Origin: Africa and Arabian peninsula

Family: Burseraceae
Scientific Name: Commiphora myrrha

Folk Names: Common myrrh, gum myrrh, mur, myrrha, smyrna, stacte


Element: Water
Direction: North
Day: Saturday
Planet: Pluto
Zodiac: Scorpio
Associated Celebrations: ShadowFest
Deities: Adonis, Aphrodite, Cybele, Demeter, Hekate, Juno, Myrrha, Rhea, Saturn

Parts used: Gum resin

Magical Properties: Consecration, purification, healing, protection, peace, spirituality

Substitutions: Frankincense


Ancient Greece: Myrrha (or Smyrna) was a Cyprian princess who seduced her father and fell pregnant. The back-story varies in different tellings, and some versions have this orchestrated by Aphrodite after Myrrha’s mother stated her daughter was more beautiful than the goddess. After her identity was realised, Myrrha spent 9 months walking exiled/being chased through the desert. Desperate for a solution, she cried to the gods and they took pity on her and transformed her into the myrrh tree, with its sap representing her tears. Her baby Adonis was then born from the tree.

Magical Uses


Part Used: Resin
Extraction Method: Steam distillation

Scent Type: Resinous
Perfume Note: Base
Scent Description: Rich, woody, earthy, bitter-spicy



Note: This information is provided for informational purposes only, do not use any plants medicinally without consulting with an appropriate medical professional.

Medicinal Properties: Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, astringent, expectorant, antiparasitic, antibacterial




Myrrh has been a common ingredient in perfumery and as incense for millennia, as well being used to make sweets and chewing gums.


While the resin of a number of Commiphora species, Commiphora myrrha is the most common.

Type: Shrub/tree
Plant Height: 1m-4m
Leaves: Pinnate/compound leaves made of 3 1cm-long oblong/oval leaflets
Flowers: Yellow-red, with 4 narrow, oval petals
Fruit: Small-ish, dark red drupes

Etymology: From the semitic םרר (mrr), meaning ‘bitter’.