Myrrh is one of the most precious ingredients used by I Coloniali. The use of myrrh in the cosmetics industry is mainly linked to its nourishing and regenerative properties. This powerful ingredient is present in all the products of the Age Recover face care line which was designed to reduce the visibility of wrinkles, plump up the tone, fight free radicals and actually regenerate the cellular matrix.
Myrrh: therapeutic properties
Myrrh (Commiphora abyssinica or Commiphora myrrha) originated in the east (Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan and the Arabian Peninsula) and for centuries it was considered a royal gift reserved for sacred ceremonies because of its precious nature. It has been and is still used by many in both cosmetics and medicine because of its numerous therapeutic properties but it is not without its uses in cookery.
Myrrh extract, containing gum resin volatile oils, enzymes, amino acids and flavonoids with a high antioxidant potential. Thanks to its rich composition it also has antiseptic, antispasmodic and antitumour properties. Its unique fragrance allows it to be used either in cosmetics or as a seasoning agent in many foods and beverages.
Because of its incredible properties, Myrrh was one of the main elements used in theriac. This was the remedy par excellence in the ancient pharmacopoeia and it was from this that I Coloniali drew inspiration when creating the Age recover line. Analysed with the help of the University of Pavia, and thanks to the modern techniques provided by molecular science, the ancient remedy has been enhanced so that it can now penetrate deeper into the skin and act more effectively.
Research studies which aimed to confirm the practice of using these oils in traditional medicine have revealed that myrrh extracts are an effective aid in the treatment of various conditions such as obesity and poor circulation. The presence of guggulsterones and ethanols in myrrh helps to control body weight by improving the circulation. The guggulsterones also showed antitumour properties through the suppression of tumour cell proliferation. The ethanol extracts from various Cammiphora species have been shown to have stimulant hepatoprotective and thyroid-stimulating effects.
In China, the first historical text containing the medicinal properties of myrrh (moyoo), recorded during the Tang Dynasty, specifies that this super ingredient was used to treat arthritis, rheumatism and uterine disorders, to improve the circulation and to relieve menstrual pain and swellings. From China Myrrh reached Persia, where King Ahasuerus issued a royal decree ordering women to use this ingredient regularly during their beauty rituals. The decree specified using myrrh oil alone for six months and then using the spice alone for the remaining six.
The products of the I Coloniali Age Recover line use this super ingredient because of its anti-oxidant properties which help to protect against free radicals. Natural resins, triterpenes and bioactive flavonoids have long been studied for their antioxidant effects in cosmetic and pharmaceutical preparations. Another study demonstrated that the essential oils extracted from myrrh offer protection against oxidative stress during exposure to the sun. The presence of low molecular weight compounds such as camphene, pinene and limonene, increases the absorption of other essential oils, so providing better skin nutrition.
Myrrh: religious significance
This super ingredient is an aromatic gum-resin extracted from a shrub of the Burseraceae family, the Commiphora. The myrrh tree can grow up to two to three metres in height, without foliage for most of the year, and has an ash-coloured bark. The oil distilled from the resin is dense, with a colour ranging from pale yellow to orange-brown and has a spicy, sharp aroma.
The word “Myrrh” derives from the ancient Aramaic and Arabic languages and is translated as “murr” meaning bitter. Thanks to its particular fragrance, it has been used as incense and for sacred ointments since ancient times. In an ancient book of Sanskrit medicine dating back to the 6th century BC, the Indian Sushruta Samhita mentions the use of myrrh as an herbal medicine, what today we would call a natural medicine, for the treatment of diseases such as obesity. He also mentions its uses as an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anticoagulant.
In the Catholic religion Myrrh is one of the three gifts which the Magi brought to the stable of the Baby Jesus. Few people understand the significance of this gift. In the past myrrh used to be used in the art of mummification so consequently, in the Catholic religion, this gift symbolises sacrifice and the physical death of man.
In Ancient Greece Myrrh used to be mixed with wine in honour of the King of Cyprus’s daughter who had the same name.
Much later, in the first century AD, Pliny the Elder considered myrrh a royal fragrance. Its price was thus comparable with that of gold.
Products containing myrrh resin, marketed as food supplements, pharmaceutical preparations and cosmetics, have been declared safe by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.