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Myrrh

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  • Botanical: Commiphora myrrha
  • Family: Burseraceae
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Myrrh

Botanical

Commiphora myrrha

Family

Burseraceae

Known as

Balsamodendron Myrrha. Commiphora Myrrha, var. Molmol. Mirra. Morr. Didin. Didthin. Bowl

Old Use

culinary; ritual; medicinal

Parts Used

resin

Medicinal

amenorrhea, bronchitis, bowel cleansing, bronchitis, circulation, colds, coughs, diabetes, digestion, fatigue, gastritis, gastrointestinal, gingivitis, immunity, infections, joint inflammation, menstrual cramps, menstruation promotion, menstrual problems, mouth inflammation, scars, spasm, toothache, mouth sores, stomach cramps, sprains

Hormone & Sexual Organs

amenorrhea, cramps, menstrual cramps, menstruation promotion, menstrual problems, uterine cramps

Infection & Inflammation

gingivitis, gum bleeding, mouth inflammation, mouth sores

Respiratory System

catarrh, cough, difficulty breathing, lung weakness

Stomach & Intestinal

abdominal pain, bowel cleansing, constipation, digestion, flatulence, gallstones, gastritis, gastrointestinal, gastric inflammation, stomach pain, stomach cramps, ulcers

Properties

analgesic, antibacterial, antiseptic, antispasmodic, anti inflammatory, astringent, carminative, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, fungicide, stimulant, stomachic, vulnerary

Extraction

solvent

Description

A shrub or tree growing up to 5 m tall, scented myrrh has greenish or brownish peeling bark. The leaves are composed of 3 or 5-7 leaflets, 2.5 x 10 cm long when fully mature and oval to broadly oval in shape. The flowers are cream in colour and very small, being only a few mm wide at most. The fruit is rounded, about 1 cm in diameter and contains a single stone.

Properties & Uses

Astringent, healing. Tonic and stimulant. A direct emmenagogue, a tonic in dyspepsia, an expectorant in the absence of feverish symptoms, a stimulant to the mucous tissues, a stomachic carminative, exciting appetite and the flow of gastric juice, and an astringent wash.

It is used in chronic catarrh, phthisis pulmonalis, chlorosis, and in amenorrhoea is often combined with aloes and iron. As a wash it is good for spongy gums, ulcerated throat and aphthous stomatitis, and the tincture is also applied to foul and indolentulcers. It has been found helpful in bronchorrhoea and leucorrhoea. It has also been used as a vermifuge.

Cautions

Myrrh seems safe for most people when used in small amounts. It can cause some side effects such as skin rash if applied directly to the skin, and diarrhea if taken by mouth.

Large doses may be UNSAFE. Amounts greater than 2-4 grams can cause kidney irritation and heart rate changes.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Taking myrrh by mouth during pregnancy is UNSAFE and should be avoided. Myrrh can stimulate the uterus and might cause a miscarriage. There isn’t enough information to rate the safety of using myrrh on the skin during pregnancy, so until more is known, it’s best to avoid this use.

Breast-feeding mothers should also avoid using myrrh. Not enough is known about the safety of using myrrh when breast-feeding.

Diabetes: Myrrh might lower blood sugar. There is a concern that if it is used along with medications that lower blood sugar, blood sugar might drop too low. If you use myrrh as well as medications for diabetes, monitor your blood sugar carefully.

Fever: Myrrh might make a fever worse. Use with caution.

Heart problems: Large amounts of myrrh can affect heart rate. If you have a heart condition, get your healthcare provider’s advice before starting myrrh.

Surgery: Since myrrh might affect blood glucose levels, there is a concern that it might interfere with blood glucose control during and after surgery. Stop using myrrh at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Systemic inflammation: If you have systemic inflammation, use myrrh with caution, since it might make this condition worse.

Uterine bleeding: Myrrh seems to be able to stimulate uterine bleeding, which is why some women use it to start their menstrual periods. If you have a uterine bleeding condition, use myrrh with caution, since it might make this condition worse.

Distribution

Arabia, Somaliland.

Constituents

Volatile oil, resin (myrrhin), gum, ash, salts, sulphates, benzoates, malates, and acetates of potassa.

For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.