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What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

What is Myrrh?

Myrrh is the dried resin of the tree Commiphora myrrha. Native to Somalia and eastern Ethiopia, myrrh has a long history of traditional use in perfumes and incense. Additionally, it has perhaps an equally long history as a medicinal treatment, primarily for conditions of the mouth, such as canker sores , gum disease , halitosis, and sore throat .

Note: Commiphora myrrhais not the same plant as the similarly named Commiphora mukul. The latter is the source of guggulsterones, proposed for use in treating elevated cholesterol .

Modern herbalists continue to use myrrh for its traditional uses related to the mouth. In addition, it has been advocated for treatment of eczema and stomach ulcers . However, there is no meaningful scientific evidence that the herb provides any benefits when used for these or any other purposes.

Beginning in 2001, a pharmaceutical-grade myrrh product known as Mirazid was marketed for treatment of the disease schistosomiasis. Caused by a type of flatworm, schistosomiasis is common in Africa as well as parts of Asia and South America. It is a seriously debilitating illness, and considerable attention has been devoted to addressing it. China, for example, eliminated the illness within its borders by means of a massive countrywide effort involving much of the country’s human...

Safety Issues

In studies of myrrh for treatment of schistosomiasis, no significant side effects were identified. However, comprehensive safety studies have not been performed. Maximum safe doses in pregnant or nursing women, or people with severe liver of kidney disease have not been determined.