Month: January 2013

Magical Mythical Marvelous Myrrh


Natures perfect gift for Oral care & first aid   

Heartache or toothache, which is the worst?  I still don’t have an answer for that one. At least for a toothache there is an obvious  and effective way to address the source of the pain. Winter is the time I experience the most discomfort and pain with teeth and gums. (And heartache :-(. ), If something is going to go wrong in my mouth, it will, without a doubt, go wrong during the winter months.

The one consistent help and comfort has been the oleo-resin from Commiphora Myrrha.  Myrrh. It is the only thing that has given me a naturally sourced reprieve from  pain and misery of toothache, sore, infected or inflamed gums and loose teeth. Over the years I have found that the essential oil and tincture of Myrrh have done some amazing things for my teeth. (I have had many problems with them). I have had teeth that were so loose I was sure they would simply fall out within hours. Though it seemed obvious it was too late to reverse the damage, a couple of days of diligently swooshing with the salt water Myrrh mix, tightened them back up and saved them for a few more years.

English: Somali man collecting incense

English: Somali man collecting incense (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Add 1 or 2 ML. of tincture of Myrrh to a salt water “gargle”, (1/4 teaspoon salt  to 1 cup of warm water). Swoosh in mouth over gums and teeth as many times as you can or need  per day.  It works like a charm.

In the past I used essential oil of Myrrh for this purpose, smearing the bitter tar on my teeth and gums, or trying to infuse what I could of the thick essential oil into the water. It worked, however I have found that using the alcohol/water tincture in salt water greatly accelerates the process. I am continually surprised how quickly it brings my teeth and gums back to normal, reducing swelling, pain and discomfort.  Adding tincture to the water immediately creates an emulsion and turns the water white.This is a sign you got it right. (See below)Fresh Myrrh Resin Chunks

Fresh Myrrh Resin Chunks, essential oil and emulsion of Myrrh tincture with salt water.

Also, it doesn’t hurt if you swallow some. The bitter principal in Myrrh is good for you. Especially considering how in our western diet we avoid the bitter principal and flavour as much as possible, and we overdo it with the sweet instead. Some attribute many of our western ills to this imbalance in our diets. Bitter flavours are usually associated with stimulating and toning Liver, spleen or gall bladder.

There is simply nothing as effective for healing oral distress than Myrrh. Canker sores, spongy gums, sore, inflamed, infected gums, toothache, (Make sure to get it looked at by a dentist!), Gingivitis, bad breath, loose teeth, sore throat, post extraction swelling and pain, Denture discomfort, irritation and soreness of any kind.  A short video tutorial….

The name Myrrh is rooted in The Aramaic word for bitter. Mar, Mor, Myrrh. Some associate the name Mary, Miriam, Mariam to meaning the bitter of the sea, froth of the sea?(Sometimes associated with the Goddess Astarte, Ashtoreth).

Foliage of myrrh (Commiphora sp.)

Foliage of myrrh (Commiphora sp.) (Photo credit: Joel Abroad)

Either way a feminine principle which is appropriate since Myrrh is said to be ruled astrologically by the Moon. ( Frankincense by the Sun). There are many more valuable medicinal and spiritual/energetic attributes to Myrrh, but I will leave those for another post.

Frankincense Grinding me to a fine powder in an old brass mortar

 200 year old Brass mortar and pestle. Courtesy Bat Sheva Sharaabi.

200 year old Brass mortar and pestle. Courtesy Bat Sheva Sharaabi.

I have been a bad blog daddy and written nothing here for far too long. Besides my usual travails and struggles through the dark of the sun and dark of the moons that go with it yearly, I have spent too much time  (now almost 2 weeks!!), working on the Frankincense “anti-aging” crème, and trying to write a page about my St. John’s Wort Oil with an introduction to “Astrodynamics”. An attempt that recently led me to realize I must devote a separate post or page to each. Back to the drawing board again! Many many re-writes, but on the bright side, much material from which to draw on for a final draft.

The new batch of Frankincense crème is coming along. Smooth, creamy, fragrant and moisturizing beautifully. However, with it have come new challenges and tests. My vision for years has been to create a sublimated product from the whole Frankincense resin. Not just a crème that includes store-bought Frankincense essential oil, anyone can do that. I chose to pursue this first by creating a water/oil emulsion, a lotion, so I could fully utilize the resin, essential oils and the water based gum present in the crude tree sap.. This opened a new set of challenges and can of worms.

There are unavoidable consequences and requirements when it comes to supporting the water portion of any emulsion. It must be preserved in some way to keep, and be useful for an extended period of time.  As soon as one introduces water into a formula, one has created a perfect petri dish in the equation. There are many life forms competing for dominion over our little Frankincense pool, determined to fulfill their life mandate of self perpetuation and proliferation, that drastic measures are called for. Some of these visitors are benign and simply mar the look of the lotion through time, but some are quite scary and physically dangerous to us higher life forms.

frankincense tree

frankincense tree (Photo credit: Alexbip)

My hope was to use the naturally present essential oils and resins to preserve this creme, along with some natural antioxidants and skin nourishing oils that would keep the other oils from rancidity. Many of the healing ingredients in this crème are at the same time, anti-fungal, or anti bacterial, anti microbial, anti-oxidant,or anti viral, but the quantities needed for them to be functional full spectrum preservatives in a water based formula, makes them unsafe on the skin.

Frankincense tree (Oman)

If I reduce the proportion of water to resins and oils, (using only a very small amount of water to dissolve and incorporate the gum part of the frankincense), I may find a solution, but time is needed to explore this option. No quick answers here. There are some cosmetic cremes on the market that boast having no artificial preservatives, but I don’t know how  accurate their claims are. What length of shelf life they offer. Or  how they manage this. This too requires more research. ……Time.

My apologies to all my Guinea pigs waiting for this lotion here at home and abroad. I will indeed keep and test this water based Frankincense “anti-aging” Creme formula, but it will be with a minute percent of “Liquid Germall Plus” added to it for everyone’s safety until I can perfect a formula which requires no added “artificial” preservatives such as my regular oil/resin formulas. It is easily researched on the web for your own edification, and for those to whom 0.1%-0.5% is an acceptable amount to apply to their skin, I will happily deliver a quantity for their feedback.

Meanwhile I have separated gum, or water-soluble parts of some Frankincense and some Myrrh, and will use this pure oil/resin as a base for a water-less “serum”. I will continue working on it, and a lotion version that holds “less water”. Of course, I will let everyone know how they are coming.

,Thank You All for bearing with me!!

Call it working outside my comfort zone, exploring new territory, or call it growing pains, stretching my envelope, learning, or all the above really.

But in the end, it seems it is I that is being ground to a fine powder by the Frankincense!!  How cool is that!!!

Grinding Frankincense to fine powder in an old brass mortar

When the Frankincense powder is so fine it starts acting like a liquid, swooshing in waves around the pestle and up the sides of the mortar, that’s when you know it’s ready to blend with the solvent. As if it really really wants to become a liquid, to evolve, and you are just helping out. Nothing is forced. There is a rhythm and poetry to it. Harmony.

The symbolism of mortar and pestle is rather obvious on different levels. They “make music” together. I find it meditative, grinding, pounding, stirring connecting grinding just rhythm being and pounding stirring rhythm unfolding here and pounding now and rhythm nothing grinding else stirring matters. The whole of the universe, time and space in my lap. grinding and pounding stirring connecting.