|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
- 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
- Ear drops
- Eye wash
- Bed sores
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!