Introduction of Mo Yao:Myrrh or Myrrha.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵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.


Myrrha:herb photo 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.

 Commiphora myrrha Engl.:drawing of whole plant Botanical description: The Commiphora myrrha Engl., is a plant of the Buseraceae family (frankincense family) and Commiphora genus, it is commonly known as "Myrrh, Mo Yao, Bal, bol, bola, heerabol, gum myrrh, mo yao, myrrha", "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 tp about 3 meters high. Thick trunks are covered with numerous irregularly spiky coarse branches; bark is thin, smooth, exfoliated, pale orange-brown, grayish afterward. Leaves are scattered or clustered, single leaves or three compound leaves; leaflets are long ovate or oblanceolate, central part length is 7~18 mm, width 4~5 mm, far larger than the two sides, blunt, whole or the end is slightly serrated.

 Commiphora myrrha Engl.:growing tree Flowers are small, clustered on short shoots; the calyx is cup-shaped, persistent, with 4 blunt teeth; corolla is white, 4-numerous, oblong or linear-oblong, upright; 8 stamens, extending from short cupped disk margins, upright, unequal; ovary has 3 rooms, style is short, stigma is capitate.

  Drupe fruit shape is ovate, pointed, smooth, brown, exocarp is leathery, or fleshy. 1~3 seeds, but only one mature, and the rest are shrinking. It is flowering in the summer.

 Commiphora myrrha Engl.:growing tree Identification of character traits: the herb is irregularly granular or bonded into a mass, about 2.5 cm in diameter, smaller or larger. The surface is yellow-brown to reddish-brown or yellow-brown, with dull or sometimes matt portions and shiny portions. Bark and sawdust are sometimes present. The quality is crispy, the broken surface is granular and has an oil-like luster. The shattered flakes are bright or translucent. Smells fragrant and specific, extremely bitter taste, sticky teeth when chewing. The herb in large blocks, reddish browns, rich aromas, and fewer impurities are preferred.

 Ecological Environment: The Commiphora myrrha Engl., grows on a hillside with an elevation of 500~1,500 meters. Geographical distribution: This species is mainly distributed in Western Asia.

 Myrrh:herb photo Characters of herbs: The herb is irregularly granular or agglomerated into lumps, ranging in size, the diameter is from about 2.5 cm to more than 6 cm. The surface is yellow-brown to reddish-brown, or alternation of yellow and brown, covered with yellow dust, the semi-transparent part is brown-black, dull or sometimes dull part and shiny part are alternate. Sometimes with barks and sawdust. The texture of the herb is firm and crisp, the broken surface is granular, with oily luster, and the broken thin slice is bright or translucent. The herb has a specific aromatic fragrance, it tastes extremely bitter and slightly pungent, sticky to teeth when chewing. The herb of better grade is big, color brown-red, strong fragrance with less impurity.

 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): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Myrrha (Mò Yào)
TCM Books: 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 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. 3 compound leaves, clustered on short branches, long-stalked, smooth or shortly hairy, leaflets are obovate or oblong, apex is mucronate, or obtuse. 1 or 2 flowers protrude from the leaf cluster; 2 peduncles are in the middle of the pedicel. Drupe is ovate, slightly compressed, slightly raised on one side, short pod-like, 1-locule, hard skin, yellow; seeds are without endosperm.

 Ecological Environment: The Balsamodendron chrenbergianum Berg., grows at coastal areas on both sides of the Red Sea. Geographical distribution: This species is mainly produced from somalia, ethiopia and the southern part of the arabian peninsula. The best grade is normally from somalia.
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