Myrrh is in the Frankincense family of Bible Anointing oils and is mentioned between 13-16 times in the Bible depending on your translation. Several of the references could be referring to another oil. A few selections are-
“I have perfumed by bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.” Proverbs 7:17
“I arose to open to my beloved, and my hands dripped with myrrh, my fingers with liquid myrrh, upon the handles of the bolt.” Song of Solomon 5:5
How Did the Ancient Peoples Use Myrrh?
There are many species that the myrrh of the Bible could be. There were actually 9 different ones available at the time of Moses and over 80 identified today. It is one of the oldest spiritual oils known to man. Myrrh was used in childbirth to prevent infection and was rubbed on the perineum to aid in stretching to allow for easier childbirth. It was then used on the umbilical cord to prevent infection. It was used for skin conditions, oral hygiene and embalming. Women believed it preserved a youthful look and so it was used in many cosmetics.
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Myrrh has a lot of healing properties. It is anti-infectious, antiviral, anti-parasitic, anti-inflammatory, hormone-like, anti-hyperthyroid, and supports the immune system. It is good for diarrhea, thrush in babies, vaginal thrush, athlete’s foot, ringworm, viral hepatitis, chapped skin, wrinkles. It is used in a lot of skin care products for its ability to smooth out wrinkles. Its astringent properties make it helpful for hemorrhoids and for healing ulcers of all kinds. It is good for menstrual problems and menopausal symptoms. It is also used for emotional releasing. It has a gentle calming affect and can be used to instill deep tranquility, inner stillness and peace. When Biblical Anointing oils are used in grief, it tends to ease sorrow. The main effects of Myrrh are Anti-inflammatory and antiviral.
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How Can Myrrh Be Used?
Myrrh can be used to anoint the brow, energy centers, hands and the soles of the feet. Myrrh can be placed on the healer’s hands and brushed through the energy field to bring about a sense of peacefulness and tranquility. it can be used directly on the body (you may want to dilute it only because it is sticky.) It can be diffused or inhaled directly but if you choose to put it in a diffuser, be prepared for it to gum up the works.
For more information on how this ancient biblical anointing oil with CBD and other essential oils has modern day applications, you may wish to attend an aromatherapy program that discusses the Biblical oils. the Institute of Spiritual Healing and Aromatherapy is such a program.
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The Scriptures fail to mention whether Jesus anointed anyone with a healing oil whether it was olive oil or an aromatic essential oil. But could it be that anointing was just so commonplace among rabbis that mentioning it would have been redundant? The question is a good one. However, the Scriptures do tell us that he sent his disciples-the seventy-out to heal and anoint all those who were sick in body and mind. Hmmm. Well if he sent the disciples out in twos into the towns and villages to anoint, then the anointing must have been an important part of the healing. We see no evidence that the disciples questioned Jesus on how to do this anointing so we can presume that Jesus taught them the proper way of using a healing aromatic oil-what we call today-an essential oil.
Rabbinic Sources Say Essential Oils Were Prescribed for Healing
As a Jewish rabbi, Jesus would have known how rabbis used oils. Rabbinic sources from that period prescribe the use of oil in an everyday context for the treatment of sciatic pains, skin afflictions, headaches, and wounds. And there are several examples in Jewish literature that prescribed ritual anointing for exorcism of demons and as part of the process for the healing and release of the bewitched. Therefore, it is quite plausible that Jesus used oils in his everyday encounters with those who were sick. And we know that since he sent his disciples out with clear instructions on anointing, he must have taught them not only how to anoint but when to anoint and what part of the body to anoint.
What Oils Were Used for Healing?
The next question might be "What kind of oil did he use?" This we do know-it was not solely with cooking or lamp oil which would have been their olive oil. The rabbis used healing oils which today we know as therapeutic essential oils. Oils that would have been readily available, although expensive, were oils like frankincense, myrrh, cedarwood, spikenard, balsam, and many more. These oils would have been produced in various ways, all labor intensive through crude distillation or in some cases, immersing the plant material in a heavier oil like olive oil until the essence of the plant oozed out infusing the olive oil with its healing qualities. In this case, the olive oil would have acted like a "carrier" containing the healing properties of the essential oil. But these oils likewise would have been costly. Even more expensive were custom-made blends. A blend referred to in the Gospels was Nard. Jesus was anointed by a woman in all of the Gospel stories with a substance referred to as "Nard." This is actually a blend of spikenard and myrrh and would have been blended as by the perfumer. Spikenard does not have a pleasant fragrance but rather smells more like 'dirty socks' being in the valerian family of plants. The myrrh would have tempered the fragrance making it a much more pleasing aroma. The story tells us that this oil was contained in an alabaster jar and worth a year's wages. In today's money value, that would amount to approximately $35,000! These alabaster jars would have taken upwards of a year to carve and would have stood about 18 inches high with a slender neck filled with a wax to keep the precious oil or ointment inside for many years. Similar alabaster jars were found in the tomb of Tutankhamen, en Egyptian Pharaoh and still contained precious oils of frankincense, myrrh or balsam.
How Did Jesus and the Disciples Afford Expensive Healing Oils?
The next question might be-"how did Jesus, an itinerant preacher and his disciples who were fishermen, tax collectors and housewives, afford these expensive oils?" Again, the Scriptures give us a clue. They tell us that the "women saw to the needs of the ministry." These were not just poor women-they were women of substance and they provided for whatever was needed for Jesus' ministry to go forward. From this we can deduce that they purchased the expensive aromatic oils for the healing ministry of Jesus.
How can we learn today the ancient art of healing with aromatic essential oils? Educational courses that are Christian-based can help us reclaim our rightful role in healing and anointing. The Institute of Spiritual Healing and Aromatherapy does just that.