What is Myrrh and How is it Helpful

Even though it has health benefits that are truly amazing, the chances are you probably have only heard about myrrh in relation to the story of Jesus’ birth as the third gift brought by one of the magi or wise men.  Although it may not seem as precious as gold, it was highly valued.  But what exactly is myrrh and why is it still so important for modern individuals trying to stay healthy?  

What is Myrrh?  

Myrrh is a substance that has previously been used as a spice and for its medicinal qualities.  Like many similar substances from early historical eras, it was a resin produced by trees found in Northern Africa and the Middle East.  The name actually derives from the Arabic word for “bitter” because of the acrid smell produced by the substance.  Myrrh essential oils have been used to season food but also as medicines and even as an embalming agent and purifier for the dead.

What are the benefits of Myrrh?  

First and foremost, myrrh has a powerful anti-inflammatory component that has allowed it to be used to treat joint paint and arthritis.  It is probably because of this component that so many people use it as an ingredient in massage oils and for aromatherapy as a means of relaxing.  It is also an antioxidant, which can prevent cell degeneration and can help combat diseases including diabetes and cancer.  In fact, some studies have found that myrrh can inhibit the growth of different cancer cells, not curing the disease, but certainly curtailing it.  In addition, the oil has been used to clear up skin irritations including acne and even ringworm as well as fungal infections such as athlete’s foot.  Besides treating skin irritations, some people swear by myrrh’s ability to rejuvenate the skin and keep it looking young and vital.

How can Myrrh be used?  

As with many essential oils, one of the easiest ways to benefit from myrrh is to use it with an oil diffuser.  Inhalation of myrrh oil has been used in the past to treat lung and breathing ailments including bronchitis.  Others will apply the substance directly to their skin with just a few drops or will add it to cold compresses so that it can be absorbed through the skin and also breathed in at the same time.

Myrrh is an ancient substance with many modern uses.  As we learn more about medicine and health, it is becoming obvious that some of the old methods for treating ailments actually work more than we might think.