What is Myrrh?
Myrrh, like Frankincense, is a small tree or shrub and grows in the hot arid climate around the Red Sea in south west Asia and north east Africa.
The tree is also cultivated in a similar manner whereby incisions are made in the bark and a golden brown sticky gum is secreted. The rezin gum is then scraped off, allowed to dry and turns into "brown tears".
Many other similarities can be seen between Frankincense and Myrrh. Both were extensively traded along the same ancient routes from southern Arabia to the ports of the eastern Mediterranean and have many uses for skin care within Dead Sea products.
Both products were used in a similar fashion in the ancient world for religious/spiritual purposes as well as for health/cosmetic purposes too. Both species were among the primary ingredients in the holy incense used in the temple in Jerusalem. You can find myrrh in the bible for at list 13 most relevant verses.
In ancient Egypt, Myrrh was a highly esteemed resin, used for a variety of purposes and is probably the most important plant material used in embalming and preserving mummies.
This in fact, comes as no surprise to those who work with Myrrh and know of its miraculous curing properties for a variety of physical ailments especially of the skin and gums. In antiquity Myrrh was even used to treat Leprosy.
The aroma of Myrrh is also very unique. While it is often difficult to find words to describe a particular scent, we could describe Frankincense of having an aroma somewhere between citrus and coniferous trees. Myrrh, however, is more difficult to explain to those who have never experienced it.
We could say that it has a rich, warm and maybe earthy-like aroma with a hint of exotic spices.
This still doesn't do justice to the intriguing, deep aroma that one experiences with Myrrh. Nevertheless, it is extremely grounding in mixtures with other herbs and will help to fixate their scents.
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