Myrrh

(Commiphora myrrha)

Family: Burseraceae

Description: Myrrh is a shrubby bush or small tree with gnarled branches, aromatic leaves and white flowers. Incisions into the bark produce a yellow resin that hardens into red- brown tears and the essential oil is steam- distilled from these tears of hardened resin.
Countries of origin: Somalia, Yemen, Ethiopia

Characteristics: The name myrrh comes from the Arabic word mw, meaning bitter. Myrrh is dark brown and viscous, with bitter, spicy, balsamic top notes and resinous, medicinal, wood- smoke undertones. It blends well with the other resins, and also with patchouli, rose, sandalwood, mandarin, geranium, thyme, lavender, juniper, cypress and pine.

Main therapeutic properties: Anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, astringent, carminative, cicatrizant, emmenagogue, expectorant, fungicidal, sedative, stomachic, tonic, uterine.

 

Myrrh is the first choice to treat athlete’s foot, chronic wounds, ulcers and gum infections, and can also be used as a tincture. Its healing reputation stretches back more than four thousand years, and ancient Greek soldiers carried myrrh into battle for psychic protection and first aid. Overall, myrrh is healing, soothing and restorative.
Myrrh is excellent in skin care, and is especially recommended for use in hand creams and on inflamed skin conditions. It is calming and soothing and good for all stress—related conditions and anxiety. Myrrh is also a useful expectorant and treats coughs and colds; it has a drying effect on excess mucus. It can be used to bring on menstruation and relieve painful periods.
Psychologically, myrrh inspires peace and tranquillity. Like frankincense, it is one of the most spiritual essential oils and is excellent for meditation. Myrrh heals the base chakra, and helps people who are stuck to move on in life.

Contraindications: Avoid during pregnancy.