Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) essential oil, steam-distilled from the crude resin of myrrh, is a dark reddish-brown with a dry, acrid scent reminiscent of its desert origins. Due to its ability to stimulate menstruation, myrrh should be avoided during pregnancy.
Myrrh oil finds one of its largest uses in skin care. Scalp irritations, athlete’s foot (fungal infections), dandruff, dry and irritated skin and mature complexions are all helped by oil blends with myrrh. Other long-term afflictions such as chapped and cracked skin, eczema and psoriasis also respond well.
Anything that tends to heal slowly is helped by myrrh (blending myrrh with faster-acting oils can hasten its effects). This is especially evident with the moist skin of the mouth. Myrrh can help heal gingivitis, gum infections and mouth sores. Some commercial toothpaste and mouthwash preparations include myrrh for this reason.
An interesting effect of myrrh is its ability to help the body expel objects embedded in the skin, such as thorns and slivers. Myrrh is classified as anticatarrahl, antimicrobial and antiseptic. Given these qualities and the observation that myrrh seems to work especially well in moist environments, respiratory problems respond quite well; sore throats and coughs are both soothed. Myrrh also helps against bronchitis, asthma and catarrh (thick mucous). This is a versatile oil to add to your medicine cabinet.