When it is imperative to pack light, whether it be a camel ride or an airline restriction, myrrh is a must-have essential oil!
“And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and behold, a company of Ishmaelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt.” —Genesis 37:25
“And their father Israel said unto them, if it must be so now, do this, take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts, and almonds.” —Genesis 43:11
Historically, myrrh was diffused, mixed into wine and applied straight to the skin — even during pregnancy and labor. Biblical users felt it promoted confidence and calmness. It has even been applied to the umbilical cords of newborn babies, which speaks to its safety.
Myrrh oil is sticky and smells “funky.” The caps of containers holding the oil will stick shut. It is best to use an ultrasonic water diffuser, as myrrh oil will gum up a nebulizer.
Myrrh, specifically Commiphora myrrha, contains a high percentage of natural compounds (furanoids) that are typically associated with phototoxicity, yet myrrh is not phototoxic. In fact, the cones worn by ancient Egyptians, as pictured in their hieroglyphics, are actually cones of fat. The fat is saturated with myrrh oil. As the fat melted, it ran down over the face and body of the Egyptian to protect him from the sun and to repel insects.
What a great ingredient for a natural pet sunscreen and insect repellent! Myrrh protects the skin from ultraviolet rays, instead of causing a burn! Use a drop for under eye wrinkles and puffiness when traveling or even daily at home!
Myrrh is in the frankincense family and is steam-distilled from resin, from trees originating in Somalia. It has been associated with antioxidant, antitumoral, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antiparasitic, analgesic and anesthetic properties.
It is no wonder that myrrh oil was selected to be a part of a popular oil blend for animals called Infect Away. When single oils are mixed in a blend, they often work synergistically. They become more potent then when used alone.
According to an abstract in PubMed, “Frankincense and myrrh essential oils have been used in combination since 1500 BC; however, no antimicrobial investigations have been undertaken to confirm their effect in combination. This study validates the enhanced efficacy when used in combination against a selection of pathogens,” including Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This is a common resistant bacterium that infects the ears and bladder of many susceptible dogs.
In a recent case in my holistic practice, a cat chronically affected by eosinophilic dermatitis obtained substantial relief through the utilization of a myrrh blend. One drop was applied to each excoriated ear once per week. The red, inflamed, pruritic (itchy) ears resolved dramatically. Oils in this Infect Away blend include: myrrh, patchouli, Dorado azul seed oil, Palo Santo wood oil, Plectranthus amboinucus, and ocotea leaf oil.
A food chemistry study performed by the chemical engineering department at Aristotle University in Greece confirmed that when myrrh oil is mixed with a substrate such as lard, corn oil or olive oil, it produces enough antioxidant effect that it can be used in pharmaceutical-grade and cosmetic products and functional foods as an antioxidant.
These studies are important in today’s world. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s censoring of what information can be relayed to the public is becoming an issue, as we lovers of natural chemistry try to share and convince others of the safety and efficacy of the utilization of essential oils and other natural products for the healthful maintenance of pets and people.
Myrrh is an age-old remedy that has a place in first-aid kits of today. To maintain its place in modern society we must respect and share its traditional history of usage and prove its validity with current scientific methods.