Scientific Name/Common Name: Commiphora molmol / Commiphora mukul / Myrrh
Part(s) Used: Dried oleo-gum resin of myrrh tree bark
Constituents/Active Ingredients: volatile oil (2–8%), resin (23–40%), gum (40–60%), and bitter principles (10–25%).
Overview: The dried oleo-gum resin of myrrh tree bark is strongly antimicrobial/antiseptic and has been used as a medicine against infections and for treating breathing problems and bronchial complaints for thousands of years. Myrrh is also highly valued as an incense and anointing oil in spiritual rituals of many different religions. The German pharmacopoeia recommends myrrh for treating mild inflammation of the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat. Myrrh is used in Middle Eastern medicine to treat rheumatism and as an anti-inflammatory and in India to treat cankers, gingivitis, and respiratory catarrh (mucous). Myrrh is strongly antimicrobial/antiseptic and some evidence also exists for cholesterol and triglyceride lowering effects.
Traditional Use/Benefits/Body Systems: As a mouthwash or gargle and as an antiseptic ingredient in toothpastes for oral care; topically for minor cuts and wounds; anti-inflammatory for arthritic complaints; for the respiratory system/bronchial complaints; as an ingredient in digestive tonics.
Clinical Studies/Scientific Research/References:
Singh BB. et al. The effectiveness of Commiphora mukul for osteoarthritis of the knee: an outcomes study. Altern Ther Health Med. 2003 May-Jun;9(3):74-9.
George J, Hegde S, Rajesh KS, Kumar A. The efficacy of a herbal-based toothpaste in the control of plaque and gingivitis: a clinico-biochemical study. Indian J Dent Res. 2009 Oct-Dec;20(4):480-2.
Wichtl M (ed). 1994. Myrrha – Myrrh (English translation by Norman Grainger Bisset). In Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals. CRC Press, Stuttgart, pp. 345-347.
Disclaimer: This information in our Herbal Encyclopedia is intended only as a general reference for educational purposes. It is not a replacement for medical advice. This content does not provide dosage information, cautions/contraindications, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Please consult any relevant product labels for detailed information on use and with a medical practitioner for individual health advice.