Myrrh

Commiphora molmol


Burseraceae


Habitat: North east Africa and Arabia.


Collection: The gum resin is collected from the bushes that secrete it in the arid regions.


Part Used: Gum resin.


Constituents:

  • Volatile oil, containing heerabolene, cadinene, elemol, eugenol, cuminaldehyde, numerous furanosesquiterpenes including furanodiene, furanodienone, curzerenone, lindestrene, 2-methoxyfuranodiene and other derivatives.

  • Resins including [[alpha]]-, [[beta]]- and [[gamma]]-commiphoric acids, commiphorinic acid, heeraboresene, [[alpha]]-and[[beta]]-heerabomyrrhols and commiferin.

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

  • Sterols etc.

Actions: Anti-microbial, astringent, carminative, anti-catarrhal, expectorant, vulnerary.


Indications: 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.


Ellingwood describes it thus: “This agent has always been highly esteemed as a stimulant, although its influence is more of a local than a general character. It exercises the characteristic influence of most of the stimulants upon the excretions and secretions, acting as a diaphoretic, expectorant, sialagogue, and to a certain extent emmenagogue. It was once popular in the compound tincture of capsicum and myrrh. As a most active general stimulant in ulcerative, engorged, flabby and a tonic conditions of the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat this agent acts promptly. It stimulates the capillary circulation, restores tone and normal secretion and causes the healing of ulcerations. It is useful in sore mouths of all kinds, and especially in syphilitic sore mouth and sore throat. It may be combined with other washes or gargles or it will act promptly alone. It will quickly cure the beginning of syphilitic ulcerations in the throat and mouth. In the spongy gums and aphthous sore mouth of children, in stomatitis materni if combined with an alterative and tonic astringent it will assist in the cure of the very worst cases without taking the child from the breast. An infusion made of white oak bark, yellow dock root and myrrh, to which may be added a mild antiseptic, as baptisia, echinacea, or boric acid, will cure the most intractable cases of this latter named disease. Myrrh is excellent in the sore mouth and extreme ulceration of mercurial ptyalism. In its influence upon the digestive apparatus Myrrh is direct in its action. It quickly increases the power of the digestive function, stimulating the peptic glands to extreme action. It increases the appetite and promotes the absorption and assimilation of nutrition. It is given in a tonic dyspepsia in the absence of inflammatory action, especially if there is excessive mucous discharge from the bowels. It is exceedingly useful in the apepsia and extreme inactivity of the stomach in alcoholics, either alone or combined with capsicum. While it is expectorant and stimulates the secretion from the mucous membranes when inactive, it influences to a satisfactory extent the restoration of the functions of those membranes when the secretion is excessive, as in catarrhal conditions. In deficient or excessive action it restores the normal conditions.


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.


Preparations & 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 l0-l5 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.





Citations from the Medline database for the genus Commiphora


MyrrhAmma MK Malhotra N Suri RK Arya OP Dani HM Sareen K Effect of oleoresin of gum guggul (Commiphora mukul) on the reproductiveorgans of female rat.


Indian J Exp Biol (1978 Sep) 16(9):1021-3Arora RB Das D Kapoor SC Sharma RC Effect of some fractions of Commiphora mukul on various serum lipid levelsin hypercholesterolemic chicks and their effectiveness in myocardial infarctionin rats.


Indian J Exp Biol (1973 May) 11(3):166-8Baldwa VS Bhasin V Ranka PC Mathur KM Effects of Commiphora Mukul (Guggul) in experimentally induced hyperlipemia and atherosclerosis.


J Assoc Physicians India (1981 Jan) 29(1):13-7Dixit VP Joshi S Sinha R Bharvava SK Varma M Hypolipidemic activity of guggal resin (Commiphora mukul) and garlic (Aliumsativum linn.) in dogs (Canis familiaris) and monkeys (Presbytisentellus entellus Dufresne).


Biochem Exp Biol (1980) 16(4):421-4Kuppurajan K Rajagopalan SS Rao TK Sitaraman R Effect of guggulu (Commiphora mukul–Engl.) on serum lipids in obese, hypercholesterolemic and hyperlipemic cases.


J Assoc Physicians India (1978 May) 26(5):367-73Lata S Saxena KK Bhasin V Saxena RS Kumar A Srivastava VK Beneficial effects of Allium sativum, Allium cepa and Commiphora mukul onexperimental hyperlipidemia and atherosclerosis–a comparativeevaluation.


J Postgrad Med (1991 Jul) 37(3):132-5Malhotra SC Ahuja MM Comparative hypolipidaemic effectiveness of gum guggulu (Commiphora mukul)fraction ‘A’, ethyl-P-chlorophenoxyisobutyrate and Ciba-13437-Su.


Indian J Med Res (1971 Oct) 59(10):1621-32Malhotra SC Ahuja MM Sundaram KR Long term clinical studies on the hypolipidaemic effect of Commiphora mukul(Guggulu) and clofibrate.


Indian J Med Res (1977 Mar) 65(3):390-5Nityanand S Kapoor NK Hypocholesterolemic effect of Commiphora mukul resin (guggal).


Indian J Exp Biol (1971 Jul) 9(3):376-7Satyavati GV Gum guggul (Commiphora mukul)–the success story of an ancient insightleading to a modern discovery.


Indian J Med Res (1988 Apr) 87:327-35Satyavati GV Dwarakanath C Tripathi SN Experimental studies on the hypocholesterolemic effect of Commiphora mukul.Engl. (Guggul).


Indian J Med Res (1969 Oct) 57(10):1950-62Sharma JN Sharma JN Comparison of the anti-inflammatory activity of Commiphora mukul (anindigenous drug) with those of phenylbutazone and ibuprofen in experimentalarthritis induced by mycobacterial adjuvant.


Arzneimittelforschung (1977 Jul) 27(7):1455-7Tariq M Ageel AM Al-Yahya MA Mossa JS Al-Said MS Parmar NS Anti-inflammatory activity of Commiphora molmol.


Agents Actions (1986 Jan) 17(3-4):381-2Tripathi YB Malhotra OP Tripathi SN Thyroid stimulating action of Z-guggulsterone obtained from Commiphoramukul.


Planta Med (1984 Feb) (1):78-80Verma SK Bordia A Effect of Commiphora mukul (gum guggulu) in patients of hyperlipidemia withspecial reference to HDL-cholesterol.


Indian J Med Res (1988 Apr) 87:356-60


Go to Herbal Materia Medica Homepage

David L. Hoffmann BSc Hons MNIMH Written by David L. Hoffmann BSc Hons MNIMH

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