MYRRH, Commiphora myrrha

Myrrh herb

When the Wise Men followed the star in the East, they were led to Bethlehem. When they found the Christ child, they gave him treasures of gold, frankincense and myrrh. In those days, myrrh was considered very valuable. Myrrh was gathered and shipped by caravan all over the known world. Almost two thousand years before this time though, there was another caravan that was carrying spices, balm and myrrh. Ten brothers conspired against their younger half brother whose name was Joseph. They hated him because he was their father's favorite son. Some wanted to murder him; some wanted to leave him in a pit for wild beasts. Then they saw a caravan carrying spices and myrrh. His brother's sold him for twenty pieces of silver. The caravan took Joseph and sold him into Egypt with the spices and myrrh.

The history of myrrh is old and colorful. It is not only a spice but was used as medicine and perfume. The myrrh tree is very small. In some areas, it grows small enough to be a bush. The tree grows in a very hot, dry climate so its leaves are small and few. The bark is gray and rough and has glands or fissures where the sap seeps out and dries. This sap is a yellow resin that hardens into a reddish-brown mass called tears. These tears collect and will grow to the size of a walnut. People gather the tears from the tree bark, clean them, and put them in chests. These tears are then sold in markets in different parts of the world. Since that memorable night two thousand years ago, the myrrh tree has been planted and grown in many dry areas of the world. Much of the myrrh production goes into the making of perfume.

Besides being the basis of good perfumes, myrrh has been used in many ways to heal the sick. Much of the myrrh that is shipped into this country is used in toothpastes and mouth washes. The lingering, pleasant scent of myrrh is important in making a good mouthwash. Myrrh is usually combined myrrh with a tincture of borax and other tinctures. Together, they give that fresh, clean feeling with a little, tart taste that puckers your mouth and makes breathing easier. The astringency of the myrrh usually causes a fresh, puckering, feeling.

This astringency in the myrrh is also very important to the toothpaste. It helps to tighten up any teeth that may be loose. As an astringent, it keeps the gums from bleeding and helps to overcome spongy gums. Another reason myrrh is good as a mouthwash and toothpaste is that it has disinfectant and antiseptic properties. It is also very healing to the mucus membranes of the body. This keeps the mouth healthy and helps against sore throats.

So, between the long-lasting pleasant taste and its astringent action, myrrh is an herb that most of us have used in toothpastes and mouthwashes for most of our lives.

Myrrh is antiseptic, is an antibiotic, and a healer. This is why it is used in Grandma's herbal Anti formula. Myrrh is especially healing to the mucus membranes of the body. It has been used for ulcers of the tongue, the mouth, and the throat. Myrrh is used for peptic ulcers of the stomach, for inflamed nasal passages and air passages of the respiratory tract. Powdered myrrh, tea or tincture stimulates the flow of blood to the capillaries and gives a warm, pleasant sensation to the stomach. Myrrh helps the blood to build more white corpuscles to fight infection. It also quickens the heartbeat. As a healer, myrrh powder is used on leg ulcers that weep and run. The astringency of myrrh dries them up and helps them to heal. In the last four thousand years, myrrh has been used for everything including leprosy, cancer, syphilis, as a mosquito and moth repellent, an anointing oil and even an embalming fluid.

No wonder they carried it on camels for hundreds of miles!

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