Myrrh oil comes from a dried resin extracted from the Commiphora myrrha tree.It is made into essential oil by steam distilling the gum/resin of the plant. Myrrh oil has been used for over 3,000 years for its therapeutic value.
Myrrh essential oil exhibits anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, anti tumor, astringent and tonic properties. The main components of this essential oil are Alpha Pinene, Cadinene, Limonene, Cuminaldehyde, Eugenol, Cresol, Heerabolene, Acetic Acid, Formic Acid and Sesquiterpenes.
Myrrh Essential Oil and Cancer
A 2011 study found that myrrh oil was able to reduce the proliferation or replication of human cancer cells.
Researchers at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ identified a compound in myrrh actually kills cancer cells in the laboratory showing particular promise for the prevention and treatment of breast and prostate cancer. “As part of a larger search for anticancer compounds from plants, the researchers obtained extracts from a particular species of myrrh plant (Commiphora myrrha) and tested it against a human breast tumor cell line (MCF-7) known to be resistant to anticancer drugs.” Researchers believe myrrh works by inactivating a protein called Bcl-2 which is overproduced by cancer cells found particularly in breast and prostate cancers. This action in myrrh may be due to the high number of sesquiterpenes myrrh contains. Additionally, elemene has been identified as the unique component of Myrrh essential oil and has been proven to show improved effect on treatment of cancerous brain tumors.
Other Therapeutic Uses
Appetite, anger, asthma, rejuvenate mature complexions, rheumatism, skin ulcers, sore throats, sores, spongy gums, stress, viral infections, wounds, wrinkles, athlete’s foot, bedsores, boils, bronchitis, chapped skin, colds, coughs, digestive system, eczema, gingivitis, hemorrhoids, mouth ulcers. It protects your body from infections, by strengthening and activating your immune system.
Zhu N, Kikuzaki H, Sheng S, et al.: Furanosesquiterpenoids of Commiphona myrrha. J Nat Prod 2001, 64:1460—1462.