4 Health Benefits of Myrrh

By Jonathan Hunsaker

Reading Time: 8 minutes

This article discusses emerging/ongoing science and research. It is intended for general informational purposes only. This content is unrelated to products offered by Organixx and does not contain any representations about the performance of such products.

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The biblical account of the wise men from the East gifting gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the newborn Christ is a familiar story to Christians all throughout the world. But the consideration of myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) as a precious substance of great worth extends far beyond the Bible and the Middle East.

The various preparations and extracts of myrrh gum (resin) and myrrh oil also have an extensive history of use in traditional healing systems including Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine.

Though it’s perhaps most known for its spicy, fragrant odor, which was traditionally used for embalming the dead, myrrh has also long been used as a natural antiseptic for purification in cleaning wounds and preventing infections.

The purifying essence of this resinous sap from the myrrh tree is similarly widely appreciated as having a calming effect when inhaled, lending credence to its widespread use as an incense. In the same vein, myrrh essential oil is considered one of the best essential oils to use for prayer and meditation.

Both empirically throughout the ages and scientifically in modern times, myrrh has proven itself invaluable for a variety of special purposes. And especially in modern times, science has uncovered even more about the unique properties of myrrh that indicate its usefulness in a range of other health applications.

Here are some of the most noteworthy health benefits of myrrh that have been reported in scientific literature. (Note: Always seek medical advice from a qualified healthcare practitioner when addressing specific health issues.)

#1 – Myrrh Contains Anti-Inflammatory Plant Compounds

There are two classes of primary active compounds in myrrh that lend to its efficacy in supporting a healthy immune response: sesquiterpenes and terpenoids.

Both of these compounds are found in a variety of food and plants sources.

Myrrh is a powerful anti-inflammatoryStudies show that sesquiterpenes and terpenoids support the body in soothing inflamed areas, while also protecting against cell damage and the formation of chronic disease [1].

This is particularly true in the intestinal tract, where myrrh has demonstrated benefits in helping to protect the intestinal barrier lining from damage.

Serious gastrointestinal conditions like ulcerative colitis have been shown in the scientific literature to respond positively to the use of myrrh, which appears to exert both protective and healing effects when taken in sufficient quantities.

A 2017 study published in the International Journal of Colorectal Disease, concluded that myrrh was able to aid the body in protecting against three different types of colitis [2]. Another 2016 study revealed specific benefits against acetic acid-induced ulcerative colitis [3].

Some toothpastes and oral care products contain myrrh for much the same purpose, as its extracts have been shown to help protect teeth and gums against the types of inflammation that can lead to things like gum disease, gingivitis, and pyorrhea.

In Germany, myrrh powder is actually government-approved for woman-with-toothache-touching-cheektreating inflammation of the mouth and throat, the tannins in its resin being recognized as the primary active ingredients in this process [4]. Research conducted by the Dental Research Center at the College of Dentistry at the University of Tennessee also found that myrrh oil is cytotoxic against gingival fibroblasts and epithelial cells [5].

Many of these same benefits occur when myrrh is applied to inflamed skin, helping to soothe and relieve swelling while promoting elasticity and healthy aging. Applying a small amount of myrrh topically (or adding to skin care products) may also support the body in healing skin infections and promote faster healing from wounds and sores. Be sure to dilute heavily with a soothing carrier oil if you have sensitive skin.

#2 – Myrrh Has High Antioxidant Potential

Besides addressing disease-causing inflammation, myrrh also appears to support the body in reducing disease-causing oxidative stress. One study published in the journal Food and Chemistry Toxicology, for example, found that the antioxidant potential of myrrh is so high that it may support healthy liver function [6].

With an Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) value of 379,800 µTE/100g (to put this into perspective, oranges have an ORAC value of 750), myrrh has the potential to help in many other areas as well [7].

In a study on diabetic rats, extract of Mukul myrrh (C. mukul) from India was found to have a beneficial effect on both oxidative stress marker enzymes and hepatic marker enzymes. In their report, the researchers concluded:

“our data indicate the preventive role of C. mukul against STZ-induced diabetic oxidative stress; hence this plant could be used as an adjuvant therapy for the prevention and/or management of diabetes and aggravated antioxidant status [8].”

adjuvant therapy in both the prevention and treatment of diabetesIn a 2017 study published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine [9], researchers gave women with hyperlipidemic type 2 diabetes either an herbal combination capsule which included myrrh and myrrh resin as two of the three ingredients, or a placebo.

In the women receiving the herbal capsule “the fasting blood glucose, total cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels were decreased and hidh-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels was increased significantly.” The researchers concluded that:

“the herbal combination improves glycemic control and lipid profile in women with hyperlipidemic type 2 diabetes without any adverse events.”

#3 – Myrrh Fights Bacteria, Parasites, Viruses & Fungi

Whether inside the body or on the skin, infection-causing pathogens are another target for myrrh. Studies reveal myrrh’s immune-boosting potential may be effective at supporting the body against conditions ranging from acne, sore throats, and the common cold, to more serious health conditions like pneumonia and even Candida albicans.

In general, myrrh protects against:

  • putrefaction
  • toxicity
  • various other factors that contribute to infections

This, again, being why it was used historically in the preparation of the deceased. It also supports the healthy repair of cellular tissue throughout the body.

Schistosomiasis is a parasitic infection of a type of blood fluke that is close-up-of-hand-and-arm-of-woman-receiving-chemotherapy-treatmentcommon throughout Asia, Africa, and tropical America. Treatment of schistosomiasis is chemotherapy with the drug praziquantel. But due to drug resistance, researchers tested myrrh on 204 patients with schistosomiasis to determine if it was effective at ridding the body of two different types of parasites: S. haematobium and S. mansoni.

The researchers reported in The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene that:

“The drug [myrrh] was given at a dose of 10 mg/kg of body weight/day for three days, and induced a cure rate of 91.7%. Re-treatment of cases who did not respond with a dose of 10 mg/kg of body weight/day for six days gave a cure rate of 76.5%, increasing the overall cure rate to 98.09%. The drug was well tolerated, and side effects were mild and transient. Twenty cases provided biopsy specimens six months after treatment and none of them showed living ova [10].”

#4 – Myrrh Contributes to Healthy, Happy Hormones

Myrrh Contributes to Healthy, Happy HormonesThe constituent counterpart to terpenoids in myrrh, sesquiterpenes, serve their own unique role in helping to balance the glandular system, including the hypothalamus, which is recognized as the emotional center of the human body. It is here that the endocrine system connects to the nervous system, regulating both the release and inhibition of hormone production all throughout the body.

According to Robert M. Sargis, MD, the main purpose of the hypothalamus is to maintain homeostasis, or internal balance, within the human frame. Its primary functions include the regulation of nearly every component system of the body, including heart rate and blood pressure, body temperature, fluid and electrolyte balance, appetite and body weight, glandular secretions in the stomach and intestines, the production of various substances necessary for the pituitary gland to release hormones, as well as sleep cycles [11].

Does Myrrh Possess Anti-Cancer Properties?

In addition to its ability to support the body in countering oxidative stress and inflammation, there are numerous published and ongoing studies examining myrrh’s relationship to cancer. Studies suggest that it inhibits angiogenesis, a process by which new blood vessels develop to supply “food” to cancer tumors.

For example, in a rat study published in the journal Chemico-Biological Interactions in 2017, myrrh extract was reported to have helped to improve liver function marker enzymes and prevent cancer cell proliferation. The researchers stated:

“these results provide evidence that C. molmol resin [myrrh] has a potent chemopreventive activity, possibly by up-regulating the Nrf2/HO-1 signaling and attenuation of inflammation, angiogenesis and oxidative stress [12].”

In a 2011 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, scientists-in-laboratoryChinese researchers looked at the effect of myrrh on human gynecologic cancer cells. They concluded that “extracts and compounds from myrrh could be useful for preventing and treating human gynecologic cancer disease [13].”

None of this should be taken to mean that myrrh in any way prevents or cures cancer and you should always seek medical advice from a qualified healthcare provider. However, in addition to other healthful practices (i.e., good nutrition, sleep, movement, and stress reduction), research appears to show that myrrh can help to support a healthy immune system that is better able to ward off disease.

Cautions When Using Myrrh or Myrrh Essential Oil

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid any internal use of myrrh. As noted above in benefit #2, myrrh may lower blood sugar. Therefore, anyone taking diabetes medication who is considering taking myrrh needs to work with their doctor to ensure blood sugar levels do not drop too low.

Of great importance, as well, is the quality of the myrrh oil used for therapeutic effect. Avoid essential oils that have been extracted using caustic chemicals such as hexane in preference for methods such as steam distillation.

When purchasing myrrh oil or products containing myrrh, only purchase quality products from reputable companies that you trust.

Joint & Muscle Care is a revolutionary supplement that takes three of the strongest inflammation support agents in nature (frankincense, myrrh, and turmeric), and combines them in the same perfect union treasured by the ancients. Available in capsule form or as an essential oil blend called Magi-Complexx.

Joint & Muscle Care

Article Summary

  • Myrrh has long been used as a natural antiseptic for purification in cleaning wounds and preventing infections.

  • Here are some of the most noteworthy health benefits of myrrh that have been reported in scientific literature:

    • Myrrh contains anti-inflammatory plant compounds
    • Myrrh has high antioxidant potential
    • Myrrh fights bacteria, parasites, viruses & fungi
    • Myrrh contributes to healthy, happy hormones
  • Myrrh extract was reported to have helped to improve liver function marker enzymes and prevent cancer cell proliferation.


    • There is an App for your smartphone you can look up ailments and essential oils to use or just look up the essential oils and how to use them for what . . . . it's so easy once you have the free or almost free app. It's called Modern Essentials. It works with all the different oil distributors oils. MODERN ESSENTIALS

  1. I am so impressed with this article, I wish modern medicine would look into the benefits of essential oils. I would love to go to a specialist that could tell me exactly which oil to use, how and when for what.

    • Go to Dr. Eric Zielinski, an expert on Essential Oils and his study on Aromatics. He has a newsletter and complete course on Essential oils with his wife, Sabrina. Eric's sister is Robin Oppenshaw, Green Smoothie girl, and natural food and natural healing expert. Eric's course is easy to grasp, he makes it in small bites so not to overwhelm, and adds his spiritual beliefs and Faith to confirm the science. Namaste. Dr. Randall George Nozawa

    • Look for a FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE DOCTOR. This is their specialty and they can help you determine what you need and prescribe the use of them.

    • I love your articles and have been using essential oils (I now have most of your single oils and blends) for many years for health enhancement. I notice that you don't mention dose amounts, or when and how to take these wonderful oils for the conditions you write about - which would be very helpful. Also, including this information in your articles would probably encourage people to purchase your oils, thus increasing your sales.

      • Essential oils ..not the ones used in the modern day beauty salons....

        pure essential oil ....

        are wonderful and generally fast acting.

        Myrrh is brilliant for skin infections... I use neat, and immediately after a mosquito bite... which I never ever had, but now do not feel well for 24 hours after a bite.... so I put Myrrh on to the bite as soon as possible, so that the itching, the swelling and the hard lump it leaves behind all disappear..so next day you are almost back to normal...I would not be without it ....

      • I think Mr Bollinger is limited in what he can recommend (i.e., dosage amounts and for what, etc.), as he is not a doctor. Government Regulations interfere with knowledge sharing. Another good source for essential oil information (and a friend and colleague of Mr Bollinger) is Dr Eric Ziekinski. Each of these gentlemen are very knowledgeable in their fields. Dr Z does not sell an oil or supplement product, but does have the research and information on many essential oils and how to use them. Between these two men, you have a wealth of knowledge, and access to additional products.

      • I am exactly in the same shoes as Kristine wrote about.

        You never mention what dose to use for the different conditions you write about. We do have a number of your essentials oils but we don't use them cause we do not know how.

        So if someone could tell us how to use them we would very interested.

      • Yes, I totally agree! I would like to know if Myrrh can be applied directly to a patch of very persistent, itchy eczema on my face. Thank you.

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