What is Myrrh?

Myrrh is a resin, or sap-like substance, that comes from a called Commiphora myrrha, common in Africa or the Middle East. Myrrh is botanically related to Frankincense, and is of the most widely essential oils in the world.

The myrrh tree is distinctive due to its white flowers and knotted myrrh treetrunk. At times, the tree has very few leaves due to the dry desert conditions where it grows. It can take on an odd and twisted due to the harsh weather and wind.

In to harvest myrrh the tree trunks must be cut into to release the resin. The resin is allowed to dry and begins to look like tears all along the tree trunk. The resin is then collected and the essential oil is from the sap via steam distillation.

Myrrh oil has a smoky, sweet or sometimes bitter . The myrrh comes from the Arabic “murr” bitter. The oil is a yellowish, orange color with a viscous consistency. It is commonly used as a base for and other fragrances.

Two primary active compounds are found in myrrh, called terpenoids and sesquiterpenes, both of which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.(2) Sesquiterpenes specifically also have an effect on our emotional center in the hypothalamus, helping us remain calm and balanced. Both of these compounds are under investigation for their anticancer, antibacterial benefits as well as other potential therapeutic uses.