There is spiritual and economic significance to the resin of Myrrh as a gift to the Christ child. Frankincense, also a resin brought by the Magi to Jesus, occupies an equally special role in our history. Myrrh was also mixed with wine and given to Jesus on the cross.
This very special shrub is native to the arid regions of Africa and Arabia. To harvest these small pieces of myrrh one must make a cut into the shrub about two inches wide and one inch deep, allow the flowing sap to harden for a couple of weeks, and then gather the pieces by hand. It takes another twelve weeks for these special sap nuggets to harden.
Myrrh has had many medical and other uses since the beginning of Egyptian civilization. For example, it was used as a treatment for herpes, for purification and spiritual purposes, as an insecticide, and as a perfume. Greek soldiers would carry myrrh into battle as its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties helped with wounds. Myrrh essential oil can be used as an expectorant, and it is also antiseptic, carminative, diuretic, stimulant, mucalytic, and more.
Looking at Myrrh from a chemistry perspective, it falls into the “drying” category of compounds called sesquiterpene hydrocarbons. Therefore myrrh has a drying and anti-inflammatory action when used on the skin. From a spiritual perspective, when working with chakras and essential oils, Myrrh is used with the root chakra, as it connects you to the earth and is grounding.
Myrrh can be helpful with gingivitis and mouth sores. Try this dentifrice:
- 1/2 cup sea salt
- 3 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
- 6 drops Myrrh Essential Oil
- 6 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
- Add organic unrefined coconut oil if you want a stickier consistency
Images: copyright public domain
Sources: Sellar, W., The Directory of Essential Oils, London, Random House UK, pp. 116-117; Harrison, J. (2008). Aromatherapy, Clifton Park, NY: Milady Publishing, pp. 161; Harding, J. (2010). The Essential Oils Handbook, New York, NY: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. pp. 150-151.
Articles copyright of Rebecca Mitchell-Guthrie and not to be reprinted without permission.