Valued for its aroma and medicinal properties, Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) has been used by many cultures for thousands of years. It is still in use today in religious rituals and is part of the Western Herbalists dispensary (including mine) for its healing properties.
The precious gum or resin from the Myrrh tree was used as an ingredient in an ‘holy anointing oil’ and as an incense in purification rituals in biblical times. Used as part of the embalming and preservation process in mummification of bodies in Egypt and Africa, it was even used in the embalming of Jesus after his crucifixion. Over the years many religious relics have been anointed in oil of myrrh for the lingering perfume given off even after many centuries.
Today it is still used in preparing the sacramental chrism (anointing oil) used by many churches of both Eastern and Western rites.
I use it as a liquid medicinal herb today. Myrrh contains active ingredients that work as antiseptic and anti-inflammatory agents in our body. It is best used for conditions affecting the mouth such as tonsillitis, gingivitis and laryngitis. Recent research is also proving the benefit of its use in blood sugar regulation and high cholesterol.