The myths surrounding myrrh include its being cast into the fire out of which the legendary phoenix is reborn. The myrrh has long been considered sacred to Aphrodite and Isis. Myrrh is considered a Goddess plant of the Moon's sphere.
There are few herbes so useful in working through personal sorrows and tragedies. Myrrh is of unequalled value for those recovering from sexual abuse, whether incestuous or not. Myrrh brings comfort to those who have lost a loved one; whose troubled hearts need the healing strength of understanding the mystery of death. Myrrh will help ease the troubled soul in its grieving. The simplest method of seeking sacred relief is by working with a candle, which has been anointed with an oil of myrrh. In this way one might bring ease to many who would otherwise shun herbal magick.
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The Ancient Egyptians imported large amounts of Myrrh as far back as 3000 B.C. They used it to embalm the dead, as an antiseptic, and burned it for religious sacrifice. In ancient history Myrrh was used as a constituent of perfumes and incense, was highly valued in ancient times, and was often worth more than its weight in gold. The Greek word for myrrh, �????, came to be synonymous with the word for "perfume".
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High quality myrrh can be identified through the darkness and clarity of the resin. However, the best method of judging the resin's quality is by feeling the stickiness of freshly broken fragments directly to determine the fragrant-oil content of the myrrh resin. The scent of raw myrrh resin and its essential oil is sharp, pleasant, somewhat bitter and can be roughly described as being "stereotypically resinous". When burned, it produces a smoke that is heavy, bitter and somewhat phenolic in scent, which may be tinged with a slight vanillic sweetness. Unlike most other resins, myrrh expands and "blooms" when burned instead of melting or liquefying.
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Myrrh is a reddish-brown resinous material, the dried sap of a number of trees, but primarily from Commiphora myrrha, native to Yemen, Somalia and the eastern parts of Ethiopia. The sap of a number of other Commiphora and Balsamodendron species is also known as myrrh, including that from Commiphora erythraea (sometimes called East Indian myrrh), Commiphora opobalsamum and Balsamodendron kua. Its name entered English via the Ancient Greek, �???a, which is probably of Semitic origin. Myrrh is also applied to the potherb Myrrhis odorata otherwise known as "Cicely" or "Sweet Cicely".
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"By the 1st century A.D., Rome was going through about 3,000 tons of imported frankincense and 500 tons of myrrh per year." It was priced at five times as much as frankincense, though the latter was far more popular. Myrrh was burned in ancient Roman funerals to mask the smell emanating from charring corpses. It was said that the Roman Emperor Nero burned a year's worth of myrrh at the funeral of his wife, Poppaea. Pliny the Elder refers to myrrh as being one of the ingredients of perfumes, and specifically the "Royal Perfume" of the Parthians. He also says myrrh was used to fumigate wine jars before bottling.
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Gargle: One teaspoon of dry, powdered myrrh should be combined with 1 tsp of boric acid. One pint of boiling water is poured over the mixture and steeped for 30 minutes, then strained. This mixture is a good gargle preparation, according to herbalist John Lust.