Myrrh essential oil has not wavered as a go-to source for healing and wellness for many years. Perhaps not the earliest mention of it but likely the most famous comes from the New Testament.
The wise men, on their journey to lay eyes on Baby Jesus, were sure to honor whom they believed to be the Messiah. The only gifts honorable enough for such an occasion were frankincense, gold, and myrrh.
The benefits of gold need no introduction. The other two are plant resins whose primary use is aromatic, serving as a key ingredient for many forms of perfumes and incense.
But myrrh goes a little further in that, through the centuries, people have used it for physical, emotional, and spiritual healing.
In the following article, we will be getting into some of the claims in more depth. But next, here are the quick details on what myrrh essential oil is.
Characteristics of Myrrh Essential Oil
Myrrh itself is a resin extracted from thorny plants called Commiphora. Some oils are “purer” than others, but in the best forms, here is a primer on how the distillation works, care of HowStuffWorks:
“Most pure essential oils are extracted from plants through steam distillation. Freshly picked plants are suspended over boiling water, and the steam pulls the oils out of the plant.
The steam rises, is captured in a vessel, and is pushed along the tubing. Then the steam is rapidly cooled, causing it to condense back into the water. Since water and essential oils do not mix, the two separate, and the essential oil is collected.”
From there, the oils can be used in a variety of ways. In the next section, we will discuss the most popular particularly as it relates to myrrh essential oil.
Ways to Consume It
When it comes to essential oil use — and this is true for all essential oils, not just myrrh — the primary ways to use are through diffusing, topical application, simple or steam inhalation, aromatherapy massage, and in baths.
Some may even ingest the substance, albeit in very small quantities. We wouldn’t recommend going that route unless the oil is heavily diluted.
The suggestions here are pretty straight-forward, so we won’t spend a lot of time on them. But here’s a quick primer:
Diffusing: you can purchase a diffuser from many home stores with an emphasis on bed-and-bath departments. Diffusers differ in the types of features they incorporate. They also differ wildly in price.
The basics of how they work are the same, though. Add water and a drop or two of essential oil. Replace the cover. Turn it on. The diffuser will then convert the oil-infused water into a mist that it expulses into the air.
Topical application: some oils are so powerful you may want to dilute them with water or a lotion before rubbing them into the chosen body region.
Simple or steam inhalation: or, smelling the oil directly from the bottle or after it’s heated in water.
Aromatherapy massage: wherein a drop or two of essential oil is doused into a dollop of lotion and rubbed into muscle groups.
Baths: just a few drops added to your bath water, and you’re good to go.
Choose the route you want to go. Mix-and-match. It doesn’t matter. There are potential health benefits on either side. Before getting to those, however, we’ll say a word about blends.
What Are the Best Blends?
A popular way of using essential oils is blending two or multiple types together. There’s nothing wrong with experimentation in this regard, but if you’re having trouble getting started, here are some suggestions specific to myrrh.
Keep in mind before reading any further that myrrh’s woody and herbaceous properties make it a natural for any oils of the floral, citrus, or spicy varieties. Examples:
Frankincense: similar to myrrh in many ways, particularly the warm, spicy notes. Linked to many health benefits such as mood stabilization, immune system function, fighting cancer, and anti-aging.
Sandalwood: also warm and spicy, sandalwood may support lower cholesterol, healing against skin damage, and weight loss.
Clove: spicy like myrrh, could improve digestion, act as anti-carcinogen, help regulate blood sugar, and prevent mutations.
Lavender: a floral oil most notable for its help in improving sleep quality. May also improve brain function and relieve pain.
Eucalyptus: a floral oil as well, great for sinus problems, asthma relief, and as an anti-microbial.
Jasmine: another floral-derived oil, this one has been linked to weight loss, restful sleep, and a healthier heart.
Lemon: a sour citrusy oil, lemon is a good blend because it promotes hydration, acts as a great source of vitamin C, and aids in digestion.
Juniper Berry: another citrus, juniper berry is an energy booster that can ease cramps, improve skin quality, and guard against arthritis.
Grapefruit: probably the most citrusy of all, grapefruit is popular for aiding in metabolism and stress management.
Now enough with the previews! In the following section, we’ll get into the featured attraction: myrrh itself! Specifically, how can it benefit your health and wellness — that’s mind, body, and spirit?
And what are some possible side effects or areas of concern that you’ll need to be aware of before using? Let’s continue!
The 19 Essential Health Benefits
Even though we’ve had it for thousands of years, we’re still finding out ways that myrrh can improve health and add years to your life.
In our humble attempts, we’ve come up with 20, though it should be noted that within many of these, there are “sub-benefits” galore. Take the first entry.
1. Skin Health
Myrrh has long been associated with skin benefits such as the healing of scars or the clearing of acne. But as you’re about to see, it goes well beyond these simple fixes.
One major area where it has potential is skin cancer. This is because of the compounds curzerene and sesquiterpenes. The two linked studies indicate a connection between these compounds and anti-tumor outcomes, which will be hugely beneficial when we get to the section on other types of cancer.
For now, other skin conditions myrrh may help with include eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis. Many also report it useful for nails, hair growth, dandruff, wrinkles, and the healing of scar tissue.
The thyroid is a gland of the endocrine system. You can find it on the front of your neck. It acts as both a storage container and manufacturing facility for all the body’s hormones. As such, it regulates our metabolism.
A low-functioning thyroid, which is a condition known as hypothyroidism, can cause a number of health issues, particularly weight gain. But two or three drops to your thyroid can help stave off the symptoms. Use it as a compliment, not a replacement, for any prescribed medications.
3. Teeth and Gums
Myrrh acts as both an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. It also fights bacteria. These properties have made it an essential ingredient for kinds of toothpaste and mouthwashes.
Incorporating myrrh into your daily dental routine can have two positive effects, largely due to the antibacterial properties. Since most gum and tooth decay problems are due to unchecked bacteria, myrrh is an effective tool in the fight against gingivitis and cavities.
4. Sleep Quality
If you’re like millions of Americans, then you’re not getting enough sleep. This could be due to a variety of factors, including medical emergencies such as sleep apnea.
As with every health issue, you should see a doctor, follow his or her advice, and take any prescribed medications. That said, myrrh is helpful for relieving symptoms of troubled sleep.
Diffusing or inhaling it produces a calming effect on the body. It also can clear breathing passages. Combining these two benefits is sure to produce longer and more restful sleep.
5. Cold Sores
A cold sore is a result of the herpes virus. Myrrh has antiviral properties as well as antibacterial. If you have a cold sore pop up, apply myrrh to the affected area in the following manner.
Retrieve a cotton ball. Apply a drop or two. Dab the affected area with the cotton ball. Repeat the process several times per day. Make sure the sore hasn’t first become infected. For open or oozing sores, this may cause further irritation.
Urinary tract infections occur in 50 percent of the world’s female population at some point in their lifetimes, according to the World Health Organization. Symptoms may include pain, burning, or stinging when you pee. You may experience cloudy or discolored urine. You also may still feel the need to pee even after going.
The key word in UTI is “infection,” and the cause of this one is bacteria proliferation in the urinary tract. We’ve already covered how myrrh is an antibacterial agent, but what’s the best use for it when fighting UTI?
According to Health Watch List, women should apply these oils to the mons pubis, inner thighs, and outside the labia. “If you place it directly on the skin anywhere else you may risk irritation,” the site notes.
Men and women, you may also place it on your abdomen via a hot or cold compress.
Epilepsy affects about 2.3 million people in the US alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Epileptic spasms are one of the many scary things those diagnosed with epilepsy have to endure.
While spasms don’t usually last as long as a seizure, they can greatly affect the comfort and function of the diagnosed. Myrrh has a reputation among epileptics for being one of the few essential oils that can calm spasms and reduce the harmful effects of other related symptoms.
We mentioned in the section on skin health how myrrh has cancer-fighting properties that can be helpful in fighting skin cancer. The same is true of other forms of cancer.
Thanks to the curzerene and sesquiterpenes content found in the essential oil, myrrh may show resistance to cancer cell growth.
The science isn’t well-developed yet, but there is enough anecdotal evidence floating around at this point to lend credence to the idea. Of course, myrrh won’t cure cancer, and you should check with your doctor first.
But anything that can relieve symptoms and, possibly, shrink tumor size is worth trying.
Candida overgrowth, commonly referred to as a yeast infection, is a condition in which a fungus typically found on the skin or mucous membranes overtakes a certain region of the body.
The vagina, mouth, and skin and nails are the most common locations for this to occur. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not a sexually transmitted infection (STI), though it can be.
The most common causes include poor eating habits, lack of sleep, a weakened immune system, pregnancy, and recent use of antibiotics, which leaves the body’s ecosystem unbalanced and susceptible to infection.
Myrrh is anti-fungal, so it’s natural for use when trying to clear up a yeast infection.
Myrrh can be a bit of a double-edged sword when it comes to diabetes for reasons we’ll get into under side effects. For now, what you should know is that it’s possible for myrrh to lower blood sugar.
If you have occasional spikes in that “yucky” over-sugared feeling after binging on a box of Twinkies — not recommended, by the way — then you might keep a jar of myrrh essential oil close-by.
That’s because it has been known to lower blood sugar. In fact, it is so effective at it that you may want to talk to your doctor if you actually have diabetes. More on that in a moment.
Spiritual healers and alternative health practitioners agree that myrrh helps to center the energy centers of the body. The clarity this brings can boost both mental and physical activity levels.
A frequently-held claim is that myrrh essential oil, working through the thyroid, is able to repair eye damage. Now it’s important to note the application process should have nothing to do with the eyes.
You could do significant damage to your corneas regardless of the oil you use if you apply it like an eye-drop. Don’t do it. Ever. Instead, use a diffuser or apply through another of the accepted methods mentioned at the start of this article.
Physical health has a great impact on the overall mood, and myrrh has plenty of these types of benefits. As such, it can influence mood for the better.
Going back thousands of years to the ancient Egyptians, myrrh was often used by expecting mothers as a way to deal with mood swings and regulate demeanor. This is likely due to its positive interaction with the thyroid, which is the hormone center of the body.
14. Weight Loss
Working through the thyroid, myrrh essential oil’s regulation of hormone levels has a number of chain reaction benefits that can easily translate into weight loss. By controlling hypothyroidism, myrrh can aid your body’s metabolism in proper functionality.
This can help you get more out of your workouts and ensure the calories you consume are being used as they should be. Better workouts plus predictable eating patterns equal easier-to-control-your-diet.
15. Joint Pain
Joint pain and arthritis are two separate things. While you will usually have joint pain with arthritis, you can have just the pain without the inflammation in your joints that occur during arthritis.
Myrrh often is used to calm the effects of joint pain, thus making it easier to maintain mobility and quality-of-life amid arthritic flare-ups.
16. Microbial Growth
Microbial growth is the culprit in a broad range of ailments, ranging from annoying to serious. Here are just a few of the microbe-related conditions that myrrh can treat:
- A cough and cold
- Food poisoning
- Wound infection
In short, bringing balance back to the micro-ecosystem can both restore your health and keep it from spiraling out of control in the first place.
Just use caution during the application because in some cases, like pox, it’s possible to further agitate open wounds that might occur from picking, bleeding, and infection.
17. Improves Digestion
Myrrh essential oil is a frequent source for sufferers of indigestion and other stomach ailments like ulcers. For this particular function, you need to adhere first to the recommended dosing on the package.
Then, consider ingestion after heavy dilution. One or two drops in a glass of water should do.
We prefer this method because: a) myrrh is generally a safe essential oil; and b) the carrier (water or a favorite beverage) more quickly gets the oil into your system.
18. Mucus and Phlegm Production
Taking myrrh can inhibit mucus and phlegm production, which is helpful with problems like congestion, wheezing cough, or breathing trouble. It’s basically a godsend to the respiratory system whether inhaling through simple or steam methods or applying topically.
It’s possible to have too much salt or too much water in the body. Furthermore, your body takes in or produces many toxins throughout an active day.
Myrrh will increase sweat production to help rid your body of these unnecessary and unsafe materials so you can perform at your best mentally and physically. It’s also helpful with disposing of harmful gases that your body may take in or produce along the way.
Side Effects of Myrrh Essential Oil
As with almost anything, there comes a point where you can have too much of a good thing or a good thing at a bad time. Myrrh essential oil is no exception.
It turns out there are times when you want to avoid it like the plague. This section will deal with a few, in particular, starting with the miracle of life.
Use During Pregnancy
Myrrh essential oil is not recommended for moms-to-be. The reason for this is that it’s been known to stimulate uterine contractions. That’s a problem if you’re a pregnant woman still several months out from her due date.
Use During Breast-Feeding
Since we know so little about the transfer effects of myrrh essential oil, it’s better not to be the “first girl in the pool” when it comes to feeding your baby the natural way. If a dose, however small, were to be passed along with the breast milk, it could become a serious complication.
Avoiding Large Doses
The generally-recommended amount — and this will largely depend on the blend you have on-hand — is between 2-4 grams. Go any higher than that, and you start risking some really adverse health effects, namely diarrhea, skin irritation, or kidney damage.
Diabetes and Other Medication-Driven Responses
Diabetics must take drugs to manage their condition. Using myrrh alongside these drugs can have an unintended but highly dangerous effect. It can essentially make the blood sugar dip too low.
This creates a potentially fatal effect if something isn’t done to get the blood sugar back up to safe levels at once.
Myrrh also may counteract other medication-driven responses: heart disease, uterine bleeding, and fever to name a few.
Bottom line: take nothing if you’re on medication, or at least check with your doctor first to see what’s acceptable.
Pets and Children
Keep all of your essential oils out of the reach of children and pets. While some oils are more harmful than others, they’re all dangerous when used in the wrong way by someone or something that has no concept of essential oils or their potency.
Choose a high shelf somewhere in the house. Make sure all lids are fastened. Don’t leave it within a child’s reach, and don’t leave your kids home alone until they’re old enough to understand the volatility.
Find Myrrh Essential Oil Near Me
Are you ready to find myrrh essential oil in your neck of the woods? Try any health food store or your local big box retailer. Now, what do you say? Have you used myrrh essential oil?
What positive facts and benefits can you share about your experience? Feel free to do so in the comments section below.