What is Myrrh? Facts and Information

Here are some facts about myrrh.

  • Myrrh is a spice which was commonly used in ancient times.
  • Most people know it as one of the three gifts given to Jesus at his birth, by the 3 wise men. (The other gifts were gold and frankincense).

  • It is made from sweet smelling sap which is obtained from several species of tree. The trees are found in parts of Africa and the Middle East, including Yemen and Ethiopia.
  • Throughout history, at times, it has been more valuable than gold. Its value comes from its use in traditional medicine and its supposed healing and medicinal qualities.
  • It is still used today all over the world. It is widely used in toothpaste and mouthwashes, as an antiseptic, and in ointments used to treat minor cuts and scratches.
  • Myrrh has also been used for many centuries in traditional Chinese medicine. Apparently, it can help to treat arthritis, improve the flow of blood, and can cure diseases of the liver and heart.
  • It is often added to wine and other drinks, to give added flavour. According to Biblical accounts, it was added to the glass of wine given to Jesus before his crucifixion.
  • The Ancient Egyptians used myrrh when they embalmed dead bodies. They also used it to treat many diseases and conditions, and Egyptian women added it to their makeup.
  • During the 1st century AD, Arabia produced about 448 tons of myrrh each year, as well as frankincense. Both spices were transported from the Arabian Peninsula as far as India and China.
  • The resin from myrrh has been used in perfumes and incense for over 2,000 years. Unlike other resins, it expands when heated and has a bitter and earthy smell.
  • When rubbed on the throat, myrrh is said to help to relieve a sore throat. It can also help to cure chest congestion and coughs, and can be effective in treating asthma and breathing problems.