Myrrh

Commiphora molmol, Burseraceae. This plant is also known as balsamodendron myrrha.

The gum resin is the part of the plant used.

The gum resin is collected from bushes that secrete it in the arid regions of East Africa and Arabia.

Functions of myrrh

Myrrh:

  • is an effective anti-microbial agent that has been shown to work in two complementary ways:
    • is stimulates the production of white blood cells and
    • will directly work against the infective agent.
  • it will support the immune system and is useful in the treatment of mouth ulcers, gingivitis, pharyngitis, and sinusitis. It may also assist in laryngitis and upper respiratory tract infections. It is of value with boils as well as glandular fever and is often used as a part of an approach to the common cold.
  • can be used externally as a healing and antiseptic treatment for wounds and abrasions.
  • can also be used as a stimulating tonic for those who are feeling tired and run down.
  • increases the circulation to the reproductive system, relaxing spasms and regulating periods. At childbirth it helps to promote effective contractions and relieves pain.
  • stimulates the appetite and the flow of digestive juices, improving digestion and absorption. It relaxes and invigorates the stomach, relieving colic and spasm, distension and wind.
  • is a general detoxifying agent and anti inflammatory. These properties make it useful in arthritis, rheumatism and gout.

Notes on myrrh

  • Avoid using myrrh during pregnancy and only use when childbirth is imminent.
  • Do not use if you have any type of uterine bleeding.
  • Can cause diarrhea and irritate the kidneys.

Dosages

Infusion: as the resin is difficult to dissolve in water it should be powdered well to make an infusion. Pour a cup of boiling water onto 1 to 2 teaspoonsful of the powder and leave to infuse for 10 - 15 minutes. This should be drunk three times per day.

Tincture: as the resin dissolves more readily in alcohol the tincture is preferred and is more easily obtained. Take 1-4 ml of the tincture three times per day.

References

Duke, J. A. 2000, Anti-aging Prescriptions. Rodale.

Hoffmann, D. 2000, The New Holistic Herbal. Element Pub.

McIntyre, A. 1995, The Complete Women's Herbal. Henry Holt Reference Books.

Mills, S. Y. 1989, The A-Z of Modern Herbalism: A Comprehensive Guide to Practical Herbal Therapy. Thorson.

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