We have all heard of the 'Three Wise Men' delivering gifts of Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh to baby Jesus... But the question remains, Why are these the significant three gifts? And why does their popularity remain outside of religion? Though they represent somewhat a symbol of respect and honour, we have reason to believe there is much more to these sacred objects.
In this article, we are going to dive into the magical benefits of Myrrh and its healing incense!
- What is Myrrh?
- What is Myrrh used for?
- Our Top 5 Benefits of Myrrh and Myrrh Incense
- What is Myrrh Incense?
- The History of Myrrh and Myrrh Incense
- What Does Myrrh Incense Smell Like?
- Burning Myrrh Incense
- Myrrh Side Effects
- The Bottom Line
What is Myrrh?
Like Frankincense, Myrrh is an aromatic resin; a substance which is found and sourced from the inside and bark of a tree. However, Frankincense comes from Boswellia trees and Myrrh from trees belonging to the Genus Commiphora species found in East Africa.
Commiphora Myrrha are native to Africa, mainly in Eastern regions, however, they were not long after discovered in areas of the Arabian Peninsula and the Middle East. These deciduous shrubs thrive in tropical, dry air and heat, and grow in only well-drained and sandy soil. They can grow up to heights of 5 metres and are described as spiny or thorny.
Myrrh resin is reddish-brown (sometimes with yellow tones) and is usually quite cloudy in appearance. It is a solidified, rocky, or crystal-like substance, enriched with a pleasant, earthly aroma.
What is Myrrh used for?
Myrhh resin and essential oil have plenty of uses - it is used as an aromatherapy oil, in traditional medicine, as a food additive, as incense, and in skin cosmetics. Many ancient spiritual and religious people used Myrhh to assist them with Chakra alignment, illness or injury recovery, and connection with higher entities. They would burn, consume, and apply both Myrrh resin and oil. This has been passed on to modern religious and spiritual practising, however, it is also popular amongst new communities.
Myrrh was, and still is, a common ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine, thus thanks to its many healing, beneficial properties.
Test tube studies have found that Myrrh is great for curing and bettering oral health, such as relieving bad breath, healing mouth sores, and limiting tooth decay. Thanks to modern advancements, you can now buy yourself Myrrh toothpaste and mouthwash.
Myrrh oil is also a common ingredient found in skin-bettering cosmetics such as dermatologist-approved ointments, skin creams, makeup, face wash, and perfumes. This is thanks to its potent skin-healing properties and wonderful, fresh aroma.
What is Myrrh Incense?
Incense is a popular ancient technique involving the burning of aromatic substances, usually plant life, to create a healing and energising fragrant smoke. Many burn incense to enhance their meditations, rid bad odours, and soothe tension. Myrrh's naturally appealing essence is embellished when burnt as incense, thus making it one of our favourite incense scents.
Natural Myrrh Incense
Incense can involve the burning of essential oils, botanicals, and resins (all-natural, earthly substances) however, incense sticks, cones, and coils are deemed the easier option. Incense sticks, cones, and coils, though having some spiritual benefits, frequently have additives that are harmful to the body. However, that shouldn't scare you - we are going to give you the lowdown on why Natural Incense might just be the incense switch you need.
Myrrh Essential Oil
There are many different methods for extracting essential oil, one example being cold-pressing. This involves pressing the oils, and/or juices, out of a fruit, herb, or seed. This is usually done through a machine. Another method is steam distillation, where the steam works to separate the oil from the plant; herbs, flowers, and resins work best with steam distillation. Steam distillation is how Myrrh essential oil is usually produced and is perhaps the most ancient method of essential oil extraction.
Myrrh essential oil is usually 100% natural, however, it is important to get your oils from the right place. This oil is best diluted and burned on an oil warmer; we like to combine Myrrh oil with complementary scents, botanicals, oils, and resins.
Top 4 Benefits of Myrrh Incense
1. Anti Inflammatory
A recent study by the NIH found that Myrrh resin has potent anti-inflammatory compounds. It can act as a defence against infectious bacteria present in the body; it can also relieve inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, swelling, gut disease, and psoriasis.
Another study demonstrates that not only can it heal inflammation, but it can also act as complete pain relief. And, though little evidence, other studies even suggest it produces anti-cancerous microbes.
Burning Myrrh natural incense can potentially release these benefits into your environment. Other ways to use Myrrh for anti-inflammatory purposes are: through consumption (for example Myrrh herbal tea, medicine, or a Myrrh food additive), as a carrier oil, in medicine, and skin cosmetics.
2. Boosts Immunity
Myrrh oil is commonly used in cold and flu remedies for its ability to ease pain and attack inflammatory chemicals present in the body.
Burning Myrrh resin at home can help to boost immunity - its naturally anti-bacterial, cleansing properties can assist recovery and fight possible viruses present.
3. Wound Healing
Myrrh is well-known for its wound-healing benefits, which is why it is commonly used in skincare products. It doesn't only assist wound recovery, it can help to rejuvenate imperfections such as acne, scars, cuts, and burns.
Myrrh has anti-inflammatory compounds, so can also help with skin irritations such as rashes, bites, and bumps. Some studies even suggest that Myrrh can heal damaged tissues and bleeding wounds quicker than other remedies, however, only when diluted and used over a short period.
Burning natural Myrrh incense can exert these magical skin and wound-purifying properties into your external environment. However, do not apply any incense residue to your skin and don't place your skin too close to the smoke. Alternatively, there are Myrrh creams and skin oils catered for skin recovery and health.
4. Promotes Spiritual Enlightenment
Spiritual enlightenment is greatly improved through burning incense - many ancient relics found incense to be one of the most spiritual-enhancing tools.
Myrrh incense has the profound ability to align the Third-Eye Chakra, thus allowing for deep focus and connection with higher entities; it is the perfect scent for assisting meditation, manifestation, and prayer.
Myrrh incense can also help maintain balance with yourself and other earthly energies, thus making you feel more grounded, connected, and spiritually aware.
The History of Myrrh and Myrrh Incense
Incense was, and still is, burnt within many religions to assist spiritual connection, prayer, and meditation. It is seen to protect the body, soul, and mind from negativity, harm, bad juju, and illness. It is also known to promote tranquillity and happiness. Monks commonly burn resins and plants to promote a space of serenity and to focus the mind.
Many spiritually inclined people burn incense also... For example, witches were and are known to burn Sage bunches, usually during a ritual or energy cleansing. They waft their incense within a space, sometimes whilst repeating chants; this is known to remove evil spirits and keep their intuition strong. Many Reiki and meditation experts burn incense to keep their professional space enriched with positivity, relaxation, and spiritual awareness.
Myrrh in Christianity
Those who study or worship the Bible know Myrrh as a prominent symbol in ancient and biblical times. These Magi (the three wise men) of the East, brought gifts of Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh to Jesus's birth - they were seen as symbols of honour and loyalty to the baby Jesus Christ. Perhaps this is why Myrrh and Frankincense are commonly burned in church ceremonies as a way to connect to God and Jesus, or may also be why Myrrh essential oil is frequently used as a holy ointment/anointing oil.
"But beware of supposing that this is an ordinary ointment. For just as the Bread of the Eucharist after the invocation of the Holy Spirit is simple bread no longer, but the Body of Christ, so also this holy ointment is no longer plain ointment, nor, so to speak, common, after the invocation.Rather, it is the gracious gift of Christ; and it is made fit for the imparting of His Godhead by the coming of the Holy Spirit. This ointment is symbolically applied to your forehead and your other senses; and while your body is anointed with the visible ointment, your soul is sanctified by the holy and life-creating Spirit."
— Saint Cyril of Jerusalem (c. 313-386)
Myrrh in Other Belief Systems
In the Middle East, Myrrh (and Frankincense) were sold and used as perfumery, medicine, incense, and cosmetics, however, with serious expense. Ancient Egyptians saw Myrrh as a representation of wealth, stature, and good fortune. They would cleanse priests, kings, Pharaohs and anyone of power, with Myrrh oil or smoke, sometimes even before or during their mummification. Myrrh is also a key ingredient of Kyphi, an incense concoction made to cleanse ancient temples and to rid unwanted spirits.
Myrrh was also used in Ayurvedic medicine and was marked in the 'Ebers papyrus' as a firm wound healer (Ayurvedic is an ancient medicinal system, involving natural substances used to treat infection and illness). Myrhh was sold as a healing solution for skin conditions, colds, arthritis, and open wounds, usually in areas of India, North Africa and the Middle East. Nowadays Myrrh's healing properties remain in use and Myrrh can be found in pain-relief medicine, skin-healing cosmetics, and soothing herbal teas all across the globe.
What Does Myrrh Incense Smell Like?
Myrrh resin has a somewhat balsamic aroma, and when burnt this aroma remains. However, its fresh, cooling, woodsy notes come to light, as well as its subtle sweetness and smokiness.
Burning Myrrh Incense
To learn how to burn resin and essential oils ~ visit our natural incense post.
Myrrh Side Effects
Though Myrrh incense has many wonderful healing and spiritual properties, it is important to note its potential side effects. These can include:
- Allergic reactions
- Stomach and fertility issues when ingested
- Skin irritation when applied topically
It is always important to consult with a medical expert before using Myrrh for medicinal purposes and pain relief.
The Bottom Line
Myrrh incense is a fantastic way to cleanse energy, assist recovery, and heighten spirituality. Not only is it a powerful energy connector, but it is beautiful in fragrance and enriched in healing properties.