Parts Used & Where Grown
Myrrh grows as a shrub in desert regions, particularly in northeastern Africa and the Middle East. The resin obtained from the stems is used in medicinal preparations.
How It Works
The three main constituents of myrrh are the resin, the gum, and the volatile oil. All are thought to be important in myrrh’s activity as an herbal medicine. The resin has reportedly been shown to kill various microbes and to stimulate macrophages (a type of white blood cell) in test tube studies.1 Myrrh also has astringent properties and has a soothing effect on inflamed tissues in the mouth and throat. Studies continue on the potential anticancer and pain-relieving actions of myrrh resin.2,3 Human clinical trials are lacking to confirm most uses of myrrh.
In a preliminary trial, patients with schistosomiasis (a parasitic infection) were treated with a combination of resin and volatile oil of myrrh, in the amount of 10 mg per 2.2 pounds of body weight per day for three days. The cure rate was 91.7% and, of those who did not respond, 76.5% were cured by a second six-day course of treatment, increasing the overall cure rate to 98.1%.4