Myrrh Essential Oil from Somalia
Myrrh Essential Oil from Somalia
Myrrh Essential Oil from Somalia
Myrrh Essential Oil from Somalia

Myrrh Essential Oil from Somalia

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Myrrh Essential Oil from Somalia

Batch: MY2023004B

Commiphora myrrha

From our friends in Somalia!

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Other common names: myrrha, gum myrrh, Somali myrrh

Latin name: Commiphora myrrha

Botanical family: Bursearaceae

Method of extraction: steam distillation

Plant part used to extract the oil: dry gum oleoresin

Cultivation method: conventional

Area of origin: Northeast Africa, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Red Sea area. Our oil comes from Somalia

Historical notes:

Myrrh was used by the ancient Egyptians for embalming. King Sahure (c. 2465 – c. 2325 BC), ruler of Egypt, recorded that large quantities of myrrh (also frankincense and other materials) were brought back from what is proven to be the earliest expedition to the land of Punt. The exact location of Punt is debated by historians but it seems to include southeast of Egypt, a Red Sea coastal region: Somaliland, Somalia, Djibouti, northeast Ethiopia, Eritrea, and north-east Sudan - areas known for being the home of myrrh. In a relief from Sahure’s mortuary temple celebrating the success of this expedition, the king is shown tending a myrrh tree in his palace gardens.

The word ‘myrrh’ originates from a Semitic ‘m-r-r’ meaning ‘bitter’, Arabic مُرّ ‘murr’ and Aramaic ܡܪܝܪܐmureera’. Its name entered the English language by way of the Hebrew Bible, in which it is called מור ‘mor’.

Myrrh is mentioned as an ingredient in the sacred anointing oil and a rare perfume in several places in the Hebrew Bible. The Bible and Talmud also mention that myrrh was also used in ‘Ketoret’: the consecrated incense used in the First and Second Temples at Jerusalem.

Myrrh tree also appears in Greek mythology in the story of Myrrha (Greek: Μύρρα, ‘Mýrra’), the mother of Adonis. As the myth goes, she was transformed into a myrrh tree after having had intercourse with her father, and gave birth to Adonis in tree form.

In the Ancient Greek language, the related word μῠ́ρον ‘múron’ became a general term for perfume.

Biochemical group: sesquiterpene furanoid

Main chemical constituents: furanoeudesma-1,3-diene 40.50%, curzerene 16.41%, lindestrene 11.92%, methoxyfuranogermacrene 4.91%, germacrene B 2.28%, germacrene D 1.18%, γ-elemene 1.06%, γ-elemene 1.05%, δ-elemene 0.89%, germacrone 0.52%, β-selinene 0.38%, β-caryophyllene 0.37%, β-bourbonene 0.28%, α-selinene 0.27%, γ-Cadinene 0.21%, Elemol 0.18%

Colour:  orange-brown 

Consistency: medium

Aroma strength: medium/strong

Perfumery note: base

Aroma: medicinal, sharp, warm, spicy, with a hint of sweetness

Traditional Aromatherapy Uses:      

Traditionally in aromatherapy treatments myrrh essential oil is associated with the following therapeutic properties: anticatarrhal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiseptic, astringent, balsamic, carminative, cicatrisant, emmenagogue, expectorant, fungicidal, revitalising, sedative, stimulant of the digestive and pulmonary systems, stomachic, tonic, uterine, vulnerary.

Qualified aromatherapists may use myrrh essential oil for common complaints such as:

  • respiratory issues, such as cough, cold and bronchitis
  • digestive system – it is useful for support of the stomach and digestive system, including complaints such as dyspepsia, diarrhoea and loss of appetite
  • reproductive system complaints, such as painful menstruation
  • nervous system – calming – often used in meditation and spiritual practices
  • skin care - it is used for various conditions where its astringent, antimicrobial, cicatrisant and anti-inflammatory properties can be of help, e.g. cracked skin, wounds, ulcers and sores, athlete’s foot, haemorrhoids. It is often used in products for mature skin.
  • others

How we use it:

Inhalation / Vaporisation:

- Vaporise a couple of drops or use in an aroma inhaler for that calm, tranquil feeling or during meditation.

- Vaporising a couple of drops of myrrh to try and ease cattargh - try in combination with a drop of fragonia, pine needle or spruce.

Skin applications:

- To support would healing – try blending with helichrysum, lavender frankincense or German/Blue chamomile

- For digestive or menstrual issues – dilute in vegetable oil and gently massage the abdomen. Try with sweet marjoram, geranium, lavender or Roman chamomile for menstrual pains. For digestive support try with sweet orange, ginger, mandarin or coriander seed.

Please, also see our How to Use Essential Oils Safely page for more information

Safety considerations:

Tisserand and Young state that myrrh essential oil may be fetotoxic, and therefore it is contraindicated in pregnancy and lactation.

Reading Tisserand and Young's full profile is recommended. [Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 357.]

 Please, also see our How to Use Essential Oils Safely page for more information.