Myrrh is the aromatic resin of a number of small, thorny tree species of the genus Commiphora, which is an essential oil termed an oleoresin. Myrrh resin is a natural gum which has been used throughout history as a perfume, incense and medicine. It was especially esteemed in Egypt, where it was valued for its rejuvenating properties and as an ingredient in the embalming process.
Today Myrrh is obtained by steam distillation from the crude myrrh oleoresin that exudes from the trunk of the tree. It is often included in products to treat pain, skin infections, inflammatory conditions, diarrhea and periodontal diseases. Myrrh gum is waxy, and coagulates quickly. After harvest, the gum becomes hard and glossy. The gum is yellowish, and may be either clear or opaque. It darkens deeply as it ages, and white streaks emerge.
Myrrh essential oil is favored for:
- Anti-Inflammatory – Due to its strong anti-inflammatory properties, Myrrh is used to treat infected wounds, heal ulcers, and bring relief to achy joints and muscles.
- Anti-Bacterial and Anti-Viral – Myrrh contains antibacterial and antiviral properties and is used to treat many types of infection. Myrrh is said to be ideal for treating respiratory infections as it is considered effective in loosening and relieving mucus.
- Digestive – Myrrh is used widely to strengthen the digestive system, ease diarrhea, indigestion and flatulence. It is also used for treating hemorrhoids.
- Skin – May be added to skin care products to reduce mature or premature aging and to treat chapped skin on the hands, feet and heels.
- Anti-Fungal – Loved for its anti-fungal properties, Myrrh is revered for treating athlete’s foot and candida.
- Wounds, Scrapes – Myrrh is highly regarded for its intense aroma has been used throughout history in perfumes, incense and medicine. Known for its natural ability to treat wounds and regenerate skin cells, Myrrh is often included in products to treat pain, skin infections. Myrrh contains high concentrations of the compounds terpenoids and sesquiterpenes, which provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.