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Myrrh is a resin that comes from trees belonging to the genus Commiphora - which grow in Northern Africa and the Middle East.
The sap like substance, which has a unique sweet and smoky aroma, has a wide range of uses.
Myrrh is mainly used:
The essential oil has been part of medical practice in traditional therapies for millennia.
The word myrrh comes from the Arabic word "murr" which translates into "bitter".
Myrrh is mentioned in the New Testament as one of the three gifts the three wise men brought to Jesus when he was born (Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh).
Modern scientific research is beginning to find evidence suggesting that Myrrh may offer some health benefits. However, it is important to note that many of these claims require further studies.
Possible benefits of myrrh include:
Antioxidant benefits - a study published in the prestigious journal Food and Chemical Toxicology found that myrrh (Commiphora molmol) emulsion was able to protect against lead (PbAc)-induced hepatotoxicity.
The authors of the study concluded that myrrh (Commiphora molmol) emulsion is a "powerful antioxidant" that can "protect against PbAc-induced hepatic oxidative damage and immunotoxicity by reducing lipid peroxidation and enhancing the antioxidant and immune defense mechanisms."1
Anticancer properties - a group of Chinese researchers revealed that extracts and compounds from Commiphora myrrha resin may be effective against human gynecologic cancer cells.2 Their findings were published in the Journal of Medicinal Plants Research.
Despite a current lack of scientific evidence, many people use myrrh for treating:
People are advised not to consume high amounts of myrrh as it can potentially cause severe heart irregularities, according to a study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research3.
In addition, people who have sensitive skin may develop allergic contact dermatitis. The finding was reported in a study published in Contact Dermatitis.4
Women who are pregnant should avoid taking myrrh by mouth as it may be a cause of miscarriage.
Side effects of Myrrh may include:
Written by Joseph Nordqvist
Copyright: Medical News Today
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Nordqvist, Joseph. "What is myrrh used for? What are the benefits of myrrh?." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 10 Oct. 2013. Web.
9 Dec. 2013. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/267107>
Nordqvist, J. (2013, October 10). "What is myrrh used for? What are the benefits of myrrh?." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
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