What is Myrrh?

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Myrrh refers to the dried resin of various species of Commiphora tree. This dried resin has been used in different religious rituals, as well as in modern and ancient medicine. Myrrh is also added in alcoholic drinks and perfumes because of its distinct smell.

Myrrh is commonly derived from Commiphora myrrha, which is a kind of tree that originates from Somalia, Eastern Ethiopia, and Yemen. Another name for this is gum myrrh or Balsamodendron myrrha. The resin is collected from the tree by cutting the bark and sapwood. Because myrrh has been used for medicinal purposes and in religious ceremonies, it became as valuable as gold at certain periods of history.

During the ancient times, different cultures considered myrrh to be sacred. It was used for making incense, was burned during funerals, and has been used by Egyptians for embalming their mummies. In the field of ancient medicine, myrrh serves as an astringent and was used for treating wounds. Modern medicine also utilizes this for the prevention and treatment of gum diseases due to its antiseptic properties. It is even used as an ingredient in some kinds of toothpastes and mouthwash solutions.

According to some studies, myrrh can help decrease inflammation and can be used to treat various stomach problems and asthma. Additionally, this substance is also added to creams used for skin irritations, as well as in toiletries because of its scent and medical effects.

High quality myrrh is characterized by a thick consistency and dark color. These factors serve as indicators that it contains huge amounts of fragrantoil. When myrrh is burned, it gives off a bitter and earthy smell. Moreover, unlike other resins, it expands instead of melting when heat is applied to it.

For many years, myrrh has been added to wine and other alcoholic drinks. An example of beverage that makes use of this is Fernet Branca, which is an Italian spirit that is famous in Argentina and San Francisco.

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