When someone mentions myrrh, your mind may jump to the middle offering that the three kings brought to the baby Jesus on Christmas Day. In fact, myrrh is mentioned about 150 times in the Bible! Despite its biblical framing, however, myrrh is real, and it’s something you can actually seriously consider adding to your diet.
So what is myrrh, exactly? Although the word itself is instantly familiar to many, a lot of people would have trouble imagining exactly what it looks like. Myrrh is a resin, a sap-like substance that originates from the Commiphora myrrha tree, native to the Middle East. It’s one of the most popular and widely used essential oils in the world. It has a smoky fragrance and a yellowish-brown colour. The smell is so potent that it is often used as a base for perfumes. But how exactly is it useful to your body? In a surprising number of ways, as it happens. Let’s take a closer look.
Antibacterial and antifungal benefits
Myrrh oil was traditionally used as an embalming fluid. As gruesome as that is to think about, it’s proven to slow decay. This can also benefit healthy, living people, as scientists now realised that myrrh has powerful antibacterial properties. It has been proven to kill bacteria and other microbes, such as the S. aureus strain, which causes staph infections. In addition to its embalming duties, myrrh oil was historically used to treat wounds and prevent infections. It can be applied directly to the skin in an effort to clear up staph infections, or treat any sort of fungal growths such as athlete’s foot.
Myrrh oil can also have a beneficial effect internally. One study has shown that myrrh can stimulate the production of white blood cells, which bolsters a person’s immune system, while another study has shown that diluted myrrh oil killed all dormant Lyme disease bacteria. Whether myrrh can be utilised more fully in the complex treatment of Lyme disease remains to be seen, but there is certainly more to explore when it comes to the antibacterial properties of this essential oil.
Maintains skin health
We all know that moisturising our skin is important for many different reasons. It keeps skin healthy and full-looking, it prevents wrinkles and cracking, and it can keep our pores clean and breathing. However, sometimes moisturiser alone isn’t enough to tackle certain skin-related ailments. Myrrh is already a common component in many skincare products, where it aids with both moisturising and fragrance. Applying it directly to the skin with a cloth can have the same effect. It can also be used as a healing agent for minor cuts and scrapes, as it promotes white blood cell activity, leading to faster healing and improving protection against infection.
Positive effect on gut health
Keeping your gut in good shape is a crucial component of your overall health. When your intestines are out of whack, it can have knock-on effects for your entire body. Myrrh can help relieve digestive problems such as diarrhoea, indigestion and general stomach discomfort. It acts as a form of natural antibiotic, meaning that it can restore balance in your gut if you have an overgrowth of bad bacteria, or simply keep things moving properly down there.
It is important to not underestimate the health of your gut. It is so crucial to the overall function of your body that it is often called the ‘second brain’. It can dictate how effectively you fight an infection, how quickly your recover from it, and how you protect against future pathogen invasions. If you are suffering from a chronic disease, then fortifying your gut can be even more important. Myrrh has already been proven to be effective in some capacity against chronic Lyme disease. Trials in treating ulcerative colitis have also proven that a phytotherapeutic approach containing myrrh and other components is a promising treatment option.
Other essential oils and supplements can also support the treatment of chronic diseases such as Lyme, when implemented as part of a balanced diet. Make Well offers a range of such products, and provides doctors and their patients with all-natural herbal supplements on a regular basis.
Supports oral health
Thanks to its strong and consistent antibacterial properties, myrrh can help in relieving inflammation of the gums and mouth. Different myrrh tinctures been tested and compared to medical mouthwashes with promising results. Many people suffer from some form of gum disease, also called gingivitis, but often don’t even notice they have it until it has progressed to a problematic stage. You can apply myrrh as a mouth rinse; because it’s an essential oil, it will help to strain any bacteria or debris from your teeth and gums. Just make sure you spit it out when you’re finished instead of swallowing it!
Always consult with your doctor if you’re unsure of the amount of myrrh oil you should be using.