Myrrh

(Commiphora myrrha)
Myrrh is the resinous secretion of a small desert tree found in Africa and the Middle East. It has been used for thousands of years for its purifying properties, both as an incense and as an herbal remedy for internal and external infections. Myrrh has a fiery, invigorating effect on the blood, supporting clear, uninhibited blood flow to the entire body, increasing oxygenation to the cells and improving overall metabolic function.

Family: Burseraceae

Names: Guggulu, Myrrh, Mirra

Parts Used: gum resin

Energetics: bitter, pungent, warming, drying

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

Uses: Myrrh is directly anti-microbial, making it useful for relieving bacterial or fungal infections, both topically and internally. It also stimulates the production of white blood cells, strengthening the body’s ability to fight pathogens. Use myrrh as a mouthwash for ulcers, gingivitis, or as a gargle for laryngitis or strep throat. The astringent and vulnerary actions helps speed up the healing of tissues, making it doubly useful as a wound-healing herb. Externally apply to wounds and abrasions as an antiseptic and Internally, it can be useful in treating intestinal candida overgrowth, boils, staph, bronchitis, and the common cold.

Another species of myrrh called Guggul (Commiphora mukul-burseaceae), is known for its detoxifying properties. Like all resins, it is warming, bitter, and antimicrobial. All species of myrrh help to move the blood and to cleanse the blood of toxins. One of my Ayurvedic teachers described Myrrh as having as a scraping action. Imagine a tiny scraper clearing all excess debris from your blood vessels and joints. All myrrhs have this action and can be used to lower moderately lower cholesterol levels, enhance circulation and relieve stagnation in the joints.

As a warming, bitter & detoxifying plant, myrrh can also be useful in obesity by stimulating digestive secretion, improving blood flow, and eliminating toxic build-up that slows down metabolic functions (i.e. insulin receptivity), thereby improving cellular respiration & metabolism. In Ayurveda, these warming and clearing resins are said to “burn up” ama or toxins. Think of it as helping your metabolic fire to burn nice and hot, preventing creosote build-up in your pipes.

Myrrh also has a reputation for purifying space, creating a sacred atmosphere, and focusing the mind. Burn the pure resin, mix it in with other herbs to make an incense blend, or add the essential oil to a spray bottle to evoke myrrh’s aromatic properties.

Indications: arthritis, high cholesterol, obesity, hyperglycemia, blood stagnation due to injury or toxic accumulation, would-healing, bacterial and fungal infections, gangrene, boils, ulcerated mucosa in the GI tract, vaginitis due to candida, pelvic stagnation leading to amenorrhea, atonic uterine tissue, uterine tumors or infertility, sore throats, bad breath, canker sores, bleeding gums, respiratory infections accompanied by profuse mucus secretion, and creating sacred space for ceremony (as incense)

Dosage: Tincture: take 1-4 ml three times a day. Externally, use undiluted tincture on the skin 2-3 times a day.

Contraindications: Theoretically, myrrh may interfere with antidiabetic therapy, since hypoglycemic properties have been documented. The essential oil can be irritating to the skin and mucosa. Always dilute your essential oils. We don’t recommend using essential oils internally, regardless of purity/quality claims. They all have the potential to disrupt your microbiome.

Resources:
Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine by David Hoffman, FNIMH (2003)
The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine by Dr. David Frawley & Dr. Vasant Lad (1986)
Herbal Therapeutics: Specific Indications for Herbs and Herbal Formulas by David Winston (2014)
The Earthwise Herbal: A Complete Guide to Old World Medicinal Plants by Matthew Wood (2008)

**This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease**

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