Myrrh Gum Resin

Myrrh which is used for medicinal purpose and commonly known as Bol, Hirabola, heerabol, hirabol myrrh, Abyssinian myrrh, common myrrh, gum myrrh tree, gummi myrrh or Myrrh is the pieces of brownish-yellow sticky mass of the tree Commiphora myrrha. It is the resin that comes out of the secretory tissue in the bark of the Commiphora plant when it is get damaged or incised. This resin is sticky, insoluble in water but dissolves in alcohol. The resin hardens shortly after the secretion and can be liquefied again after heating.

Hirabola is used for medicinal purpose throughout India, Middle East, Tibet, China and. It is native to eastern Mediterranean countries and Somalia and used in African countries from ancient times. In India, it is mainly imported from Persia or Saudi Arabia.

Myrrh is used either alone or with other medicinal herbs both internally and externally. It constricts mucous membrane of mouth and used as a gargle treat oral problems. Myrrh is also used topically in the treatment of skin diseases, infections and wounds due to its antimicrobial action.

Myrrh is used as folk medicine to treat infections, respiratory conditions, mouth ulcers, gingivitis, pharyngitis, respiratory catarrh, dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, menopausal symptoms, wounds and hemorrhoids. It has also been used to treat arthritis.

Myrrh shows beneficial effects in Fascioliasis (parasitic infection caused by two species of parasitic flatworms or trematodes, typically by Fasciola hepatica, which is also known as “the common the liver fluke” or “the sheep the liver fluke). Fascioliasis is found all over the world and especially in regions where sheep or cattle are reared. The infection reaches to people by eating raw watercress or other water plants contaminated with immature parasite larvae. The immature larval flukes goes through the intestinal wall, the abdominal cavity, and the liver tissue, into the bile ducts, where they develop into mature adult flukes, which produce eggs. Maturing results in the obstruction of bile ducts and causes biliary tract obstruction and the liver damage.

In one small study, seven infected patients were treated with myrrh (1.2 gram/day for 6 days). After treatment, all symptoms and signs were cured and tests shown a dramatic drop in egg count and the eggs were no longer detected 3 weeks after the treatment. Also high-eosinophil counts elevated the liver enzymes and Fasciola antibody titres returned to normal.

Various animal studies, clinical trials and field studies, concludes that myrrh is an excellent fasciolicidal drug free of side effects.

General Information
Plant Description: Myrrh is native of arid and alpine habitats in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Oman and Yemen. It is small, thick-stemmed tree or shrub with a succulent trunk and spine-like twigs.
Stem: Tree with somewhat thick trunk and spreading branches.
Leaves: Small and sparse, generally single and grey-green, oval-shaped and trifoliate, but variable in size and shape. Leaf terminate in an acute point.
Bark: Silver, papery and peeling, with green bark underneath.
Fruits: Tiny and brown, with a smooth, oval shape.
Resin: Damaging or incising the stem produces a pale yellow, oily resin.
It has aromatic bitter and acrid taste and warm, smoky scent. It turns reddish and dusty upon hardening. The size can vary from small grains up to pieces as large as an egg. It reddish brown with dusty dull surface, moist and unctuous. On breaking resin exhibit a rough or waxy fracture. Fractured translucent surface displays characteristic whitish marks.

It dissolves in alcohol, leaving angular non-crystalline particles of gum and fragments of bark.

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