Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Magical Myrrh

Photo from Florida Herb House

When Christ was a child, he was presented with gifts of frankincense, gold and myrrh from the Magi. Myrrh was important and valuable enough in their culture to be considered a great gift from a king.

Myrrh is one of the most used herbal remedies in our home. It is the resin that is taken from the Myrrh Gum tree which grows in Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and Northern African countries.

About 15 years ago, I began searching all my herbal remedy books for an alternative to eating garlic as an antibiotic. As effective as garlic is (see Food For Health - Garlic), it isn't always the most pleasant to consume and can upset your stomach if you eat very much over a short period of time.

Myrrh has strong antibiotic properties, as well as antiseptic. Which is probably why it was used anciently to anoint, in oil form, dead bodies to keep them from stinking. It is used both internally and externally for an abundance of wonderful reasons. Several of my herbal resource books cite that in laboratory testing myrrh has been found to increase the white blood count by as much as four times. The white corpuscles are the immune system factor that fight off the unwanted intruders. It also tones the digestive system and helps the body to discharge mucus.

Internally, myrrh is used for:
  • Antibiotic to kill internal infection, especially when used together with other herbs, like echinacea.
  • Mouth wash and gargle for healthy gums, helps with gum diseases and sore throat
  • A remedy for bad breath - known as the herbal breath freshener
  • Tonsillitis
  • Lungs, as an expectorant and to help clear asthma, cough, tuberculosis and all chest infections. 
  • Stomach problems like ulcers
  • An excellent cleanser for the bowels. It tones the colon and increases peristaltic action.
  • Used for low blood sugar and diabetes
  • kidney tonic and kidney stones
  • Bladder and urinary problems
  • Promotes menstruation
  • Increases and enriches milk in nursing mothers
  • As a stimulant to increase blood flow to the capillaries
  • Chronic sinus problems

Externally, myrrh is great for:
  • Anti-fungal treatment
  • Skin sores, boils, and ulcerations 
  • Antiseptic for wounds
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Gangrene
  • Ear drops
  • Eye wash
  • Herpes
  • Bed sores
Like most herbs, myrrh can be used in a variety of forms: tincture, infusion (tea), salve, oil, poultice, ointment, or taken in powdered form. The name "Myrrh" comes from "murr", which is an Arabic word for "bitter". And it IS very bitter! I buy it in powdered form and encapsulate it. You can buy it in capsules, oil, tincture, or other forms at probably most any health food store.

In our family, usually when we first feel a "bug" coming on, we'll take a capsule or two of myrrh, and maybe a couple of turmeric capsules with it. (see Food For Health - Turmeric) Within an hour or two, or by the next morning, the oncoming infection seems to be gone. If an infection has already taken hold, I take a couple of capsules several times throughout the day. It seems to give my body the extra ammunition to fight whatever infection is there. The illness will be mild and short in duration, and I'm good to go again!

I order myrrh in one pound bags from a food co-op (Azure Standard - currently $19.05/lb). It's not a very expensive herb to begin with, but is even less expensive that way. I also buy the gelatin capsules in bags of 1,000 and easily encapsulate 24 at a time with an encapsulator. It's a simple little gadget that's very quick and easy to use. As you learn to use more herbs for your health and healing, it's much less expensive to fill your own capsules. It's also very simple to make tea, tinctures and salves.

I certainly don't advocate replacing doctors when they are needed, but they may not always be available. Having and knowing how to use effective natural remedies is an important way to become self-reliant. Especially when my children were smaller, it brought me much peace of mind to know that we could take care of ourselves when we were sick if we needed to. Self reliance is achieved by learning one new thing at a time and using it so it's a part of your normal living. You are comfortable with it and prepared when a crisis hits, rather than having to add to the stressful situation by learning and using so many things that are unfamiliar.

This is the perfect time, as we honor the birth of Christ, to add some myrrh to your preparedness list. Try it out when the winter cold or flu sets in and give yourself the gift of healthier healing!

Friday, November 30, 2012


These are wild turkey eggs. There are a lot of wild turkeys in our part of Montana. A flock of the them strut around my neck-of-the-woods, (see "Not-so-Wild Turkeys) and there's a flock a mountain over that hang out by my parent's place. That could be partly due to the  grain Dad throws out for them! One of the hens laid these by their house. I saw this picture today and thought about how much we have to be grateful for! Nature is plentiful. 

I once heard a quote:
If you aren't grateful for what you have, then you aren't likely to be grateful for what you will get.”

How true that is! When we are always dissatisfied and discontent because we don't have the things we want, then we will never “arrive” at satisfaction and contentment, because we will always want more. We become “stuck” there. Working for more is a great ambition. It's human nature to continually strive for better. The key is to be grateful each step of the way, and still keep striving. 

A lot of us are feeling increasing urgency to stock up a little and be more prepared as we hear about growing food shortages. If your resources, space or energy will only allow you to stock up one month's worth of food and other needs, then realize how blessed you are for that! You can know that if a crisis occurs in your life, you have everything you need for an entire month! Perspective is everything.

So instead of feeling stress for all the things you don't have, feel gratitude for all the things you DO have, and each new thing you receive or accomplish! Gratitude creates peace of mind!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Inexpensive Gift Ideas!

Christmas is coming! I love Christmas. I decided it's time to come back to my blog and pick up the fun where I left off. Just too many awesome ideas out there and I want to get in on the sharing! I love giving and receiving homemade gifts more than anything. And since so many of us are on a shoe-string budget, I thought I'd pass on some great ideas that I've come up with and have gotten from other wonderfully creative people also. Here are a few of my favorites...

Cupcaking has become a popular activity. This is a great idea for a cupcaker on your Christmas list. A Cupcake kit!
 Pinned Image

You can find it at a great website called  The 36th Avenue.

These look really simple and fun to make, from the same wonderful website. Paperclip earrings! You could make them a million different ways!

This is a pair of my own that a friend made for me. She added seed beads to a color-wrapped paperclip. The possibility of colors and shapes are endless here!

Here's a great Beefy Bean Soup Mix from delish-dot-com. I love jar recipies. Last Christmas we made soup and homemade cocoa mixes in jars for friends and family.

And don't forget to click on the "Gifts" category to look at my gift ideas with things like
Easy Homemade Soap...


 Tic Tac Toe games...

Your own shirt designs...


...and a lot more, like hand dipped candles, painted flower pots, fabric crafts...

And of course, 25 gift ideas to give that will help those you love be more prepared and have greater peace of mind this Christmas!



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