney tree, about 16 feet tall, in the Burseraceae family with light bark and knotted branches, few leaves and small white flowers. It thrives in thin soil, primarily in areas with limestone. It is one of the primary trees used in the production of myrrh, a resin made from dried tree sap. The tree is native to Oman and Yemen, and to Africa. Our oil comes from trees grown in Somalia. When the bark is cut, the gum resin exudes as a pale yellow liquid, which dries into reddish-brown lumps the size of a walnut from which the oil is distilled.
Botanical Name: Commiphora Myrrha
History: Myrrh has been so valuable at times in ancient history that it has been equal in weight value to gold. During times of scarcity, its value rose even higher than that. It has been used throughout history as a perfume, incense and medicine. Myrrh was very popular in the ancient world and was used as a medicine by the Chinese and Egyptians, and as part of the Egyptian sun-worshipping ritual and mummification. It was used in cosmetics, while Greek soldiers took a phial of Myrrh oil with them into battle, to stop bleeding wounds. Myrrh has been used from remote ages as an ingredient in incense, perfumes, etc., in the holy oil of the Jews and the Kyphi of the Egyptians for embalming and fumigations. It is mentioned in an Egyptian papyrus dated 2000 B.C.
Myrrh has been used for centuries as an ingredient in incense, perfumes, and for embalming and fumigation in Ancient Egypt. In folk tradition it was used for muscular pains and in rheumatic plasters. Called mo yao in China, it has been used since at least 600B.C. primarily as a wound herb and blood stimulant. Gerard said of myrrh ' the marvelous effects that it worked in new and green wounds were here too long to set down...' Myrrh Oil, distilled from the resin, has been used since ancient Greek times to heal wounds.
Properties: Myrrh Essential oil is particularly valuable for people who feel stuck emotionally or spiritually and want to move forward in their lives. Seems to lift feelings of weakness, apathy and lack of incentive and also has a cooling effect on heated emotions. The therapeutic properties of myrrh oil are anti-catarrhal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiphlogistic, antiseptic, astringent, balsamic, carminative, cicatrisant, emmenagogue, expectorant, fungicidal, sedative, digestive and pulmonary stimulant, stomachic, tonic, uterine and vulnerary.
Benefits: Myrrh oil is of great benefit to the respiratory tract, the digestive system, for gum and mouth disorders, in skin care, as well as urino-genital and gynecological problems.
Traditional Use: Myrrh oil is effective against excessive mucus in the lungs and helps to clear ailments such as colds, catarrh, coughs, sore throats and bronchitis. It is used for diarrhea, dyspepsia, flatulence and hemorrhoids (haemorrhoids). Metaphysically Myrrh is burned to purify and protect, used to consecrate and purify ritual tools and objects needing to be blessed.
It is very good for mouth and gum disorders, such as mouth ulcers, pyorrhea (pyorrhea), gingivitis, spongy gums and sore throats. On the skin, it is used with great success on boils, skin ulcers, bedsores, chapped and cracked skin, ringworm, weeping wounds, eczema and athlete's foot.
Furthermore, it is of great help to promote menstruation and for relieving painful periods and to ease difficult labor in childbirth. Myrrh Essential Oil is thought to enhance spirituality. Aromatherapists use it as an aid in meditation or before healing. Its actions are characterized as the following: antimicrobial, antifungal, astringent and healing, tonic and stimulant, carminative, stomachic, anti-catarrhal, expectorant, diaphoretic, vulnerary, locally antiseptic, immune stimulant, bitter, circulatory stimulant, anti-inflammatory, and antispasmodic.
Parts Used: oleo gum resin from the stem
Color: pale yellow to amber
Extraction Method: Steam distillation of the gum resin
Note Classification: Middle
Aroma Description: Warm, sweet, balsamic, slightly spicy medicinal scent. warm, slightly musty smell
Aroma Strength: Medium
Blends Well With: benzoin, frankincense, lavender, sandalwood and clove.
Safety Data: Use with caution if you are pregnant or nursing. Myrrh oil is non-irritant and non-sensitizing, but could be toxic in high dosage and should not be used in pregnancy, as it can act as a uterine stimulant.