Gum resin, essential oil.
Although scientists as well as physicians have established the astringent, antiseptic as well as the anti-microbial properties of myrrh, research into the medical actions of the herb so far cannot be said have been adequate. Since myrrh is not soluble in water, the herb cannot be used to prepare an infusion. Hence, it is usually consumed as a powder or tincture. Another important thing to remember is that myrrh also cannot be easily soaked in by the intestines and hence it is generally used externally like gargles to treat sore and inflamed throats. Myrrh holds a place of importance in Ayurvedic medicine too. Ayurvedic medicine practitioners recommend myrrh as a tonic and also as an aphrodisiac (a substance that stimulates sexual urge). In addition, they use the myrrh to purify the blood from toxic substances. It may be noted here that myrrh is also reputed to possess properties that enhances mental power. In India as well as in the Middle East, the herb is also used to treat problems of the mouth, gum, throat and the digestive system. Myrrh is also beneficial for curing irregular and excruciating menstruation. Herbal medicine practitioners worldwide have now accepted that myrrh is one of the most effectual medicines in the world to cure aching throats, canker sores and gingivitis (infections in the gum around the tooth). The tincture prepared with myrrh may be diluted with water to be used as a gargle to aid in combating infections and inflammations as well as make tighter the exaggerated tissues. When applied externally, myrrh's astringent (a substance that pulls tissues closer) and antiseptic properties help in treating acne and boils. It is also beneficial for treating inflammatory skin problems. In Germany, physicians use myrrh to treat pressure sores caused due prosthetic or artificial limbs owing to the herb's dehydrating and mild pain killing properties.
The myrrh has its origin in the northeastern parts of Africa, particularly Somalia. However, over the years, myrrh is presently found in other countries like India, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Iran and even Thailand. Myrrh grows naturally in dense undergrowths or thickets and thrives well where the drainage of the soil sound and prefers ample sunlight. Normally, myrrh propagates from the plant's seeds during spring. However, it also grows from the plant's cuttings at the fag end of the budding period. The semi solid substance secreted by the cut branches of myrrh is collected and dehydrated for use.
Myrrh as well its extracts can be taken in tincture form. Even capsules containing myrrh extracts are available in the drug stores now. Normally, the tincture prepared with myrrh is taken in quantities of one to two ml thrice daily. The tincture may also be applied externally to alleviate painful canker sores as well as to treat athlete's foot. It is not possible to prepare tea with myrrh owing to its sticky characteristic. Herbal practitioners also recommend usage of capsules containing one gram of myrrh resin thrice daily.
Myrrh is said to be a safe medication and so far there has been no complaints regarding adverse affects following the use of the herb.
Myrrh is basically a useful herb and has various applications. The herb can be used as tincture, capsules, gargle or mouthwash, douche, powder, essential oils as well as a chest rub.