We have probably all heard of myrrh oil in relation to its famous biblical connections.
In fact, myrrh is mentioned in the Bible a total of one hundred and fifty-two times, and over the years has been a significant element to many other belief systems.
The rich, smoky scent of myrrh is generally associated with solemn occasions, and it was, traditionally, often burned over hot coals in times of mourning or religious importance.
Myrrh oil has also had a lot of medical applications over the years, being used to stimulate circulation, soothe pain, and ease swelling, among others.
What is Myrrh Essential Oil?
Native to northeastern Africa and southwest Asia, myrrh essential oil is derived from the dried red-brown sap of the myrrh tree, also known as Commiphora myrrha.
The sap is steam distilled and turned into a viscous, resinous essential oil, which is said to be naturally cooling with a pale yellow colouring.
Myrrh can occasionally be treated with a solvent known as benzyl benzoate in order to reduce its viscosity and make it more accessible for use in aromatherapy.
You can identify whether or not the resin has been treated based on its titles of Myrrh (Thick) or Myrrh (Thin), respectively.
If you do choose to use myrrh in its thick, resinous form, it is recommended to heat the oil beforehand in order to turn it into a free-flowing liquid.
Myrrh essential oil contains an earthy scent profile, with light woody and herbaceous notes, and is closely botanically related to Frankincense Serrata (Indian) – another oil with a strong spiritual history.
What are the benefits of Myrrh Essential Oil?
While myrrh may be a slightly thicker, more unusual essential oil, its benefits for wellness are still incredibly potent – and have been for many years.
Some of the primary benefits of myrrh essential oil include:
- Potent antioxidant qualities
- Antibacterial and antifungal properties
- Moisturising skin and preventing aging
- Managing pain
Does myrrh essential oil have strong antioxidant properties?
Antioxidants are considered beneficial for protecting your cells against free radicals - unstable atoms that can cause oxidative damage.
Free radicals can lead to more severe health complications if your body is not given the proper tools to fight them, so it is important to incorporate antioxidants into your day-to-day as a preventative measure.
Myrrh essential oil is said to be rich in these antioxidant qualities, and therefore may help to protect your organs from dangerous toxins overtime.
An animal study in 2010 found that myrrh’s antioxidant properties provided the bodies of rabbits with protection against liver damage, and that these abilities may also lend themselves to humans - though more research is needed.
A test-tube study conducted in 2005 also found myrrh oil to be more powerful in its antioxidant abilities than vitamin E – a common treatment against free radicals and other toxins.
Can myrrh oil prevent antibacterial and antifungal infections?
On top of its antioxidant properties, myrrh oil is also filled with effective qualities for eliminating bacterial and fungal infections.
In Ancient Egyptian societies, myrrh was used along with a number of other essential oils to help embalm mummies and prevent decay.
Myrrh oil is particularly good at treating fungus on the skin and has been incredibly successful in its ability to help cure candida - a yeast infection that can be found in many parts of the body.
It has also been shown to be effective in fighting various strains of harmful bacteria, and can even inhibit staph infections, which can be very painful if left untreated.
A study in 2012 found that these antibacterial effects were even stronger when myrrh was paired with frankincense – the two oils together were able to reduce airborne bacteria counts by 68%.
Is myrrh essential oil good for the skin?
Because myrrh is so antimicrobial, its benefits can extend to the day-to-day wellness applications of skin care – and can make for an effective remedy against common ailments.
Myrrh oil is gentle enough to be used safely on the skin when diluted and can even help to kill the bacteria found in pores over time.
In spite of its gentle nature, it is still important to always perform a patch test before use to prevent a reaction.
Myrrh essential oil has been reported to have a moisturising effect and was traditionally used to help prevent signs of aging on the face, particularly as a result of sun damage.
These days, many people use it to treat dry or chapped patches of skin, as well as small abrasions to prevent infection.
A study in 2010 found that myrrh oil was able to elevate the number of white blood cells in the body, allowing it to heal small wounds and irritations quickly.
Alongside its applications for skin, myrrh oil can also carry some impactful benefits for nail health. Adding a few drops of myrrhto a carrier oil and applying to your cuticles can be a good way to revive cracked nails.
Can myrrh oil be used to help manage pain?
Although many essential oils have pain-relieving properties, myrrh’s method of relieving pain in the body is somewhat unique.
A study in 2011 found that myrrh could successfully interact with opioid receptors in the brain, essentially convincing it that you’re not actually in pain.
Myrrh also has anti-inflammatory effects that can soothe discomfort caused by inflammation and tension. A study in 2017 found that myrrh was able to reduce the pain of those suffering from tension headaches by about two-thirds.
Some sources have even suggested that myrrh can block the production of inflammatory chemicals in the body, preventing swelling and pain altogether.
How to use Myrrh Essential Oil
In Arabic, the word myrrh – or mur - actually means “bitter”, so its earthy aromas may be slightly hit or miss if you intend to simply smell the oil.
That being said, myrrh’s scent profile makes it a distinctly powerful base aroma, and it can be particularly pleasant when paired with close-relative frankincense.
Diffusing myrrh can also help get rid of airborne bacteria, as well as relax and ground the body on a spiritual level.
Add a few drops to your chosen diffuser or oil burner, or sprinkle into the bath.
The antibacterial and antifungal properties of myrrh can help to cleanse and clean the skin of the face and body - preventing signs of aging as well as helping to treat small wounds, infections, and abrasions.
Combine some myrrh essential oil with your chosen carrier oil and use daily, or spot treat certain areas.
The anti-inflammatory effects of myrrh can be very useful for a spiritual, restorative massage on certain swollen or painful areas of the body.
Add a few drops to a carrier oil and rub onto your temples to help soothe tension headaches, or apply to sore muscles for gradual relief.
What is the history of Myrrh Essential Oil?
Mentioned as far back as 4000 years ago, myrrh has been an important ingredient in spiritual rituals for centuries. Traditionally, it was used as an ingredient in incense to assist in creating a certain atmosphere for religious ceremonies.
This was particularly true of funerals and other solemn events, as myrrh’s associations in the Bible are said to link to the persecution and death of Jesus.
Myrrh’s attributes towards youthful skin were also utilised in Ancient Egyptian societies – with women placing the slightly cool substance onto their faces to prevent aging as well as provide relief from sunlight.
Myrrh may be associated with the elusive, but modern science is beginning to uncover the explanations behind the oil’s powerful benefits.
Even if we do one day know everything there is to know about myrrh oil, its intense aroma will always provoke a sense of mystery.
|100% Pure Myrrh (Thin) Essential Oil|
|Botanical Name||Commophoria Myrrha|
|Benefits & Uses||Antibacterial, Antifungal, Skin|
|Suitable for Diffusers?||Yes, this myrrh (thin) essential oil is perfect for diffusers.|
|Suitable for Candles and Soaps?||Yes, this myrrh (thin) essential oil is perfect for candle and soap making.|
|Extraction Method||Steam Distillation|
|Bottle Type||Tamper proof and UV resistant|