Benefits & Uses of Myrrh Essential Oil

Myrrh is one of the best known of ancient spices. It was one of the three gifts borne by the Magi and was considered at par with gold.

One of the implications of the Magi presenting baby Jesus with myrrh was that just as myrrh was a panacea for almost all known ailments, so would the baby be.

The use of myrrh, which may have declined in Europe and the West, is still continued in many parts of Arabia and Africa.


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Ayurvedic medicine uses myrrh in almost all of its potions because of its medicinal properties. The medical properties of myrrh are only now being scientifically studied, and not surprisingly, it is being found to have a number of uses.

Physical properties:

Myrrh essential oil has a slightly oily, but mostly watery consistency. It is pale yellow to amber in color and has a musty smell.

Chemical composition:

The active ingredients that have been scientifically proven to work in myrrh oil are given below.

  • A-pinene
  • Cadinene
  • Limonene
  • Cuminaldehyde
  • Eugenol
  • M-cresol
  • Heerabolene
  • Acetic acid
  • Formic acid


Myrrh is known to be common to the arid regions of North Africa, Arabia, and the Mediterranean. It is, however, theorized that different sub species used to be prevalent in parts of Europe. This is substantiated by the fact that there are more than 130 sub species of myrrh. Starting from China and India and going into Europe, myrrh was widely used as a spice both for cooking and for embalming as medication when ingested and as an analgesic when applied topically. The most commonly known myrrh essential oil comes from North Africa and the Mediterranean. Another sub species called Indian myrrh is, however, getting more popular because of its use in Ayurvedic medicine.

How to extract:

Myrrh is a resin and is therefore hard when dried and slightly soft and sticky when not dry. It is harvested by wounding the plant repeatedly and collecting the walnut sized resin balls that form.

Here’s how to make myrrh oil:

  • Myrrh essential oil is extracted by the steam distillation method. Here, steam is passed through the myrrh resin to break down the cell walls, releasing its essential oils.
  • These oils are carried along with the steam and then separated from the water by a process of fractional distillation.
  • Myrrh essential oil is very highly priced because it yields only about 2% in terms of net weight. It is, however, very potent, and as it blends well with a number of oils, it is usually diluted with other oils before use.

Health Benefits:

  • The essential oil of myrrh is good for the digestive system, the respiratory tract, for mouth and gum disorders, for the skin, gynecological problems and the urino-genital problems.
  • the oil is used through vaporizers and burners to treat coughs, colds, catarrh and bronchitis.
  • The oil can also be used to enhance your meditation.
  • When blended with bath water or with massage oil, myrrh can treat female problems, infections, coughs, colds and bronchitis. It can also improve the skin.
  • As a mouthwash, myrrh oil can prevent and cure dental infections.
  • Through cold compress, myrrh oil is used to treat wounds and sores.
  • When mixed with creams and lotions, myrrh oil can treat ulcers and wounds.
  • It is also used to treat carbuncles, boils, cracked skin, bedsores, and weeping eczema.

  • Myrrh oil can relieve symptoms of hemorrhoids, gum disease, halitosis, dysmenorrheal, and amenorrhea.
  • The purifying fragrance of the oil can rejuvenate the senses and refresh you.
  • Women use this oil for curing female maladies, and for flushing out toxins from the body.

Therapeutic applications:

Myrrh oil is known to have a number of benefits. It is considered to be antimicrobial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and can be used as an astringent. These properties were highly priced by the ancient Greeks who issued their soldiers a vial of myrrh oil to be applied to external injuries. This was supposed to stop the bleeding immediately and to also help it cure. As myrrh is also an anti-fungal, it has been shown to assist in the treatment of excessive itching, ringworm, eczema, and athlete's foot. Myrrh oil for gums is another popular use of the essential oil. Mouth ailments such as thrush, ulcers and problems with the gums can be relieved by the use of myrrh oil. You can make an easy antiseptic mouthwash by mixing together 2 drops of myrrh essential oil with a glass of water and then rinse any areas affected with ulcers with this solution. To treat gingivitis, mix 2 drops of myrrh oil with 2 drops each of eucalyptus, lemon, and peppermint oil along with 40 ml of warm water. Use this as a mouthwash every night and rinse your gums.

It is also considered a sedative, digestive, uterine stimulant, and a stomach tonic. These properties were used in ancient medicine to cure various digestive disorders and also uterine problems. It is also a good balsamic, carminative, cicatrisant, emmenagogue, expectorant, fungicide, and vulnerary. It is therefore very good in dealing with respiratory tract problems. Myrrh oil can also be used as an external ointment.

The benefits of myrrh oil were amplified when used in conjunction with frankincense oil, and studies have proved that using myrrh and frankincense together is much more beneficial than using either alone.


Myrrh oil is considered a neutral oil in Chinese medicine. It is also known to be very safe to use. However, it is recommended that it not be taken in very large doses. Although large doses are not known to cause very severe side effects, they have not been studied enough to verify this. In addition, it is recommended that pregnant women stay away from myrrh oil. Owing to its tendency to increase uterine blood flow and act as a uterine stimulant, it is considered unsafe for pregnant women, although once again this claim has not been proved. It is therefore important that you check with your doctor before you use the oil to treat any health condition.

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