Maybe you’ve heard about myrrh only in the context of the New Testament story about three wise men and their gifts of “gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” Or maybe you’ve seen the name show in some of your favorite essential oil blends (myrrh has a deep, earthy, almost licorice-y scent). But what is myrrh, and what are the benefits of myrrh essential oil? There are quite a few.
What Is Myrrh?
Myrrh essential oil comes from myrrh, a “fragrant gum resin obtained from certain trees, especially in the Near East.” Myrrh itself contains resin, essential oil, and gum. Myrrh has historically been used as perfume or incense (likely the context in the New Testament story), as well as for its many potential health benefits.
Support For Inflammation
A study published by the National Institutes of Health says “myrrh [is] highly effective in treatment of inflammatory diseases,” but unfortunately the underlying mechanisms for how it provides support is not well understood.
Another common uses of myrrh essential oil is to support joint health. Myrrh has “been used widely in clinics for treatment of pain and inflammatory diseases, such as stomach complaints, skin infections, ache, dysmenorrhea, chest ailments, and so on, in India, China, Rome, and Greece.” Other studies also recognize that myrrh contains anti-inflammatory properties.
Myrrh essential oil is an astringent. If that word looks familiar, it’s probably because you’ve seen it on bottles of face wash. An astringent “strengthens the gums and muscles, intestines, and other internal organs, and smoothens the skin. It also strengthens the grip of hair roots.”
Instead of (or in addition to) reaching for an antiseptic spray or cream the next time you have a blister or cut, consider using myrrh essential oil instead. Myrrh essential oil has noted antiseptic properties, which may prove useful when applying the oils to the skin, after being combined with a carrier oil.
Another one of the benefits of myrrh essential oil is that is contains properties that disrupt bacterial formation and growth. A study that examined the effect of myrrh on septic shock and cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) showed that myrrh “reduced the CLP-induced mortality and bacterial counts.”
The immune supportive properties of myrrh mean that it may be ideal during cough and cold season for support of respiratory health. Myrrh is said to have anti-catarrhal properties, which may help to loosen “excess mucus and phlegm” and some of the other unfavorable symptoms that can result from seasonal challenges.
Myrrh can help improve blood flow so that nutrients and oxygen reach every part of your body. Better circulation can also mean better digestion and a sharper mind.
Like so many essential oils, myrrh essential oil plays a significant role in the practice of aromatherapy. One simple way to incorporate aromatherapy with myrrh (and other essential oils) into your routine is to use a diffuser: a plug-in, a candle lamp, or an ultrasonic nebulizer. By adding myrrh essential oil to the diffuser of your choice, you’re able to fill your home or office with its scent, while also reaping potential health benefits.
If you don’t have a diffuser, you can also practice aromatherapy simply by smelling essential oils. “Natural Healthy Concepts offers aromatherapy scent inhalers or inhalation beads for stress, head relief, sleep and sinus support. But, you could also put a few drops on a handkerchief and sniff. Also try adding 2-3 drops of oil to a bowl of steaming hot water. Put your face over the bowl and breathe normally for a few minutes.”
Try myrrh in an oil blend or on its own as a single note essential oil. All of these options are available in the Natural Healthy Concepts store. Before you go, let us know what benefits of myrrh essential oil you’ve experienced in your life!