Myrrhenbaum: Uses, herbal medicine, Synonyms, Effects, and Side Effects

Myrrhenbaum: Uses, herbal medicine, Synonyms, Effects, and Side Effects

Myrrh is native to (north)east Africa to Arabia. The plant mainly comes from Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan, Yemen and Abyssinia. The drug is also imported from these countries.

Myrrh in herbal medicine

Myrrh gum is used in herbal medicine. This occurs spontaneously or after bark injury and then hardens in the air. Scratching the bark causes the resin to escape more quickly but simultaneously reduces its quality.


Myrrh: characteristics of the plant

Not all Commiphora species are suitable for the production of myrrh. The up to 3 m high shrubs and small trees with large, sharp thorns and hairless, toothed leaves are suitable. The leaves are usually in threes and arranged alternately.

The plant bears pink and yellow flowers arranged in terminal panicles and about 12 mm long, beaked fruits.

Myrrh resin as a medicine

Dried myrrh appears in irregularly rounded grains and lumps of various sizes. The colour of the lumps varies, ranging from dark brown to black-brown, dark orange, yellow and colourless.


smell and taste of myrrh

Myrrh exudes a tart, aromatic smell. The resin tastes bitter and scratchy and sticks to the teeth when chewed.

Myrrh tree – application

Myrrh is used locally for mild inflammation of the mouth and throat mucous membranes. Among other things, the plant relieves inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) and pressure points caused by wearing dentures.

In the case of throat inflammation ( pharyngitis ), accompanying symptoms such as a sore throat and difficulty swallowing can be treated with myrrh. The plant can also be taken to help treat tonsillitis.

Myrrh is also applied externally to treat minor skin infections, small wounds and abrasions.

Myrrh: Use in folk medicine

Traditionally, myrrh is suitable for supporting the function of the mucous membranes in the mouth and throat. Myrrh has been used in the Orient for healing wounds for a very long time. The Bible mentions myrrh as a precious natural substance, and so the resin is also used in ceremonies in the Catholic Church.

In modern folk medicine, the plant is sometimes used as a remedy for flatulence and to promote the ejection of bronchial secretions.


Homeopathic use of myrrh

In homoeopathy, gum resin from Commiphora molmol and other chemically similar Commiphora species is taken after treatment for the nervous system’s inflammatory and chronic diseases.

However, the areas of application need to be sufficiently documented.

ingredients of myrrh

Myrrh contains a complex mixture of polysaccharides, triterpenes, triterpenic acids and about 3-6% essential oil, rich in sesquiterpenes and furanosesquiterpenes. Proteins and carbohydrates also occur in the resin.


Myrrh: what indication?

Possible uses for myrrh are:

  • inflammation of the oral mucosa
  • Inflammation of the pharyngeal mucosa
  • Sore throat, pharyngitis
  • tonsillitis
  • Gingivitis, gingivitis
  • difficulties swallowing
  • Halsweh

Myrrh tree – dosage

Myrrh is only used in the form of tinctures. These are made in a maceration process from one part myrrh and five parts 90% ethanol. Furthermore, myrrh is a component of ointments, mouthwashes and dental care products. In some cases, the plant is also offered under the indication “inflammatory bowel diseases”.

Myrrh – what dose?

In the case of mouth and throat inflammatory diseases, the affected areas should be dabbed with the undiluted myrrh tincture 2-3 times a day. 5-10 drops of the tincture can be added to a glass of water for rinsing or gargling.


Myrrh: preparation and storage

There is no need to prepare tea because myrrh is not suitable for use in the form of tea.

Myrrh should be kept tightly closed, dry and protected from light.

Contraindications: when not to use myrrh?

Since there are no adequate studies on the use of myrrh tinctures during pregnancy and lactation and in children under 12 years of age, the tincture should not be taken by these groups of people.

Alcoholics should also avoid the tincture. Taking large amounts of myrrh tincture can lead to alcohol poisoning, especially in children, due to the ethanol it contains. 

Myrrhenbaum – Synonyme

German plant name: Myrrhe

German synonyms of the plant: True Myrrh, Myrrhenbaum, Somali-Myrrh, Myrrh

Latin plant name: Commiphora myrrh

Latin synonyms of the plant: Commiphora erythraea, Balsamodendron myrrha, Commiphora molmol, Balsamea Myrrha Engl., Balsamodendron Myrrha Nees v. Esenb., Balsamodendrum myrrha T. Nees, Commiphora mol-mol, Commiphora molmol, Commiphora Myrrha Engl.

German drug name: Myrrhe

German synonyms of the drug: exporter of Somali Myrrh, Myrrh Myrrh, Heerabol Myrrh, Male Myrrh, Red Myrrh

Latin drug name: Myrrh

Latin synonyms of the drug: True Myrrh, Gummi Myrrh, Gummiresina Myrrh

English name: Myrrh, Myrrh tree, Myrrhe, Abyssine myrrh, African myrrh, Balsamodendron myrrh, Beerabol myrrh, Bitter myrrh, Common myrrh, Gum myrrh, Heerabol myrrh, Hirabol myrrh, Male myrrh, Somali myrrh, True myrrh

Plant family Latin: Burseraceae

Plant family German: balsam tree plants


Myrrh tree – effect

It has been experimentally proven that various sesquiterpene fractions in myrrh have a protective effect on mucous membranes and a pain-relieving (analgesic) effect. For example, the plant has an antimicrobial effect against the intestinal pathogen E. coli, the fungus Candida albicans, and the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus, which are responsible for many diseases such as skin infections and pneumonia. In animal experiments, an anti-inflammatory and antipyretic effect could also be observed.

Myrrh: Possible side effects

A slight burning sensation and taste irritation may occur temporarily when using the undiluted tincture.

Interactions with other agents are currently not known when taking myrrh.

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