Yes, we are here!

At MOTHER EARTH LIVING and MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we have been educating folks about the benefits of self-reliance for 50 years. That includes researching and sourcing the best books and products to help individuals master the skills they need in times like these and beyond. Our online store is open and we are here to answer any questions you might have. Our customer service staff is available Monday through Friday from 8a.m.-5p.m. CDT. We can be reached at 1-800-456-6018 or by email. Stay safe!

Ancient Herbs, Modern Uses: Myrrh

The many medicinal benefits of myrrh.

| December/January 2009

  • A salve of myrrh used as an analgesic can assuage the discomfort of topical ulcerations.
    Peggy Kessler Duke

Commiphora spp.
—Esther 2:12
Used for: Analgesic, astringent, bronchitis, expectorant, high cholesterol

There are 135 species of myrrh found throughout Africa and Arabia, growing mainly in very arid regions. In her book All the Plants in the Bible, Winifred Walker asserts that the myrrh mentioned in the Old Testament came from a small plant called a rockrose that grew among the sand and rocks. The gum collected from the rockrose was pressed into cakes and used as perfume. In the New Testament, the soft, dark brown or black resin collected and sold in golden spiral pieces, sometimes called “tears” or “pearls,” was from a small tree. Myrrh was sold as a spice or an ingredient of the anointing oil used in the Tabernacle or as a salve for the purification of the dead. The stems and leaves were used to prepare perfume and incense, a practice that continues in Eastern churches today. Medicinally, the extract served as a salve, stimulant or expectorant.

The myrrh that the Magi gave to the baby Jesus foretold how he would suffer and die. The term myrrophore was applied to the women who bore spices to the sepulcher of Jesus—aloes, cassia and cinnamon. In Mesopotamia and the Greco-Roman worlds, myrrh was a panacea for almost every human affliction, from earaches to hem­orrhoids. The Asians esteemed myrrh as an astringent tonic taken internally and as a cleansing agent applied externally.

A salve of myrrh used as an analgesic can assuage the discomfort of topical ulcerations, and myrrh can be made into a mouthwash for spongy gums, ulcerated throats and mouth sores. Guggul, or Indian myrrh, has been the subject of recent research on leukemia and blood cholesterol levels.

Click here for the original article, Ancient Herbs, Modern Uses.  

James A. Duke, Ph.D. , is one of the world’s foremost authorities on botanical medicine. He is author of  The Green Pharmacy (Rodale, 1997) and Amazonian Ethnobotanical Dictionary (CRC, 1994). 

Adapted with permission from Herbs of the Bible: 2,000 Years of Plant Medicine by James A. Duke, Ph.D. 

Subscribe today and save 58%

Get the latest on Healthy Living and Natural Beauty!

Mother Earth LivingRedefine beauty and embrace holistic living with Mother Earth Living by your side. Each issue  provides you with easy, hands-on ways to connect your life with the natural world -- from eating seasonally to culinary and medicinal uses of herbs; from aromatherapy and DIY cosmetics to yoga and beyond. Start your journey to holistic living today and you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $19.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $24.95.

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter


click me