The origins Sweet Myrrh that are called Opopanax incense are shrouded in mystery. The plants described as Myrrh by the venerable Dioscorides of the first century AD maybe completely different plants to what we know today the Myrrh. Indigo Herbs has obtained a 100% pure quality Opopanax Incense that has a beautiful musky aroma that is noted for its cleansing ability while grounding the individual. Whether it is used just cleansing, religious purposes or just for the love of the smell this incense is some of the highest quality that can be bought.
The word Opopanax comes from two Greek words; the first, ‘opos’, means vegetable juice while the second ‘panax’ means cure all. It is evident from the combination of these words that the ancient Greeks gave Myrrh a more elevated status than we give it today. In the Middle East and North Africa Myrrh has been traded for at least 5,000 years with the Babylonians and Assyrians being at the forefront of trade and popularizing this incense. In ancient Egypt Myrrh has been was used in many products that were medicinal and practical; these included insect repellents, beauty products, perfume, salves for sores and for mummifying the dead. The Bible tells us that later Myrrh was used traditionally in the temples of Jerusalem and that it was considered a very expensive and revered substance. The Romans spread Myrrh throughout Europe until the rise of Christianity when all burning of incense was prohibited because it was so heavily associated in the Pagan religions. A revival of using Myrrh in the Catholic Church later occurred but the medical values were lost with the rise of modern medicine.
There are approximately 190 different species of Commiphora which are spread throughout North Africa, the Middle East and Asia which again shows the diversity of what we call Opopanax/Sweet Myrrh. Most trees/shrubs are drought tolerant and live in drier climates. The bark exfoliates and peels away exposing multi coloured layers. If the wood is wounded it will bleed resin.