Welcome to the second edition of Feature Friday! This is an opportunity for us to share information about our most popular essential oils on an ongoing basis — their history, properties and common use.
If there are any essential oils that you'd like to learn more about, please let us know in the comments section! Now, on to the star of today's post, a seasonal favourite!
Myrrh is the resin of a small tree that grows in East Africa, countries bordering the Red Sea and Arabia. It has been used since ancient times in Egypt for the embalming of the dead and in China for arthritis and skin infestations. It has also been greatly valued as a sacred herb and incense ingredient. Distillation of the oil occurs mainly in Europe and the USA.
Myrrh oil is stimulating, strengthening and highly antiseptic. It may be used in massage blends, steam inhalations and room fragrancing.
DESCRIPTION | Myrrh oil is a sticky liquid ranging from a pale orange to amber or dark red. It has a balsamic, medicinal and dry smell with an initial sweetness
KEY ACTIONS | Stimulating, strengthening, antiseptic
METHODS OF USE | Massage, bath, compress, room fragrance, inhalation, gargle
TOP REASONS FOR USE | Oral health, coughs, digestion, skin problems
WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR?
Skin health Myrrh has traditionally been regarded as a skin preserver, capable of delaying wrinkles and other signs of ageing skin. It combines well with frankincense, cypress and cedarwood for its skincare. Its highly anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties make it a useful oil for the treatment of any wound that is slow to heal or is infected.
Oral health Myrrh has a very good reputation for its action on the mouth and throat. Combined with lavender and sage in a little alcohol and water, it makes an excellent mouthwash for any infection of inflammation in this area - including amazing effects on bad breath!
Myrrh is appropriate if you are a purposeful and creative person but lack confidence in your ability to overcome difficulties and achieve what you want to. You may feel temporarily in the dark, or that you are struggling with a part of your own personality. Using myrrh helps put you back in touch with your purpose and supports the expression of love.
Method of Extraction
The myrrh resin is gathered by making incisions in the bark of the tree. The lumps of resin are then steam-distilled to produce the essential oil.
*Article published with reference to Neal's Yard Remedies Essential Oils book. A definitive guide to 42 essential oils, including descriptions of each oil's character, uses, therapeutic properties, psychological profile and safety information.
Curtis, Susan. Neal's Yard Remedies Essential Oils. London: Winter Press, 2017