“All your robes are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia; from palaces adorned with ivory the music of the strings makes you glad.” Psalm 45:8
In biblical times, Myrrh is believed to have come from the Balsamodendron myrrha tree and is the gum, resin, or white liquid that flows from bark when it is cut.
What is the Hebrew word? There are two Hebrew words for Myrrh:
1) môr = an Arabian gum from the bark of a tree, used in sacred oil and in perfume 2)lôt = an aromatic gum exuded by the leaves of the rock rose
How many references are there to môr and lôt in the Old Testament? 14
Song of Solomon 1:13, 3:6, 4:6, 4:14, 5:1, 5:5, 5:13
Genesis 37:25, 43:11
What is the Greek word? There are two Greek words for Myrrh.
1) smurna = a bitter gum and costly perfume
2) smyrnízō = to mix and flavor with myrrh
How many references are there to smurna and smyrnízō in the NT? 3
Historical Uses: Holy Anointing Oil (Exodus 30:23), Perfume (Esther 2:12, Psalm 45:8, Proverbs 7:17), Gift of the Magi (Matthew 2:11), Offered to Jesus on the cross (Mark 15:23), Embalming (John 19:39)
Modern Day Uses: Cough, Cuts and Wounds, Dermatitis, Diarrhea, Gum/Mouth Problems, Hemorrhoids, Indigestion, Skin Disorders, Stomach Ache, Yeast Infection
Plant Properties: Analgesic, Antibacterial, Antibiotic, Antifungal, Anti-inflammatory, Antiseptic, Astringent, Decongestant, Expectorant, Sedative
Amazing Fact: Along with Myrrh’s ability to lower “bad cholesterol” (LDL) and soothe a body’s inflammatory response, Myrrh is another oil known for it’s cancer-fighting abilities.
In 2001, Mohamed M. Rafi, Ph.D. and Chi-Tang Ho, Ph.D. identified that, “The myrrh compound appears to kill cancer cells by inactivating a specific protein, called Bcl-2, which is overproduced by cancer cells, particularly in the breast and prostate.” Of note, some types of lymphoma (for instance, MALT – Mucosa Associated Lymphoid Tissue) are also positive for the Bcl-2 protein. (This is the kind of cancer I have!)
The case study goes on to say that an “Overproduction of this protein is believed to promote the growth of cancer cells and make cells more resistant to chemotherapy. As cancer is influenced by many mechanisms, the investigators are now in the process of trying to determine whether the compound also has other mechanisms of inhibitory action against cancer cells.”