Myrrh scent meaning

The substances' musky plumes of smoke are most often associated with embalming, perfumes, and religious rituals around the world, including ceremonies in the ancient temples of Jerusalem and modern Roman Catholic liturgies. Beyond those uses, frankincense and myrrh may also have medicinal and psychoactive components. Both of the earthy entities are gum resins, which are viscous secretions from trees.

Frankincense, also known as olibanum, comes from select trees in the Boswellia genus, and myrrh usually comes from Commiphora trees. The plants belong to the same botanical family and commonly grow on the Arabian Peninsula, in India, and in northeastern Africa. To access the aromatic resins, locals slice gashes into frankincense and myrrh trees at harvest times and collect the milky resins that ooze from their bark, Hughes says.

Once exposed to air and sun, myrrh dries and hardens to reddish-brown pea-sized chunks, whereas frankincense dries to pale yellow, tear-shaped droplets about half that size. Because factors such as geography and climate affect plant biochemistry, it's impossible to precisely pin down an exact molecular composition for myrrh or frankincense.

However, the resins do contain sugar chains, proteins, and steroids, and are mostly a blend of terpenes, a diverse family of hydrocarbons made from five-carbon building blocks. Myrrh's aroma, meanwhile, comes mostly from furanosesquiterpenes such as furanoeudesma-1,3-diene. Humans have been investigating frankincense and myrrh for centuries, says Arieh Moussaieff, a postdoctoral fellow in plant sciences at the Weizmann Institute of Sciencein Rehovot, Israel. Despite today's vast improvements in instrumentation, the biological effects of these resins still aren't fully understood.

For instance, the resins' reputed pain-relieving properties are an active research topic. Such extracts have been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat a range of conditions.

In another study, researchers at the University of Florence, in Italy, set mice on a hot plate and compared how long it took regular mice and mice fed myrrh to lick their paws, a sign that the heat was causing them pain. Sure enough, mice dosed with myrrh held out longer. The precise pathways these compounds affect have yet to be determined, however.

Frankincense also affects mouse brains, and in a way that provokes fascinating questions about the intersection of culture and chemistry. But together with his Ph.

The team also demonstrated that the compound, a diterpenoid called incensole acetate, activates an ion channel involved in warmth perception in the skin. Although the results haven't been confirmed in humans, "it is possible that incensole acetate augments the euphoric feeling produced during religious functions," Moussaieff notes. Given that incense is one of the common threads in most major world religions and that immense symbolism is attached to incense burning, the Israeli team's findings "don't surprise me at all," Hughes says.

Contact us to opt out anytime. Volume 86 Issue 51 p. Issue Date: December 22, Culture and chemistry meet in fragrant plant-based incense. By Carmen Drahl.

Leave A Comment. Most popular. Related Articles. Chemistry Job Listings.Myrrh is the sticky, dry resin of a certain forlorn desert tree, Commiphora myrrha. Myrrh is extracted by piercing the bark of the tree and returning later to collect the nuggets of dried sap.

Ancient Egyptians used Myrrh, along with linen and natron, to embalm the dead. The resin both perfumes and preserves the body of the deceased. The Ebers papyrus a document written around BCE contains over medicinal formulas, many of which are based on a mixture of honey and myrrh.

The antimicrobial and antioxidant properties of both substances are now known to science. Myrrh gum was also used by the ancients to treat infection, bruises, skin conditions, and toothache. Myrrh trees grow wild in the shallow, rocky soil of desert regions.

The main producers are Ethiopia, Kenya, and India. All are Commiphora myrrhabut the aroma and strength varies by region. The quantity and quality of Myrrh on the world market has been in decline for many years. There are also Myrrh-scented candles, incense, and bath products available. Myrrh essential oil is distilled from the resin and is moderately expensive compared to other essential oils.

The pure essential oil is gummy and sticky. It needs to be thinned to be free-flowing. Myrrh oil contains a complex bouquet of chemical compounds and is not easily synthesized or mimicked. Myrrh is one of the sacred incenses of the Bible. It is mentioned several times in the Old and New Testaments. The evangelist Mark says that Christ was offered wine mixed with Myrrh prior to the crucifixion. Myrrh mixed with Frankincense is still used in the church incenses of many Christian denominations.

As an incense and anointing oil, Myrrh can lead to rich and rewarding meditation especially introspection. It is used to heal personal sorrow and to connect with the dead and the Underworld.Myrrh mixed with wine was common across ancient cultures, for general pleasure and as an analgesic. When a wound on a tree penetrates through the bark and into the sapwoodthe tree secretes a resin. Myrrh gum, like frankincenseis such a resin. Myrrh is harvested by repeatedly wounding the trees to bleed the gum, which is waxy and coagulates quickly.

After the harvest, the gum becomes hard and glossy. The gum is yellowish and may be either clear or opaque. It darkens deeply as it ages, and white streaks emerge.

Myrrh gum is commonly harvested from the species Commiphora myrrha. Another commonly used name, Commiphora molmol[4] is now considered a synonym of Commiphora myrrha. Meetiga, the trade-name of Arabian Myrrh, is more brittle and gummy than the Somali variety and does not have the latter's white markings.

The oleo gum resins of a number of other Commiphora species are also used as perfumes, medicines such as aromatic wound dressingsand incense ingredients. These myrrh-like resins are known as opopanaxbalsambdelliumguggul bisaboland Indian myrrh. Fragrant "myrrh beads" are made from the crushed seeds of Detarium microcarpuman unrelated West African tree.

These beads are traditionally worn by married women in Mali as multiple strands around the hips. The name "myrrh" is also applied to the potherb Myrrhis odorataotherwise known as " cicely " or "sweet cicely".

myrrh scent meaning

Liquid myrrh, or stactewritten about by Pliny[6] was an ingredient of Jewish holy incense, and was formerly greatly valued but cannot now be identified in today's markets. In pharmacymyrrh is used as an antiseptic in mouthwashes, gargles, and toothpastes. Myrrh has been used as an analgesic for toothaches and can be used in liniment for bruises, aches, and sprains. Myrrh is a common ingredient of tooth powders.

Myrrh and borax in tincture can be used as a mouthwash. A compound tincture, or horse tincture, using myrrh is used in veterinary practice for healing wounds. Myrrh gum is commonly claimed to remedy indigestion, ulcers, colds, cough, asthma, lung congestion, arthritis pain, and cancer.

In traditional Chinese medicinemyrrh is classified as bitter and spicy, with a neutral temperature. It is said to have special efficacy on the heart, liver, and spleen meridians as well as "blood-moving" powers to purge stagnant blood from the uterus. It is therefore recommended for rheumaticarthriticand circulatory problems, and for amenorrheadysmenorrheamenopauseand uterine tumours. Myrrh's uses are similar to those of frankincensewith which it is often combined in decoctionslinimentsand incense.

Magickal properties of Myrrh

When used in concert, myrrh is "blood-moving" while frankincense moves the qimaking it more useful for arthritic conditions. It is combined with such herbs as notoginsengsafflower petals, angelica sinensiscinnamonand salvia miltiorrhizausually in alcohol, and used both internally and externally. Myrrh is used in Ayurveda and Unani medicine, which ascribe tonic and rejuvenative properties to the resin.Have you ever smelled something and it took you back to a specific moment in your life or a certain feeling?

Smell is one of the most primal senses, and it can awaken the deep emotions that may be hiding in your cells. Scents are a way to connect to our heart space. They can also be an incredible way to connect with the Universe or the Divine. Some scents, such as the ones below, have their roots in ancient civilizations around the world. Besides its practical uses, it was revered as a powerful tool for protection, purification, and connecting with the divine.

Myrrh also comes from trees in the Middle East and North Africa, and was used alongside frankincense in the great ancient civilizations of Egypt, Israel, Europe, and the Middle East. Where frankincense is associated with the sun, myrrh is a bit murkier. Myrrh was used as a powerful tool for healing, protection, purification, meditationand expanding inner wisdom.

What are frankincense and myrrh and why is their smell so mystical?

Sandalwood has been used for thousands of years in many different contexts, including:. Practically, sandalwood has been used for its anti-inflammatory and cleansing properties. Magically and energetically, sandalwood has been used for many things including healing, purification, grounding while also assisting in meditation, clearing negativity, deep spiritual relaxation, clairvoyanceand manifestation. But what is Nag Champa? The champa flower from the Magnolia champaca tree, a tree often planted near ashrams, has long been prized in India for its sweet fragrance and bright yellow color.

Nag Champa is thought to stimulate spiritual awareness while simultaneously grounding you in the present. Learn more about the power of scents and rituals for them through The Ritual Deck. Categorised in: cleansingcrystalsmeditationritualssymbolismwellnessyoga.

Eryn Johnson is a breathwork facilitator, tarot reader, and Reiki Master based in Fishtown, Philadelphia.

myrrh scent meaning

She is also the host of the Living Open podcast for mystics and seekers, a storytelling tool here to help facilitate soul evolution. The foundation of her work is energetic and based on the belief that there's nothing wrong with you- we are simply programmed from a young age to forget the truth of who we are.

She uses energy work, storytelling, and breathwork to guide you back to you - your heart, your power, your magic. Find her work at www. Share On:. Connect On Instagram.Much like frankincensemyrrh is not an herb but a resin, and appears with some relevance in a number of religious and spiritual contexts.

Perhaps the best known of these is in the Christian bible, where myrrh is described as one of the three gifts given by the Magi to the newborn baby Jesus. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Why was it so important in the early books of the bible? Possibly because it was an item that was sacred to the Hebrew people, and is described in the Tanakh and Talmud. Myrrh was used to make Ketoret, which was an incense blend consecrated and used in the early temples of Jerusalem.

In some forms of Eastern medicine, myrrh is used for its restorative properties. The scent is said to boost the spirits and the soul, and is often used to alleviate the symptoms of nervous system disorders. In the Western world, myrrh sometimes is included as an ingredient in toothpastes and mouthwashes, thanks to its analgesic properties.

In addition to the resin, which is commonly used in spellwork and ritual, myrrh can be purchased as an oil as well. Found in many aromatherapy practices, myrrh oil is used to aid with healing of coughs and colds, insomnia, pain relief, and stimulation of the immune system. Keep in mind that like many other essential oils, myrrh oil should not be used internally without the supervision of a healthcare professional.

When it comes to magical uses, myrrh has a wide variety of applications. Associated with purification and cleansing, you can use myrrh in a number of different ritual and magical contexts. Try one or more of the following:. Another great option? You can also put it in a pouch and place it under your pillow, to bring about restful and peaceful sleep. If someone who is ill can tolerate the scent, try placing some myrrh in a tin or bowl of water over a heat source, to create a scented atmosphere in the sickroom.

Share Flipboard Email. Patti Wigington. Paganism Expert. Patti Wigington is a pagan author, educator, and licensed clergy. Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter. Updated April 22, Myrrh essential oil also can be inhaled after sprinkling a few drops of the oil onto a cloth or tissue, or by using an aromatherapy diffuser or vaporizer.This substance is mentioned in Exodus as one of the ingredients of the "oil of holy ointment:" in Esther as one of the substances used in the purification of women; in Psalms ; Proverbs and in several passages in Canticles, as a perfume.

The Greek occurs in Matthew among the gifts brought by the wise men to the infant Jesus and in Mark it is said that "wine mingled with myrrh" was offered to but refused by, our Lord on the cross.

Myrrh was also used for embalming. See John 19;39 and Herod. The Balsamodendron myrrhawhich produces the myrrh of commerce, has a wood and bark which emit a strong odor; the gum which exudes from the bark is at first oily, but becomes hard by exposure to the air.

A Wise Man’s Cure: Frankincense and Myrrh

This myrrh is in small yellowish or white globules or tears. The tree is small, with a stunted trunk, covered with light-gray bark, It is found in Arabia Felix. The myrrh of Genesis was probably ladalzuma highly-fragrant resin and volatile oil used as a cosmetic, and stimulative as a medicine. It is yielded by the cistusknown in Europe as the rock rose, a shrub with rose-colored flowers, growing in Palestine and along the shores of the Mediterranean.

For wine mingled with myrrh see GALL. ATS Bible Dictionary Myrrh A precious gum yielded by a tree common in Africa and Arabia, which is about eight or nine feet high; its wood hard, and its trunk thorny.

It was of several kinds, and various degrees of excellence. The best was an ingredient in the holy ointment, Exodus It was also employed in perfumes, Esther Psalm So ,13; and in embalming, to preserve the body from corruption, John The magi, who came from the East to worship Christ, offered him myrrh, Matthew In Markis mentioned "wine mingles with myrrh," which was offered to Jesus previous to his crucifixion, and intended to deaden the anguish of his sufferings.

It was a custom among the Hebrews to give such stupefying liquors to persons who were about to be capitally punished, Proverbs Some have thought that the myrrhed wine of Mark is not the same as the "vinegar mingled with gall" of Matthew They suppose the myrrhed wine was given to our Lord from a sentiment of sympathy, to prevent him from feeling too sensibly the pain of his sufferings; while the potation mingled with gall, of which he would not drink, was given from cruelty.

But the other explanation is the more probable.

myrrh scent meaning

See GALL. First mentioned as a principal ingredient in the holy anointing oil Exodus It formed part of the gifts brought by the wise men from the east, who came to worship the infant Jesus Matthew It was used in embalming Johnalso as a perfume Esther ; Psalm ; Proverbs It was a custom of the Jews to give those who were condemned to death by crucifixion "wine mingled with myrrh" to produce insensibility.

This drugged wine was probably partaken of by the two malefactors, but when the Roman soldiers pressed it upon Jesus "he received it not" Mark This was the gum or viscid white liquid which flows from a tree resembling the acacia, found in Africa and Arabia, the Balsamodendron myrrha of botanists.

The "bundle of myrrh" in Cant. Another word lot is also translated "myrrh" Genesis ; ; R. What was meant by this word is uncertain. It has been thought to be the chestnut, mastich, stacte, balsam, turpentine, pistachio nut, or the lotus.

It is probably correctly rendered by the Latin word ladanum, the Arabic ladan, an aromatic juice of a shrub called the Cistus or rock rose, which has the same qualities, though in a slight degree, of opium, whence a decoction of opium is called laudanum. This plant was indigenous to Syria and Arabia. Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary n. A gum resin, usually of a yellowish brown or amber color, of an aromatic odor, and a bitter, slightly pungent taste.

It is valued for its odor and for its medicinal properties. It exudes from the bark of a shrub of Abyssinia and Arabia, the Balsamodendron Myrrha. The myrrh of the Bible is supposed to have been partly the gum above named, and partly the exudation of species of Cistus, or rockrose.Myrrh mixed with wine was common across ancient cultures, for general pleasure and as an analgesic.

When a wound on a tree penetrates through the bark and into the sapwoodthe tree secretes a resin.

Frankincense Spiritual Meaning and History of Frankincense Oil

Myrrh gum, like frankincenseis such a resin. Myrrh is harvested by repeatedly wounding the trees to bleed the gum, which is waxy and coagulates quickly. After the harvest, the gum becomes hard and glossy. The gum is yellowish and may be either clear or opaque. It darkens deeply as it ages, and white streaks emerge.

Myrrh gum is commonly harvested from the species Commiphora myrrha. Another commonly used name, Commiphora molmol[4] is now considered a synonym of Commiphora myrrha. Meetiga, the trade-name of Arabian Myrrh, is more brittle and gummy than the Somali variety and does not have the latter's white markings. The oleo gum resins of a number of other Commiphora species are also used as perfumes, medicines such as aromatic wound dressingsand incense ingredients.

These myrrh-like resins are known as opopanaxbalsambdelliumguggul bisaboland Indian myrrh. Fragrant "myrrh beads" are made from the crushed seeds of Detarium microcarpuman unrelated West African tree.

What Is Clairscent (Paranormal Smells) And How Does It Affect You?

These beads are traditionally worn by married women in Mali as multiple strands around the hips. The name "myrrh" is also applied to the potherb Myrrhis odorataotherwise known as " cicely " or "sweet cicely". Liquid myrrh, or stactewritten about by Pliny[6] was an ingredient of Jewish holy incense, and was formerly greatly valued but cannot now be identified in today's markets.

In pharmacymyrrh is used as an antiseptic in mouthwashes, gargles, and toothpastes. Myrrh has been used as an analgesic for toothaches and can be used in liniment for bruises, aches, and sprains.

Myrrh is a common ingredient of tooth powders. Myrrh and borax in tincture can be used as a mouthwash. A compound tincture, or horse tincture, using myrrh is used in veterinary practice for healing wounds. Myrrh gum is commonly claimed to remedy indigestion, ulcers, colds, cough, asthma, lung congestion, arthritis pain, and cancer. In traditional Chinese medicinemyrrh is classified as bitter and spicy, with a neutral temperature. It is said to have special efficacy on the heart, liver, and spleen meridians as well as "blood-moving" powers to purge stagnant blood from the uterus.

It is therefore recommended for rheumaticarthriticand circulatory problems, and for amenorrheadysmenorrheamenopauseand uterine tumours. Myrrh's uses are similar to those of frankincensewith which it is often combined in decoctionslinimentsand incense. When used in concert, myrrh is "blood-moving" while frankincense moves the qimaking it more useful for arthritic conditions. It is combined with such herbs as notoginsengsafflower petals, angelica sinensiscinnamonand salvia miltiorrhizausually in alcohol, and used both internally and externally.

Myrrh is used in Ayurveda and Unani medicine, which ascribe tonic and rejuvenative properties to the resin. It daindhava is used in many specially processed rasayana formulas in Ayurveda. However, non- rasayana myrrh is contraindicated when kidney dysfunction or stomach pain is apparent or for women who are pregnant or have excessive uterine bleeding.

A related species, called guggul in Ayurvedic medicine, is considered one of the best substances for the treatment of circulatory problems, nervous system disorders, and rheumatic complaints. The 5th dynasty ruler of Egypt King Sahure recorded the earliest attested expedition to the land of Puntmodern day Horn of Africa particularly Somalia which brought back large quantities of myrrh, frankincensemalachite and electrum.

Other products that were also brought back included wild animals, particularly cheetahsthe secretary bird Sagittarius serpentariusgiraffes and Hamadryas baboons which was sacred to the Ancient Egyptiansebonyivory and animal skins.

Sahure is shown celebrating the success of this venture in a relief from his mortuary temple which shows him tending a myrrh tree in the garden of his palace named " Sahure's splendor soars up to heaven ".

This relief is the only one in Egyptian art depicting a king gardening. Myrrh is mentioned as a rare perfume in several places in the Hebrew Bible. In Genesisthe Ishmaelite traders to whom Jacob 's sons sold their brother Joseph had " camels Myrrh was an ingredient of Ketoret : the consecrated incense used in the First and Second Temples at Jerusalemas described in the Hebrew Bible and Talmud.

An offering was made of the Ketoret on a special incense altar and was an important component of the temple service.


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