✵The article gives records of the herb Myrrh, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source 2 plant species, ①.Commiphora myrrha Engl., ②.Balsamodendron chrenbergianum Berg., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of these two plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of these two plant species, the features of the herb Myrrh, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.
Pin Yin Name: Mò Yào.
English Name: Myrrh.
Latin Name: Myrrha.
Property and flavor: neutral in nature, bitter.
Brief introduction: The herb Myrrha is the gum-resin obtained from the stem of Commphora molmol Engler and probably other species, used in the relief of pain and swelling in cases of traumatic injury. The herb is commonly known as Myrrha, Myrrh, Mò Yào.
Botanical source: Common herbal classics defined the herb Myrrh (Mo Yao) as the oleo-gum-resin of the Buseraceae family (frankincense family) Commiphora genus plant species (1). Commiphora myrrha Engl., and (2).Other species of the same genus., or (2). Balsamodendron chrenbergianum Berg. These 2 commonly used species are introduced:
(1).Commiphora myrrha Engl.
Botanical description: The plant, Commiphora myrrha Engl., is a plant of the Buseraceae family (frankincense family) and Commiphora genus, is also known as Commiphora molmol Engl., it is commonly known as Myrrh, Mo Yao, Bal, bol, bola, heerabol, gum myrrh, mo yao, myrrha, and Commiphora molmol is now considered as a synonym of Commiphora myrrha, but also might be a specific name for the tree of "african myrrh, or somali myrrh", it is low shrubs or trees, the tree grows up to about 3 meters high. Thick trunks are covered with numerous irregularly spiny pointed thick branches; bark is thin, smooth, in small flakes, and is exfoliated, pale orange-brown, and later turns grayish. Leaves are scattered or tufty, simple leaf or trifoliolate leaf; lobules (leaflets) are inverted ovate-oblong or oblanceolate, central lobule is 7~18 mm long, 4~5 mm wide, or up to 8 mm wide, far bigger than the pair of ambilateral lobules, the tip is blunt, entire or the end is slightly serrated.
Flowers are small, grow in tufts on short shoots; the calyx is cyathiform (cuplike), persistent, with 4 blunt teeth; corolla is white, 4 corolla lobes, oblong or linear-oblong, upright; 8 stamens, stretching out from the edge of short cup-shaped floral disc, upright, unequal length; ovary is 3-loculed, style is short and thick, stigma is capitate.
Drupes (drupe fruits) shape is oval (egg-shaped), the tip is pointed, smooth, and brown, epicarp is coriaceous, or pulpose. 1~3 seeds, but only one seed turns mature, and the rest seeds become atrophied. It is flowering in the summer.
Ecological Environment: Commiphora myrrha Engl., grows on hilly land, in areas at altitudes of 500~1,500 meters above sea level. This species is mainly distributed in Western Asia.
Characters of herbs: The herb is irregularly granular (graininess) or agglomerated into blocks and lumps, ranging in size, the diameter is from about 2.5 cm to more than 6 cm. The surface is yellowish-brown to reddish brown, or alternation of yellow and brown, covered with yellow dust, the semi-transparent part is brownish-black, dull or sometimes the dull part and glossy part are alternate. Sometimes it is mingled with barks and sawdust. The texture of the herb is firm and crisp, the broken surface is granular, with oily luster, and when it is broken, the thin slices are luminous or translucent. The herb has a specific aromatic fragrance, it tastes extremely bitter and slightly pungent, sticky to teeth when chewing. The herb of a better grade is big, brown-red, strong fragrance with fewer impurities.
Pharmacological actions: ①.inhibitory effect on various pathomycetes; ②.reduce the blood cholesterol level; ③.astringent effect on mucous membranes and can be used for oral and pharyngeal ulcers.
Medicinal efficacy: Disperse blood stasis, relieve pain, reduce swelling and promoting granulation (promote tissue regeneration). It is indicated for thoracic obstruction and heart pain, epigastric pain, abdominal pain, chest and abdominal stagnant pain, dysmenorrhea (abdominal pain after menstruation), amenorrhea, postpartum blood stasis, abdominal mass and abdominal pain, rheumatism pain, acute appendicitis (periappendicular abscess), nebula (slight corneal opacity), red eye and swelling pain, traumatic injury, incised (metal-inflicted) wound, anal fistula, carbuncle swelling and sore ulcer.
Administration of Myrrha (Mò Yào):
Administration Guide of Myrrha (Mò Yào)
①.Internally: 3~5 grams, prepared and deoil, prepare to pill, powder; ②.Internally:water decoction, 1~3 qian (about 3~9 grams), or prepare to pill, powder. Externally:prepare to finely ground herb powder and apply stick; ③.Internally:water decoction, 3~10 grams, or prepared to pill, powder. Externally:proper amount, prepare to finely ground herb powder and apply stick.
Contraindications, Precautions and Adverse Reactions:the herb Myrrha should be used cautiously during pregnancy or weakness of stomach, or should forbidden using during pregnancy. Should better not be used in conditions lochia discharged much after childbirth and deficiency pain in abdomen. Should better not be used in conditions red eyes(hot eyes) or mild nebula not due to blood heat.
(2).Balsamodendron chrenbergianum Berg.
Botanical description: The plant, Balsamodendron chrenbergianum Berg., is a plant of the Buseraceae family (frankincense family) and Commiphora genus, it is commonly known as Ailunbao Mo Yao, small-shaped stingless trees or shrubs. Trifoliolate leaves are tufty and grow on short branches, long-stalked, smooth, or pubescent, lobules (leaflets) are obovate or oblong, the apex is mucronate, or obtuse. 1 or 2 flowers protrude from the leaf cluster; 2 peduncles are in the middle of the pedicel. Drupes (drupe fruits) are oval (egg-shaped), slightly flattened, slightly protuberant on one side, short podiform (podlike), 1 loculus, hard skin, yellow; seeds have no endosperm.
Ecological Environment: Balsamodendron chrenbergianum Berg., grows in coastal areas on both sides of the Red Sea. This species is mainly produced in somalia, ethiopia, and the southern part of the arabian peninsula. The best grade is normally from somalia.