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I’m quite sure that most of us have heard about Myrrh at some point in our lives, and if you’ve ever read the Bible or take any interest in the ancient history of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean culture then you’ll definitely have heard about this amazing homeopathic treatment. It was highly valued during those times for its immense healing properties and use in religious or spiritual ceremonies. However, very few people seem to have actually encountered this ancient medicinal remedy in real life. So, I’m writing this hoping that you’d be persuaded to go out and try it if you haven’t already. Maybe you’d be interested in using it in your daily life or simply including it in your natural products collection at home.
A lot can be said about the advances that we’ve made in recent times with regards to the practice of medicine. Thankfully, many of these new techniques and discoveries have helped to save countless lives as well as prolong the average lifespan of people living in the 21st century. This is a huge leap forward from the days of the ancients as medicine back then really used to be a culmination of belief, religious doctrine and blind attempts at harnessing the power of natural ingredients in the hope that a disease or ailment would be cured – and in most cases, they weren’t very successful.
However, that doesn’t mean that they were on the wrong track altogether and in truth, many of the natural ingredients that were used in the ancient times have been harnessed (with the help of modern science and technology) to form the basis of many of the medications that we use today with much more effective results.
One could say that if it weren’t for the somewhat ill informed practices of the ancients, we never would have made the developments in modern medicine that we have today, because the very nature of science and medicine is based on a long period of trial and error – which is still the case today i.e. the scientific method. However, in recent times, there has been an interesting and notable shift towards re-interpreting many of the practices, ingredients and methods that were used by the ancients for treating various common (and in some cases more advanced or serious) health ailments that affect us on a regular basis.
But why? Well, there are a lot of reasons for this. It’s true that not everyone is so convinced or even curious about alternative forms of medicine, but for those who are, it could be due to having had negative results from using modern forms of medication. Most modern medicine comes with long lists of side-effects that can have a seriously negative effect on the overall quality of our health. It could also be that they are simply interested in leading a more natural, organic lifestyle and are therefore prompted to seek out alternative solutions.
Anyone would agree that prevention is better than the cure, and in choosing to lead a more natural lifestyle – the aim is to treat every illness or disease as a problem that occurs not in isolation, but within a greater whole – your life and lifestyle. I hope to illustrate that myrrh can be a very effective tool in treating many of the common health ailments that may affect our lives as well as leading a generally healthier lifestyle – ultimately allowing your body to prevent disease and illness from occurring rather than constantly having to treat it when it happens. So keep reading!
What is Myrrh Essential Oil?
Myrrh was vital to the growth and establishment of ancient healthcare practices. Its use for medicinal purposes has been dated back as far as 3000 years to ancient India, where Ayurvedic monks used the sap of the myrrh tree as a tonic or burned it as a form of incense in order to relieve head pains, infections, rheumatic pains and other issues related to the nervous system. It’s important to note that the Ayurvedic system of medicine is the oldest known to man, so one could say that myrrh was definitely one of the critical components in shaping our understanding of how to treat illness and disease.
However, it was the ancient Chinese who really managed to utilize the sap of the myrrh tree to the best of it’s ability (at least during ancient times) and used it for a variety of issues. They managed to use the resin as a tonic to treat the heart, liver, spleen and even the uterus. In fact, a lot of the research that was discovered by the ancient Chinese with regards to myrrh and it’s properties has lasted well into the modern era and has only changed slightly with the advances in modern science and medicine. It just goes to show that some wisdom is set for more than a lifetime. Myrrh is often used with a variety of other herbs, spices and essential oils to maximize its healing properties.
Where Does Myrrh Essential Oil Come From?
The myrrh tree is common to most parts of Northern Africa and areas in the Middle East. They often grow in dry, arid regions and can be identified by their curled and knotted root systems. They’re tough and hardy trees and take well to most soil types – this also makes them suitable for large-scale cultivation.
The myrrh itself comes from the resin of the tree, which is essentially contained in the layer just under the bark and is also referred to as the sap of the tree. Myrrh, much like frankincense (the two are often used together for their immense healing properties) is drawn from the tree by wounding or cutting into the bark and allowing the sap (or resin) to run from the wound.
The resin coagulates, or dries, quite quickly once it’s exposed to air (especially dry air in the desert). The dried resin form tears which are scraped from the bark of the tree and shaped into nodules or beads. This is the common raw or natural form of myrrh and it is quite bitter. In fact, the term ‘myrrh’ is derived from the Arabic term ‘murr’, which means bitter. From here, the hardened beads of resin are turned into essential oil through a method known as steam distillation. In this process, the beads are crushed with a stone or hammer to form a fine powder.
This powder is then placed in a container, water is heated in a separate container in order to create steam which passes through a tube and fills the chamber containing the powder. Through the method of evaporation, the essential nutrients, vitamins and various chemical compounds that make myrrh so potent are extracted from the organic material and form a vaporous cloud. This vapor then passes through another tube and winds up in a final chamber where it cools and forms droplets that gather at the base of the chamber. This final liquid is the distilled essential oil of the myrrh.
The steam distillation method is one of the oldest known to man and is very effective in removing any impurities from the original matter. It also produces the highest grade or quality of oil. The two active chemicals in myrrh that make it so effective for healthcare and medicinal purposes are known as terpenoids and sesquiterpenes.
These are found in a variety of fruits, vegetables and herbs and often contribute to their antimicrobial and antiseptic qualities as well as strengthening their natural antioxidant content. These are what make myrrh such an effective treatment for internal infections (as the antioxidants help to remove any toxins in our blood streams) as well as killing off any bacteria that may linger on the surface of our skin and cause any irritation or possible infections.
Top 5 Uses for Myrrh Essential Oil
Myrrh Essential Oil For Acne
Many of the same qualities that apply to treating your hair and skin apply to treating acne sores and scars. Some of the most important qualities of any acne treatment are antiseptic and antimicrobial agents that help to reduce and ultimately remove infections that may occur on the surface of your skin.
However, it is important for me to state that myrrh essential oil naturally stimulates your sebaceous glands, which result in your skin releasing more oil. So, although it has a relatively low comedogenic rating – and won’t physically clog up your pores, it will lead to excess oil being produced by your skin (especially if you have a naturally oily skin type). This, in turn, could lead to pore blockage and further blemishes.
I recommend utilizing myrrh essential oil with peppermint, orange or thyme essential oil and applying the mixture to your face via a clean cotton swab. The combination of oils will help to cut through the oil on your skin and clear out any dead skin cells or debris in your pores. The natural cicatrisant nature of the oil also helps to seal your pores and tighten your skin, helping to alleviate pore blockage in the future. It’s important to remember that you must rinse your face with warm water after applying the myrrh oil and pat dry with a clean towel.
Myrrh Essential Oil For Hair
Myrrh essential oil is wonderful for treating hair and can be mixed with orange, lemon, almond or eucalyptus oil for maximum effect. The oil helps to stimulate the sebaceous glands under your skin which makes them produce oil. This can be effective in relieving your scalp of dryness and irritation that generally causes or leads to dandruff. The oil also penetrates deep into your scalp to increase pore tightness and stimulate hair growth – as well as allowing essential nutrients and vitamins to reach your hair follicles. This makes them stronger, adding natural volume and grip to your hair so it won’t fall out as easily.
For the best effects of this oil, I recommend a hot oil treatment. To do this, simply heat 4-5 drops of myrrh and 2 drops of peppermint oil with a suitable carrier oil (olive, canola or coconut oil) and stir it so that they blend. Note that the oil should be allowed to cool so that it is warm and not hot to the touch. Oil burns can be really severe, so be careful here! Now, apply the oil to the tips of your fingers and massage it into scalp, working your way from the bottom of your hair to the ends.
Once you’ve coated your hair, wrap a towel or plastic wrap around your head and allow the oil to soak in for at least 30 minutes to an hour. Once the time has elapsed, simply rinse your hair out with a normal herbal shampoo or conditioner and voila! You’ll notice the amazing effects after just the first wash – but I recommend doing this at least 2 – 3 times a week for the best results.
Myrrh Essential Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is not unlike using a mouthwash – it’s just an extended form of rinsing and can be done to rid your mouth and throat of a whole list of harmful toxins and bacteria that lead to whole heap of internal problems. In fact, scientists have concluded that about 90% of heart attacks are caused by or related to pathogens that occur in your mouth – which is quite an amazing fact in actuality.
The correct process of oil pulling is really a very simple one – even easier than using a mouthwash. It’s just a lengthier process and should be done over the course of your morning routine i.e. showering and dressing.
To do this correctly, simply add two drops of myrrh oil to a tablespoon of coconut oil and rinse your mouth with the mixture for 20 minutes. That might sound like a long time, but if you do it in the shower and while you’re getting dressed – it’ll seem a lot shorter. This basically strengthens your gums, helps to remove any plaque that can lead to tooth decay and also kills off any germs that linger in your mouth and lead to infections. It’s important to repeat this process 4 times a week and to make sure that you DO NOT swallow the oil.
Myrrh Essential Oil For Healing Wounds
Myrrh has been used in combination with frankincense through history to treat a wide variety of superficial ailments, such as wounds, sores, rashes and general inflammation or redness on the skin. Myrrh has a high sesquiterpene and terpenoid content which makes it a strong natural antioxidant and antiseptic agent.
This means that it can be applied topically by itself, or mixed with other essential oils or carrier oils, to help wounds heal faster and kill off or remove any bacteria from the area. By massaging myrrh into your skin, you stimulate the coagulation of the blood cells which means that they harden and start to clot – essentially allowing your wound to heal faster. The analgesic qualities of the oil will also help to alleviate any immediate pain caused by the wound – so no need for additional chemical pain killers.
Myrrh Essential Oil For Relaxation
Myrrh has been used to help people relax for hundreds if not thousands of years due to its rich and delightful odor. The oil can be used in aromatherapy techniques such as massages and steam treatments in diffusion or oil burners. The scent helps to release a chemical in our brain known as dopamine which is responsible for our feelings of happiness and is used by our brain as a sort of ‘reward system’ for when we do healthy or positive things. It has also been linked to the release of a chemical known as melatonin which is responsible for our sleeping cycles and by breathing in the smoke of burning myrrh oil or simply rubbing it into our skin, we can help induce a state of drowsiness or sleepiness and ultimately have a good night’s rest – which is one of the most important factors of leading a healthy lifestyle as our body balances out our hormones and heals itself whilst we sleep.
If you’re not getting enough sleep on a regular basis, then you’re vulnerable to everything from illness, disease and infection to depression, anxiety and even gaining weight. So if you’re suffering from sleep loss, please stay as far away from pharmaceutical tranquilizers as possible as these can have seriously negative effects on the quality of your health and are also highly addictive. The holistic option is really the only solution in this case – at least in my opinion. But it’s also important to consult your doctor before trying anything new, as you may suffer from an allergy or a pre-existing condition that could affect your body’s reaction to the treatment.
— Balance Me Beautiful (@BMeBOfficial) August 24, 2017
Ultimately, Myrrh has been in use for a long time. One could say that it’s one of the oldest forms of natural medicine that we know of today, and for good reason too. It’s a powerful and highly versatile natural ingredient and it’s easy to include in your everyday life or to incorporate into your lifestyle – even if you’re not an enthusiastic natural lifestyle fundi.
It’s a safer alternative to many of the modern medications that we use on a regular basis and can be just as effective in treating health ailments without all the side-effects, health hazards, psychological issues and high costs that come with them. So if you’re interested in finding natural alternatives, or simply want something to help brighten up your home and let you relax after a hard day’s work, then look no further than Myrrh and it’s essential oil.