Gum Myrrh is the yellow to reddish brown aromatic natural gum resin exudes from fissures or incisions in the bark and is collected as irregular masses. Gum Myrrh is a shrub or small tree native to Ethiopia, Somalia, and the Arabian Peninsula. Botanical name is Commiphora myrrha. Also known as myrrh frankincense, gold frankincense,mur, mir, mire, murr, myrhh, myrh, myrha and myrra. Myrrh tree grows up to 3 meters in height and has tough, knotted branches and spine-tipped twigs sparsely covered with small, trifoliate, irregular leaves. Myrrh is a mixture of volatile oil (known as myrrhol), gum, and resin (oleo-gum-resin) from Commiphora species. The name also comes from the Arabic word for ‘bitter’.
Uses of Myrrh
In the past, myrrh was used by many cultures for treatment of infected wounds and digestive and bronchial complaints for over a thousand years. It was also mentioned in the earliest Jewish and Christian holy texts, and was a primary ingredient in incense used for religious rituals. In the Greek culture when soldiers went to battle, it was an essential part of their combat gear because of myrrh’s extremely high antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It was used to clean wounds and to prevent infection. It was also used to prevent the spread of gangrene in already infected parts of the body.
Myrrh is used as an astringent in many mouthwashes, gargles and toothpastes for fighting and preventing gum disease. It is beneficial in treating sore throat and tonsillitis. Myrrh can be effective in treating eczema/skin inflammations. It is used in balms to treat chapped lips. It can also be used to help alleviate wrinkles and to uplift old skin and rejuvenate mature complexions. Myrrh is also used as a flavoring, fragrance, or stabilizing ingredient in beverages, cosmetics, drugs, and foods. The oil is a fragrance component in soaps, detergents, perfumes, and creams. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy to treat digestive upsets and boost the immune system. Some herbalists also prescribe it to help treat rheumatism. Occasionally, myrrh tincture is diluted with water or other liquids and used as a wash to treat hemorrhoids or as a douche to relieve vaginal irritation. To buy myrrh incense resin, myrrh lumps, granules, powdered myrrh, large peasize, small pea size myrrha and myrrh siftings.