Folklore: Well over 2,000 years before the baby Jesus received myrrh as a gift, it was one of the most desired and most expensive items in the world. According to Roberta Wilson, “In Greek mythology, Aphrodite forced the goddess Myrrha into an incestuous relationship with her father, Cinyras. Cinyras avenged the act by turning his daughter into a myrrh tree. When the tree sprouted its blooms, their child Adonis was born. The resinous drops that exude from cuts in the tree’s bark were said to be Myrrha’s tears.”
Historical Uses: Myrrh was used as incense in religious rituals, in embalming, and as a cure for cancer, leprosy, and syphilis. Myrrh, mixed with coriander and honey, was used to treat herpes.