Myrrh is the aromatic, gummy substance exuded by certain trees and shrubs growing in eastern Africa and Arabia. Essential oil is produced by steam distillation of the crude resin. There are ducts in the bark, and the tissue between them breaks down, forming large cavities, which, with the remaining ducts, becomes filled with a granular secretion which is freely discharged when the bark is wounded, or from natural fissures. It flows as a pale yellow liquid, but hardens to a reddish-brown mass, being found in commerce in tears of many sizes, the average being that of a walnut. The surface is rough and powdered, and the pieces are brittle, with a granular fracture, semi-transparent, oily, and often show whitish marks.
Myrrh essential oil, commiphora myrrha, has been useful for amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, menopause, uterine tumors, as it purges stagnant blood out of the uterus. Good for obesity and diabetes. Myrrh is commonly used in Chinese medicine for rheumatism, arthritis and circulatory problems. A direct emmenagogue, a tonic in dyspepsia, an expectorant in the absence of feverish symptoms, a stimulant to the mucous tissues, a stomach 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 indolent ulcers. It has been found helpful in bronchorrhoea and leucorrhoea. The oil, resinoid and tincture are used in pharmaceutical products including mouthwashes, gargles and toothpaste; also used in dentistry. The oil and resinoid are used as fixatives and fragrance components in soaps, detergents, cosmetics and perfumes, especially oriental types and heavy floral.
Myrrh essential oil, commiphora myrrha, blends well with the following essential oils frankincense, sandalwood, benzoin, oakmoss, cypress, juniperberry, mandarin, geranium, patchouli, thyme, mints, lavender, pine and spices.
Cautions - Any resins tend to be difficult to eliminate and can cause minor damage to the kidneys if taken internally over an extended period. Very high doses, taken over a long period of time can be dangerous. Do not exceed the recommended dose. Do not use if you are pregnant. Do not use if you have kidney disease, without first checking with the doctor. Myrrh is a uterine stimulant.
Properties - Alterative, analgesic, antifungal, antiseptic, astringent, carminative, emmenagogue, expectorant, antispasmodic, disinfectant, immune stimulant, circulatory stimulant, stomachic, tonic, vulnerary.