Myrrh - Grace & Peace

Myrrh, an exotic Biblical spice, was used in purification & beautification rites, in the formula for the Holy Anointing Oil, and in burial spices. Queen Esther was bathed in Oil of Myrrh for six months and with other aloes and perfumes for another six months before her presentation to the king. Bitter to the taste but sweet to the smell, myrrh in the spiritual sense speaks of dying to self to become a "sweet smelling savor" to the Lord.
 
Esther 2:12 Each girl had her turn to appear before King Achashverosh after she had undergone the full twelve-month preparation period prescribed for the women, consisting of a six-month treatment with oil of myrrh and six months with perfumes and other cosmetics for women.
Click here for a teaching on Purim and the Fast of Esther

Botanical Information:

Botanical: Commiphora myrrha
Part Used: The gum resin
Habitat: Oman, Somalia, Yemen 

The small bushy trees grow high on coastal cliffs with little soil and flourish in extreme hot, arid climates.  Harvested by hand in the very last days of fall, the gum resin flow is milky white, as it begins to crystallize.  The fresh myrrh is packed in burlap sacks, then carried down the rocky paths to awaiting camel packs and onto local markets.  harvesters follow the "Frankincense & Myrrh trails" to market just as in ancient days.