HERBS

MYRRH GUM

Myrrh gum is beneficial in many ways to human health. It is used in traditional medicine such as Ayurveda of India and Chinese herbal medicine and is also being acknowledged in modern medicine.
Myrrh gum is gum obtained from the Commiphora species of trees. These trees are native to African countries such as Ethiopia, Somalia and also a few countries in Asia. In earlier times myrrh was an exotic product used in incenses and perfumes made in the Middle East and was one of the key ingredients used in embalming mummies. Myrrh is like a secondary metabolite that is released from resin ducts of the barks of trees when they are cut on purpose or by accident. Once this gum is released from the barks while tapping, it hardens to form globules called ‘tears’ which are then collected. Myrrh has various uses in the field of medicine, which are mentioned below.
Properties of Myrrh Gum
This gum is a secondary metabolite of trees. It is bitter in taste and has an aromatic fragrance. It has an intense dark color. It also has antimicrobial and antiseptic properties. It consists of 25 to 40 percent of resin an around 60 percent of gum. When myrrh is subjected to double distillation for extracting essential oils, it is found to have organic compounds such as aldehydes and also phenolic compounds which are highly corrosive.
Health Benefits
Myrrh gum is used in many dental products, perfumes and also as a protective agent in pharmaceuticals. Frankincense and myrrh have the same application in the cosmetics industry. The blend of the gum and the resin has bestowed it with a lot of medicinal properties.
The following are its various uses which have a biological significance.
The basic use of myrrh is in the treatment of oral problems such as gingivitis, mouth ulcers, pyorrhea. It is also known to prevent tooth decay because of its antibacterial properties.
It is an anti-aging agent that quenches free radicals generated in the body.
The resins in the gum have a property to bind lipids. These bind the low density lipids and reduce the blood cholesterol in the body. Thus preventing fat depostion that may cause plaques and lead to certain cardiac problems.
The gum has been shown to enhance the production of white blood corpuscles, thus it boosts the immune system.
It has also been used in the treatment of laryngitis and other respiratory problems. It is also effective in the treatment of common cold.
It is an excellent detoxifying agent that is it would definitely help in the functioning of the liver. (This does not imply that it can be used in the treatment of liver disorders).
It helps in the treatment of wound healing by preventing infections on cuts and wounds.
Myrrh oil is also said to have a relaxing effect on the body which calms down the nerves
Available Formulations
Formulations of this gum are available in various forms. The most popular formulation is the powder. This form is generally used as an anti-inflammatory to treat inflammation of mucous membranes mostly mouth infections such as mouth ulcers. Herbal tonics of this gum are also available as antibacterial mouthwashes. The powder is mostly for topical use.
Recommended Dosage
The dosage is different for each formulation. A mouthwash is usually diluted with water. The powder is used as a pinch and is to be applied orally 3 times a day.
Precautions
It is recommended that products containing myrrh gum should not be used during pregnancy. Higher than recommended doses may affect the kidneys and cause sever stomach pain.
A 5 percent or less dose is advised only in conjunction with other herbs.

This was all about uses of this gum. It is quite a miracle drug and has a range of applications, but for now it is widely used in oral hygiene products.

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