Myrrh plays a role in both ancient and modern times in healing and beauty preparations.
Traditional: An excellent skin tonic which can be used in aromatherapy skin care lotions for mature skin, wrinkles and dermatitis. Its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties can be used for ringworm and athlete's foot, or to treat sores, wounds, bleeding gums, ulcers, etc. It is a very strong uterine stimulant and must be avoided during pregnancy. Use with caution.
Magical: Myrrh is traditionally considered one of the most holy plants and is used for purification and banishing of harmful, negative energies. In particular it protects the souls of the dead on their journey to the Otherworld. Myrrh can be used for funeral rites and may help overcome grief and loss. It can be used for grounding and for connecting with one's inner source at times of crisis.
Myrrh embodies hardship and pain. Growing in the most desolate of places near the Red Sea, it bears its resinous tears from wounds of sorrow. The myth of Myrrha is a sad story of incest and guilt. Being in love with her father, King Cynyras of Cyprus, the poor girl, seduced him while her mother and all married women were away during the festival of Ceres. On the third, night the king, curious who his lover was, shone a light in her face. Shocked and reviled he grabbed for the sword to kill her but she ran away. Pregnant and unhappy to the core of her soul she wandered the earth for the term of her pregnancy. But before she gave birth she prayed to the Gods to turn her into a tree so she would neither offend the living nor the dead. Her wish was granted and she was transformed into a Myrrh tree. Her tears of sorrow and regret still keep flowing. Despite this sad story Myrrh was highly revered as incense and medicine throughout the ancient world.
Myrrh is always mentioned for its power to bring on menstruation and expel old blood and the fruit of the womb, so perhaps this myth is a veiled hint regarding the use of Myrrh to expel the fruit of immoral unions.
In Egypt, Myrrh was associated with the cult of the dead, being an important ingredient of the embalming mixture. It was also used as a sacrificial offering to the Gods. In ancient Egypt it was included in Kyphi incense and in the embalming lotion.
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