For thousands of years, humans have used myrrh to treat a variety of ailments. Many individuals may recognize myrrh by its unique fragrance, often described as spicy and pungent.
Historically used to embalm cadavers, myrrh is widely used for its natural antiseptic properties. Before modern medicine, individuals would use myrrh to clean wounds and prevent infections from taking hold, similarly to anti-bacterial cream.
Its calming scent also made it popular as an incense, commonly used in homes and businesses to freshen the air. Today, we continue to use myrrh for a wide variety of purposes.
5 Health Benefits of Myrrh
Thanks to modern science, we know even more about the substance than ever before, helping us learn more about its usefulness. Take a look at the most common health benefits for myrrh in the modern age now.
1. High Antioxidant Potential
Antioxidants are found in grapes, pomegranates, cocoa, and tea, among other substances and foods, including myrrh.
The great thing about antioxidants is how they help the body reduce disease-causing oxidative stress. According to research, the antioxidant potential of myrrh is so high it may support healthy liver function even more so than oranges and other citrus fruits.
Antioxidants are also thought to reduce the physical signs of aging and increase an individual’s lifespan, making them a valuable addition to anyone’s daily intake.
However, it’s important for individuals to find food-grade myrrh if they want to ingest the substance for its benefits.
Many uses of myrrh are topical, and while it is safe to ingest in small amounts, individuals should only do so if they’ve purchased food-grade product, as the Food and Drug Administration does not assess others for their safety and thus, they are not wise to ingest.
2. Hay Fever Treatment
Myrrh contains two primary active compounds that make it a useful supplement for healthy immune response support. These active compounds, sesquiterpenes and terpenoids, are found in different types of food and plant sources.
Studies indicate sesquiterpenes and terpenoids help the body soothe inflamed areas, simultaneously helping to protect it from cell damage.
These benefits make myrrh a useful hay fever treatment for individuals living with allergies. Myrrh’s anti-inflammatory compounds help the body reduce pain, swelling, and itching associated with hay fever. It may be used internally to treat symptoms like sneezing, itching, or headaches, or topically to treat rashes.
If using myrrh essential oil topically, patients should be sure to use a carrier oil so the product does not cause skin irritation.
3. Antiseptic for Wounds
By using myrrh as an antiseptic for wounds like minor scratches and injuries, patients can reduce the chances of infection. Myrrh also works as an astringent to help strengthen the body’s cells, making it an even more useful treatment for wounds.
With the power to boost white blood cell function, myrrh can hasten the healing process for small wounds.
Before using myrrh as an antiseptic for wounds, patients should contact their doctor to learn more about the potential side effects, because while myrrh is generally safe, there are some minor risks to consider before using it for the first time.
4. Moisturize the Skin
Applying myrrh directly to the skin is a great way to promote skin rejuvenation and good complexion. Myrrh’s antioxidants give it noticeable anti-aging properties and using it may help rejuvenate and moisturize the skin.
Many individuals use myrrh to create homemade skin care products, like lotions and creams. It’s important to always use myrrh (and other essential oils) with a carrier substance to reduce the risk of allergic reactions or irritation.
When using essential oils on the skin directly, a carrier oil like coconut, almond, or jojoba helps them absorbed transdermally without additional side effects.
5. Antibacterial and Antifungal Benefits
We mentioned myrrh’s use as an antiseptic, but its antibacterial and antifungal benefits are good for more than treating cuts and scrapes.
In fact, myrrh has been shown to be effective at ridding the body of several types of dangerous parasites, including S. haematobium and S. mansoni.
Generally speaking, myrrh protects against various factors that contribute to infection, putrefaction and toxicity included.
By supporting the repair of cells throughout the body, myrrh effectively wards off infections without causing serious side effects. Myrrh also helps individuals fight fungal infections, like ringworm or athlete’s foot.
By applying myrrh to the afflicted area or ingesting it orally, patients can use it to help their body recover more quickly from a fungal infection.