Myrrh was one of the three gifts presented to the Christ child thousands of years ago. It, along with frankincense, have long been used and touted as medicines, along with other things. Presenting anyone with expensive gifts of myrrh and frankincense was not only honoring and respecting the person to whom these were given, but it was also a way of wishing that person a long and healthy life.
Fast forward to today. You have probably seen myrrh oil for sale or salves made from frankincense. Maybe you are wondering if these two tree products have any medical properties at all, given that they were used so long ago and are not made by pharmaceutical companies. The short answer is "yes," while the longer answer is more complicated. Here are some of myrrh's healing and medicinal applications, along with which ones work, and which ones do not.
Myrrh as an Antiseptic
Myrrh as an antiseptic is so common that you probably do not even realize that you have used it. It is in mouthwashes, toothpastes, household cleaners, first aid ointments, creams, and salves. If you read product labels, you will find the brands that regularly use myrrh this way, and it is a proven antiseptic.
Myrrh as a Wound Dressing
In its pure and freshly harvested form, myrrh resin is a sticky, tacky, gel-like substance. It is, and was, used as "wound glue." When slathered over wounds in the battlefield, it closed the wounds, provided needed antiseptic and dressed the wound when bandages were scarce. Because the resin would dry and harden to create a protective barrier over wounds, wounds could heal from underneath, and eventually shed the resin shield as the flesh mended itself back together.
Myrrh as a Cure for Cancer
Sadly, this application is not true. Myrrh cannot cure cancer. There are not many plants in nature that can even come close to curing cancer, and myrrh is definitely not one of them. It can, however, be ingested in tea and help flush cells destroyed by cancer out of the body, which may make you feel a little better.
Myrrh as a Body Preservative
Quite often, people believe that myrrh can preserve a dead body for years after burial. It comes from the fact that myrrh oil was used in Jewish burial preparations of the body. While it definitely can keep a body from stinking, it cannot prevent a body from the natural deterioration process.
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