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Edition 14: December 2009

Edition 14: December 2009

Essential Oil of the Month
Myrrh
Original holy oil creates inner stillness and peace

MYRRH was highly prized in ancient times, and was often worth more than its weight in gold.
It was used as a medicine by the Chinese and the Egyptians used it to for mummification. Myrrh was burned in ancient Roman funerals to mask the smell of charring corpses. It was said that the Roman Emperor Nero burned a year's worth of myrrh at the funeral of his wife, Poppaea.
 It was used in cosmetics by the Arabs to treat skin conditions such as wrinkles and cracked skin. Greek soldiers took a phial of Myrrh oil with them into battle, to stop bleeding wounds.  In the early 12th Century, German herbalist Hildegard of Bingen wrote about Myrrh as a significant medicine.
Myrrh derives its name from the Arabic murr meaning bitter; its origins are native to north-east Africa, in particular the Red Sea area, and to south-west Asia.
Myrrh has some biblical references, including it being one of the gifts the three Wise Men brought to honour the baby Jesus and it was also present at his death to anoint his body. 
Myrrh oil is of great benefit to the respiratory tract; helping with bronchitis, asthma, expelling mucus and toning lungs.
It helps to clear colds, catarrh and coughs while it also boosts immunity (stimulating the production of white blood cells). Myrrh is toning for digestive tract and may be used for diarrhoea, dysentery, dyspepsia, flat- ulence and for ulcers as it reduces stomach acidity and brings the chemistry of the liver into balance. It is remarkable as a mouthwash for mouth and gum disorders, such as mouth ulcers, pyorrhoea gingivitis, and spongy gums.
It can be included in a mouthwash for all dental infections. Use confidently as a gargle for sore throat and for voice loss.
For the skin, myrrh is excellent for chapped, cracked skin and stretch marks. It is prized for fungal infections such as athlete's foot, candida, jock itch and ringworm. It can be applied with a cotton bud directly on sores, wounds and other skin infections.
It also helps to withdraw embedded objects like thorns, as its osmotic action causes foreign matter to dislodge without poking or digging.
Ideal for mature skin
When used in a cream or lotion, amazing results are achieved in the treatment of chronic wounds, bedsores and ulcers. It also relieves the itch and irritation of weeping eczema. Considering its use to preserve bodies for thousands of years, it makes sense that it is cosmetically ideal for mature complexions and wrinkles when used in creams and lotions. In perfumes it offers excellent fixing properties.
Myrrh is of great help to promote menstruation, relieve painful periods and to ease difficult labour in childbirth. It also cleanses obstructions in the womb and it is superb as a wash for vaginal thrush and for haemorrhoids.
In a massage blend, myrrh improves flexibility in the joints and muscles, processing toxins and increasing cartilage tone. It may be used to ease the pain of deep bone or soft tissue pain in delicate areas such as the rectal region, where other oils are too harsh. For example; coccyx pain or deep haemorrhoid discomfort; myrrh blended with lemon and cypress will calm nerve response and reduce swelling.
Clarifying and grounding in nature, myrrh is one of the foremost oils for over- thinking, worry and mental distraction; it will lead the way to inner stillness and peace. This oil embodies the soothing power of solitude.
Used at funerals to honour our dead, myrrh eases sorrow and grief. It also helps dispel feelings of sorrow about humanity’s direction; by disengaging us from the mass consciousness conditioning.
Unburdening us from prescribed social reaction, Myrrh empowers us to trust in the Self.   
Massage myrrh on the heart area to keep it open in stressful times and generate a feeling of being enveloped in a protective shield of love, deflecting all harmful influences.
To release mental anxiety, lack of trust and the need to control, massage myrrh into the neck.
Myrrh unites the physical with the spiritual, creating a bridge between “heaven and earth”, linking the base and crown chakras at the base of the spine and the top of the head. It thus helps us raise our consciousness and transcend and transform aspects of material existence.


Fact File

Name: Myrrh
Latin: Commiphora myrrha
Characteristics: Myrrh oil has a warm, sweet, resinous and earthy base-note aroma. It is pale yellow to amber in colour.
Origin: Myrrh essential oil is derived from the steam distillation of crude myrrh, a resin which is produced by a small, spiny tree or shrub with knotted branches; a member of the same Burseraceae botanical plant family as Frankincense. It is native to the red sea region, but growing wild throughout north east Africa. When the bark is cut, the gum resin exudes as a pale yellow liquid, which dries into reddish-brown lumps the size of a walnut from which the oil is distilled.
Therapeutic properties: anti-catarrhal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiphlogistic, antiseptic, astringent, balsamic, carminative, cicatrisant, emmenagogue, expectorant, fungicidal, sedative, digestive and pulmonary stimulant, stomachic, tonic, uterine and vulnerary.
Uses: Amenorrhea, athlete's foot, bronchitis, chapped skin, dysmenorrhea, gums, halitosis, hemorrhoids, itching, mouth, ringworm, toothache and hyperthyroidism.
Myrrh oil blends well with: benzoin, frankincense, lavender, cypress, lemon, sandalwood and clove.
Caution: avoid during pregnancy.


What Herb is That?
Rosehip
Rich source of vitamin C - superb for reducing scarring

ROSEHIP tea was traditionally used to ward off colds and to treat infection.
During the Second World War rosehip syrup was handed out to schoolchildren to compensate for lack of vitamins in the rationed diet.
Rosehips provide a very concentrated form of Vitamin C. Rosehips assist the body to absorb vitamin C after the breakdown of food in the digestive system. Vitamin C invigorates the body’s defences and supports healing.
For example the body requires an extra supply during a fever. If you are prone to urinary tract infections, rose hips tea is effective in warding off recurrences of infections.
Rosehip tea has long been prescribed for prevention and treatment of the common cold. Vitamin C is essential in preventing diseases such as scurvy, which is associated with bleeding gums.
Rosehips are full of bio flavonoids which have numerous health benefits, including the prevention of heart disease and cancer. 
The anti-inflammatory properties of rose hip are useful as a natural treatment in patients suffering from osteoarthritis.
Rosehips are high in pectin, which helps bind wastes in the intestines and remove them from the body, helping with digestion. Rose hip tea can help ease diarrhoea.
This herb is used to treat stress related complications including stomach ulcers, high blood pressure. It is also used to treat complications related to the uterus.
Rosehip is also used in cooking. It can be used as a spice in the preparation of meals. Some marinades, jams and jellies include rose hip as an ingredient, which comes in ground or dried form. It is also used in soup preparations. Rosehip soup is popular in Sweden and amongst American Indians.
Rosehip oil is derived from the seed. Pure Rosehip oil contains natural tretinoin, a derivative of Vitamin A, and is proven to delay the effects of skin ageing.
It helps in reducing the effects of scarring, stretch marks, effects of psoriasis and eczema, lumps from scarring, hyper-pigmentation, dermatitis, over-exposure to the sun, fine lines and wrinkles and sunburns.
It helps in cell regeneration and boosts levels of collagen and elastin to create smoother, firmer skin. The oil can also be used to strengthen weak fingernails.


Fact File

Name: Rosehip
Latin name: Rosa Canina
Parts used: the rose hips, (fruits) comprising the receptacle and the remains of the dried sepals.
Actions: anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, nutritive astringents, antidepressants, antispasmodic agents, anti-inflammatory agents and all-over tonic and boost for the body.
Caution: In rare cases, rosehip can cause allergic reactions in some individuals.

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