Myrrh is an aromatic resin that comes from cuts made in the bark of a small desert tree called Commifera Myrrha. The myrrh hardens into tear-dropped shaped chunks and is made into powder or used for ointments, perfumes, and incense, and as a fixative in makeup. Myrrh has been part of medical practice for thousands of years. In ancient Egypt, myrrh was used for hay fever and for embalming. The ancient Greeks often carried it onto the battlefield and used it as an antiseptic for soldiers to clean battle wounds. During Biblical times, myrrh was used in expensive perfumes, and was one of the gifts the Magi offered to the infant Jesus. In liquid form it was used as an anointing oil or to perfume men’s beards.
Further study needs to be done on myrrh, but some of the anecdotal evidence suggests that it can be used to promotes open airways, indigestion, and scratchy throat! Scientific studies have shown that myrrh might reduce or prevent damaging oxidative stress on the liver caused by lead poisoning. One of the compounds in myrrh oil includes a class of chemicals called terpenoids which have antioxidant ability and promote healthy inflammatory response effects in the body.
In aromatherapy, inhaling the aroma of myrrh essential oil or absorbing myrrh essential oil through the skin, is thought to influence the limbic system which is a brain region involved in controlling emotions. If taken orally, it has been shown to tighten the muscles of the uterus and promote menstrual flow in women. it should not be taken orally by pregnant women. Some studies have shown that myrrh may help maintain an already healthy blood sugar level. When used as a medicine, myrrh can have a strong effect and needs to be overseen by a health care professional.
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