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Herb Information
Name: Myrrh
Biological Name: Balasmodendron myrrha, Commiphora Myrrha

Burseraceae

Other Names: Myrrh, bola, bol, Balasmodendron
Parts Used: The oleo-gum-resin from the stem
Active Compounds:
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Volatile oil, containing heerabolene, cadinene, elemol, eugenol, cuminaldehyde, numerous furanosesquiterpenes including furanodiene, furanodienone, curzerenone, lindestrene, 2-methoxy furanodiene and other derivatives.

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Resins including a-, b- and g-commiphoric acids, commiphorinic acid, heeraboresene, a-and b-heerabomyrrhols and commiferin.

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Gums, composed of arabinose, galactose, xylose and 4-O- methylglucuronic acid 

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Sterols etc.

History:

Myrrh is referred to in the Bible. It was used by Egyptians in embalming mixtures. It was used as an aromatic for perfumes, funerals, and insect repellents. It is used today as an aid to repel tooth decay and gum disease. Ancient Greek and Roman physicians used the herb to treat wounds and prescribed it internally as a digestive aid and menstruation promoter.

Contemporary herbalists recommend adding powdered myrrh to well-washed wounds as an antiseptic and consider a gargle made from the herb effective against sore throat, colds, sore teeth and gums, coughs, asthma, and chest congestion.

Remedies For

Anti-microbial, astringent, carminative, anti-catarrhal, expectorant, vulnerary, alterative, analgesic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, emmenagogue, expectorant, stimulant, rejuvenative

Myrrh is an effective anti-microbial agent that has been shown to work in two complementary ways. Primarily it stimulates the production of white blood corpuscles (with their anti-pathogenic actions) and secondarily it has a direct anti-microbial effect. 

Myrrh may be used in a wide range of conditions where an anti-microbial agent is needed. It finds specific use in the treatment of infections in the mouth such as mouth ulcers, gingivitis, phyorrhoea, as well as the catarrhal problems of pharyngitis and sinusitis. It may also help with laryngitis and respiratory complaints. 

Systemically it is of value in the treatment of boils and similar conditions as well as glandular fever and brucellosis. It is often used as part of an approach to the treatment of the common cold. Externally it will be healing and antiseptic for wounds and abrasions.

Myrrh is a common ingredient in European toothpaste to fight the bacteria that cause tooth decay.

Myrrh may help prevent heart disease. Preliminary Indian studies suggest that it reduces cholesterol. The herb may also help prevent the internal blood clots that trigger heart attack.

Description:

Indigenous to North-East Africa, collected in Southern Arabia and Iran.
Myrrh is a large shrub or small tree that grows in the Middle East and Ethiopia and Somalia. A pale yellow oil drips from the cuts in its dull gray bark and hardens to form teardrop-shaped nuggets of myrrh, which are powdered for use as a healing herb.

Dosage:

Infusion: as the resin only dissolves in water with difficulty, it should be powdered well to make an infusion. Pour a cup of boiling water onto l-2 teaspoonfuls of the powder and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day.

Tincture: as the resin dissolves much more easily in alcohol, the tincture is preferable and easily obtainable. Take l-4 ml of the tincture three times a day.

Combinations : It will combine well with Echinacea for infections and as a mouth wash for ulcers and similar problems. For external use it should be combined with distilled Witch Hazel.

Safety:

Ayurvedic science suggests that myrrh can create excess pitta. Do not use if you are pregnant. Large amounts may have violent laxative action and could cause the other symptoms such as seating, nausea, vomiting, and accelerated heartbeat.

Myrrh is included in the FDA's list of safe herbs.

If gum bleeding or tooth or gum pain persists longer than two weeks, consult a dentist.

If you experience any side reactions after taking this herb, contact your doctor immediately.

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