Our Complete Guide to Myrrh Essential Oil: Benefits, Uses and Cautions
Myrrh essential oil is the gift that keeps on giving. It has an abundance of medicinal properties that will soothe sore or tense muscles and so much more.
- What is myrrh essential oil?
- Myrrh essential oil - quick facts
- How is myrrh essential oil made?
- Benefits of myrrh essential oil
- Antibacterial and antifungal
- Skin care
- Hair care
- Kills parasites
- Spiritual support
- Pain and swelling relief
- How to use myrrh essential oil
- Aromatherapy massage
- Topical use
- In the home
- Myrrh essential oil research
- Air purification with myrrh essential oil - 2018
- Headache and migraine relief with myrrh essential oil - 2017
- Antioxidant properties of myrrh essential oil - 2005
- Antifungal properties of myrrh essential oil - 2016
- Side effects of myrrh essential oil
- Contraindications of myrrh essential oil
- Where to buy myrrh essential oil
- Myrrh essential oil FAQs
- Is myrrh oil good for the face?
- What is so special about myrrh?
- Is myrrh good for hair growth?
- What does myrrh essential oil smell like?
- In summary
What is myrrh essential oil?
Myrrh may sound familiar, even if you don’t know what it is. We’ll unpack it for you. Myrrh is a brownish red sap that comes from a tree known as Commiphora myrrha, AKA C. molmol. The tree is distinctive due to its white flowers and knotted trunk, and it is related to the Frankincense tree. In fact, the two essential oils blend well together.
Myrrh dates back to about 2000 B.C., being mentioned in the Old Testament of the Bible as a trading item, used in holy anointing oil and as incense, used in the embalming process of Egyptian mummies, one of the three gifts given to baby Jesus by the three wise men, and traditionally used for air purification, dental hygiene, as a healing salve, an antiseptic, an analgesic and as a perfume. Myrrh is recorded as one of the most widely used oils in the world and here’s why.
Myrrh essential oil - quick facts
🏺 Latin name: Commiphora myrrha, Commiphora molmol
🏺 Countries of origin: Africa, the Middle East
🏺 Scent note: Middle
🏺 Annual production: about 1 metric ton
🏺 Popular uses: Fragrance, skin treatment, antibacterial
How is myrrh essential oil made?
Myrrh essential oil is extracted through a process called steam distillation. Steam is passed through the sap which causes the oils to vaporize. Then the oil and steam are condensed and separated, leaving just the oil. Once the oil has been extracted, it presents in an amber to brown color and has an earthy scent. With its sweet, earthy and woody aroma, it’s a luxurious oil and offers a variety of benefits.
Benefits of myrrh essential oil
Myrrh essential oil has a wide range of benefits, which is why it is one of the most popular essential oils in the world.
Some of the main benefits of myrrh oil include:
- 🏺 Antibacterial and antifungal
- 🏺 Skin care
- 🏺 Hair care
- 🏺 Kills parasites
- 🏺 Spiritual support
- 🏺 Pain and swelling relief
Let's look at each of these benefits of myrrh oil in more detail.
Myrrh has antibacterial and antifungal properties
Myrrh was often used in Ancient Egypt to embalm mummies because the oils not only provided a wonderful scent, but it also slowed the process of decay. Don’t let that bum you out. It was later discovered that the oil slowed the process because it kills bacteria and other microbes, so the oil would make for a great add-on to cleaning products in and around the home.
The oil can also be used to purify the air, again warding off unwanted bacteria and may also help in preventing the spread of contagious diseases.
Skin care with myrrh essential oil
Traditionally, myrrh was used to treat wounds and infections. The oil can help maintain healthy skin by soothing chapped, cracked or itchy patches on the skin. Myrrh can be added to skincare products to help moisturize the skin, and the fragrance is an added benefit.
Because of its high antimicrobial properties, you can use myrrh to treat fungal infections such as athlete’s foot and ringworm.
Myrrh oil for nails? You bet. Myrrh’s powerful antibacterial and antifungal properties will help with any nail infections you might have or may help ward them off in the first place.
Myrrh oil for acne? Probably! While little to no research has been done on the effects of myrrh essential oil on acne, eczema, skin hydration or anti-aging effects, we can guess that, based on its powerful wound healing, antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant effects on top of its protective effects against skin cancer cells and sun damage, myrrh essential oil would make for a fabulous addition to your skin care routine.
Myrrh oil for hair
While there is no research to support using myrrh essential oil in your hair, its powerful antioxidant and antifungal effects can’t help but offer health benefits to your hair and scalp, not to mention the heavenly fragrance your hair will carry with you all day long
Kill parasites with myrrh
Myrrh is anti-parasitic and can be used in treating fascioliasis, a parasitic worm infection. It was found that a medication made with myrrh was able to decrease the infection. There is a lot of research being done on the properties found in myrrh and the lasting benefit of the oil in treating parasitic infections, but so far, the oil has been helpful in treating parasites although myrrh is not to be taken orally and its safe long-term use must be assessed by a doctor.
Myrrh oil spiritual benefits
Myrrh is commonly used in aromatherapy for its spiritual benefits. The scent itself is earthy and known to lift negative moods and help relax the mind and body while encouraging the feeling of a spiritual awakening. Inhaling myrrh can also help you feel grounded, so if you have a long day ahead of you, take a quick whiff of the oil to help you stay calm and ready for the tasks ahead.
Aids pain and swelling
Myrrh has anti-inflammatory properties, making it a good choice of oil in protecting wounds from swelling, infection and calming tissue inflammation.
Myrrh has compounds that interact with the opioid receptors which tells your brain that it is not in pain. This makes the oil a go-to for headaches. Myrrh also blocks inflammatory chemicals that lead to pain in the body.
How to use myrrh essential oil
Myrrh essential oil can be used in a variety of ways, depending on its intended purpose.
Here are some of the most common ways to use myrrh essential oil:
- 🏺 Diffusion
- 🏺 Inhalation
- 🏺 Aromatherapy massage
- 🏺 Topical use
- 🏺 In the home
Let’s look at each of these uses of myrrh essential oil in more detail.
Diffuse myrrh in your home
You can add 5-10 drops of myrrh essential oil to a diffuser or mix 2-3 drops into water and burn the oil in a candle burner. The aroma will fill the area and not only provide a woody, earthy scent that makes you feel like you’ve escaped the concrete jungle, but it will also help you relax and calm the environment around you.
Inhale myrrh essential oil
If you don’t have a diffuser, you can add a drop to some tissue or a soft cloth and inhale periodically, or drop it on your palms, rub them together, cup them over your mouth and inhale deeply. Be sure to inhale very little at a time as it may cause some serious side effects.
It is best to use myrrh sparingly as it may cause skin irritation. If you choose to use the oil for a massage to relax sore or tense muscles, be sure to blend the oil with a safer carrier oil before applying it to the skin. A safe carrier oil would be jojoba oil, sesame oil, avocado oil, coconut oil or extra virgin oil, for example. Add a drop to the carrier oil, mix well and then apply the oil to the area you want to massage and gently rub the solution into the skin to enjoy the calming, soothing and anti-inflammatory benefits of myrrh.
If you’re looking to use myrrh essential oil for its anti-aging skincare benefits, to ease migraines or headaches, for various skin conditions such as acne, eczema or infections or to help heal wounds, be sure to always dilute it with a carrier oil. If using it on the face, be sure it's a non-comedogenic carrier oil such as jojoba oil, blueberry seed oil, rosehip oil or plum oil, for example. For a 1% dilution, add 2-3 drops of essential oil to one tablespoon of carrier oil. For wound healing, apply it to a wound that’s already started to heal, not to a fresh, open wound.
In and around the home
Keep your home smelling fresh by adding a few drops to the inside of the toilet roll and allow the aroma to fill the restroom. You can also add some to a cotton ball and place it at the bottom of the restroom bin to keep the area smelling fresh and earthy.
Air purification with myrrh essential oil - 2018
Incense was often used in ancient times to purify the air, and a recent study found that burning myrrh and frankincense reduces airborne bacteria by at least 68%.
Headache and migraine relief with myrrh essential oil - 2017
A study found that people with either migraines without aura or sporadic tension headaches who took a medication which contained myrrh among several other ingredients were two-thirds pain free at the end of a six-month study. The authors credited myrrh for the medication’s beneficial effects.
Antifungal properties of myrrh essential oil - 2016
Myrrh essential oil, rich in the active compounds furanoeudesma 1,3-diene and menthofuran, was shown to inhibit five strains of dermatophytes or fungi that cause skin infections in humans, confirming its ancient use for such purposes.
Side effects of myrrh essential oil
Like other essential oils, myrrh is a highly concentrated oil, and you only need a few drops at a time to get the full experience and enjoy the benefits of the earthy aroma. Consult a doctor if you want to use the essential oil if these conditions apply to you:
Sensitive skin: If you have sensitive skin or are prone to skin irritation, use a very small amount of myrrh essential oil, always dilute it, and do a patch test before using it more liberally on your skin.
Heart problems: Myrrh could influence your heart rate if too much is used. So be mindful of how much oil you use if you have any sort of heart condition. Less is more in this case.
Diabetes: If you have diabetes, Type 1 or Type 2, be mindful of the fact that myrrh lowers blood sugar, and the combination of myrrh with your medication may result in extremely low blood sugar levels.
Surgery: If you have a procedure planned, stop using myrrh at least 2 weeks prior to your surgery as this may influence blood sugar control during and after your surgery.
Contraindications of myrrh essential oil
Myrrh can cause uterine contractions when pregnant and may cause a miscarriage. If you are breastfeeding, try to avoid using myrrh as the safety and effects are unknown to your unborn baby. Avoid diffusing myrrh essential oil around babies and young children, as it’s uncertain how much they’ll inhale and how much is safe.
In addition, myrrh should not be ingested as it can be highly toxic. At Volant, we caution against ingesting any essential oils.
If you use blood thinners like Aspirin or Warfarin, avoid using myrrh as this could decrease the effectiveness of the medication you need.
Where to buy myrrh essential oil
Myrrh essential oil is widely available online and in stores. When purchasing lavender oil, be sure to look for a 100% pure essential oil - not an extract. This ensures that you're getting an authentic product with all the therapeutic benefits of myrrh. If it’s organic, even better!
Here are some of the places where you can purchase myrrh essential oil.
At Volant, all our essential oils are produced using only the highest-quality plants, which are harvested and distilled with the utmost care. You can rest assured that when you purchase Volant’s Clean Air Essential Oil Blend which contains myrrh, you'll receive 100% pure and organic essential oil with no additives or synthetic ingredients. This ensures that you receive the greatest possible benefit from your myrrh essential oil.
Amazon is a popular place to shop for essential oils. It's important to note that Amazon is a marketplace rather than a store, so there are many different businesses selling essential oils through Amazon. For this reason, we'd recommend checking the ingredients and reviews of any essential oil that you choose to purchase through Amazon, as not all essential oils sold on the platform are pure, organic and trusted.
If you prefer in-person shopping and holding the product in your hand to get a better idea of what you’re buying, then you may find that your local pharmacies and homeopathic stores will have what you’re looking for. Always check that the oil you're buying is an essential oil rather than an extract and that it is 100% pure.d
Myrrh essential oil FAQs
Is myrrh oil good for the face?
Myrrh is packed with nourishing organic compounds and works wonders on the skin. You can add a drop to your skincare products and apply as per normal. The oil also likely helps with skin irritations like eczema, ashes and acne, although scientific evidence is limited.
What is so special about myrrh?
Myrrh has been around for centuries and was transitionally used as a healing ointment. In Ayurvedic medicine, myrrh is considered rejuvenating and uplifting, and its anti-inflammatory properties amongst other compounds make it a fantastic healing aid today.
Is myrrh good for hair growth?
It is said that myrrh can assist in reducing hair loss. There is weak evidence for this; however, myrrh is likely to be good for the hair given its antifungal and antioxidant benefits, and massaging the scalp also stimulates the hair follicles. Given these factors, consider adding a drop or two to your shampoo or add a drop to a safe carrier oil, like jojoba, and gently massage the oil into the scalp.
What does myrrh essential oil smell like?
Myrrh is resinous and carries a woody, earthy and slight medicinal scent. The scent can range from bitter and astringent to warm and sweet. In fact, the word “myrrh” is derived from the Arabic word murr which means bitter.
Myrrh is the gift that keeps on giving. It comes with a range of health benefits and is fit to help with any skin irritations like eczema, acne and other rashes. You can also use the oil to treat fungal infections such as athlete’s foot and ringworm because it has antifungal properties.
While the oil has a lot to offer and can be used in a variety of methods, it is best to use it sparingly. If you have any medical conditions, it is advised that you consult your doctor before using myrrh, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have a heart condition or diabetes.
If you’re looking for an oil to add to your hair care or skincare routine, myrrh is a great add on because it has so many properties that benefit the skin and hair. Get your glow on and enjoy the benefits of myrrh essential oil.
We’re here to help if you have any questions about myrrh essential oil. You can contact our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be more than happy to assist you with any questions you may have.