Veterinarian Reviewed on April 30, 2011 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized
Myrrh Gum (Commiphora molmol)
Myrrh Gum is a woody shrub-like tree that does not grow too high and produces sap or resin. The scientific name for Myrrh Gum is Commiphora myrrha. It grows with a thick trunk and has branches with protruding spines. Its leaves have serrated edges and they grow in a bunch of three with two oval shaped small leaves and one larger leaf. It also produces flowers that are a yellowish red in color along with oval shaped brown fruits. It is the truck and stems of the Myrrh Gum plant that produces the thick and translucent resin that is the main part of traditional herbal medicines. And the same has been used for thousands of years throughout Asia and Africa.
History of Myrrh Gum
The Sap of the Myrrh Gum plant is of huge medicinal value and has been the source for treating many health problems for thousands of years. Other names for Myrrh Gum are guggal gum, didthin and mo yao. Myrrh Gum is a dry shrub and is found in deserted regions. It is also found in some areas of Ethiopia, Somalia, the eastern Mediterranean, the Arabic Peninsula etc.
Ancient Uses of Myrrh Gum
The word Myrrh means ‘bitter’ in Arabic and has been of medicinal value for over a thousand years. The ancient uses of Myrrh Gum include burning it as an incense to keep mosquitoes and flies away. It was also used for pain relief for a multitude of conditions, such as menstrual cycle pain and muscle inflammation due to aches and sprains. In some parts of Europe Myrrh Gum is used to treat painful mouth and throat infections, tooth and gum pain, as well as pains due to external injuries. Some ancient uses also include the Chinese people using Myrrh Gum to cure wounds as it works as an excellent antiseptic. And due to its anti-inflammatory properties Myrrh Gum was also popularly used to treat gastro-intestinal problems such as gastricitis and ulcers.
Modern Uses of Myrrh Gum
Myrrh Gum today is used for its broad spectrum antiseptic properties for different kinds of wounds and injuries. Its treatments also include various kinds of sores. It is also a popular veterinary ingredient as it helps to speed up the healing process in dogs, cats and horses. Its antiseptic properties also help to treat gingivitis, tooth problems and bad breath. It is also a very good herb to reduce cholesterol levels, fight off intestinal problems and treat colitis. Another important use of Myrrh Gum is to get rid of fungal infections such as athlete’s foot and its antimicrobial features help to stimulate microphage actions within the human body. Some other uses are treating respiratory disorders, treating dry skin conditions and curing infections.
Side Effects of Myrrh Gum
Myrrh Gum is known to have many benefits if it used properly and there are hardly any side effects at all from this herb. However, it is advisable for pregnant women and breast feeding mothers to discontinue its use due to its strong properties. Some prescription drugs may also interfere with the healing properties of Myrrh Gum hence it is advisable to consult a naturopathic doctor or herbalist before you start consuming it.
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan