Myrrh ~ مر مكي – Tibb-e-Nabawi

Myrrh ~ مر مكي

اللَّهُمَّ لَكَ الحَمْدُ حَمْداً دَائِماً معَ خُلودك، ولَكَ الحَمْدُ حَمْداً لا مُنتَهى لَهُ دُونَ مَشيئَتِكَ، ولكَ الحَمدُ حَمْداً دَائِماً لا يُريدُ قَائِلُهُ إلاّ رِضَاكَ، ولَكَ الحَمْدُ حَمْداً عِندَ كُلِّ طَرْفَةِ عَيْنٍ وتنفُّسِ كُلِّ نَفْس

Myrrh ~ مر مكي

روى أبو نعيم في الطب عن أبان بن صالح عن أنس – رضي الله تعالى عنه – أن رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – قال: (بخروا بيوتكم بالشيح والمر والصعتر) (حديث ضعيف) كنز العمال 28316

Narrated by Abu Nuaim on the authority of Abban Bin Saleh Bin Anas radi Allaho Anh, that Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam said : “Fumigate your houses with Mugwort, Myrrh & Thyme”. (Kanz-ul-Ummal) (Weak Hadith)

Apart from fumigation, all of the above 3 are edible as well & the combined army of these three will kill the germs, bacteria & other microbes / organisms in intestines Insha’Allah.

Myrrh is one of the resins praised by Tibb-e-Nabwi, & it is mostly used for fumigation, the fragrance of Myrrh will refresh every corner of your house. Another species of Myrrh is Guggulu (Commiphora mukul) which has similar properties, but Myrrh is more stronger.

When used internally, Myrrh is a powerful de-toxifier, lowers cholesterol & it stabilizes blood sugar levels. The sweet-smelling oleo-gum resin is alterative, analgesic, antibiotic, antiinflammatory, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral, astringent, bitter, carminative, diaphoretic, disinfectant, emetic (large doses) emmenagogue, expectorant, purgative (large doses), rejuvenative, sedative, stimulant, stomachic and tonic. In Unani medicines it is used in dysmenorrhoea and amenorrhoea, in chest infections and chronic bronchitis, asthma and phthisis for stimulating expectoration. It is also useful in dyspepsia and uterine infections. Powdered myrrh has been endorsed as a beneficial treatment for inflammations in the throat and mouth. Myrrh acts as a broad-spectrum antiseptic and can be applied directly to sores and wounds.

Taken internally, myrrh is a beneficial treatment for loose teeth, gingivitis, and bad breath. The tincture may also be applied directly to a tooth to relieve toothache. It is antifungal, and has been used to treat athlete’s foot and Candida. Some research indicates that myrrh is effective in reducing cholesterol levels. It is a tonic remedy said to relax smooth muscles, increase peristaltic action, and stimulate gastric secretions. The myrrh resin has antimicrobial properties and acts to stimulate macrophage activity in the blood stream. The herb is being studied for its potential as an anticancer medication. It is useful for relieving gastric distress and as an expectorant. Myrrh increases the motility of white blood cells and normalizes mucous membrane activity, which helps the body fight infection. It also promotes tissue granulation and combats blood stagnation.

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Small amounts of raw myrrh and frankincense taken internally stimulate the stomach and promote digestion, but in larger amounts they can be irritating to the stomach, so the raw material is used mainly for external applications and for low dosage forms, such as pills and capsules. To use the herbs internally at larger doses in decoctions, both myrrh and frankincense are often stir-fried (or baked), either in their original form or after being soaked in rice vinegar.

In the book Dui Yao: The Art of Combining Chinese Medicinals, the properties and uses of myrrh and frankincense, individually or in combination, are elaborated :

Point of Comparison Myrrh Frankincense
Properties neutral, bitter, draining warm, aromatic, acrid, moving
Main actions quickens the blood, breaks stasis moves blood and qi, quickens the blood
Secondary actions disperses swellings, stops pain soothes sinews, frees the flow of meridians
Usual dosage 3-10 grams in decoction 3-10 grams in decoction

When combined, they provide these properties:

“One tends to rectify the blood; the other to rectify the qi; When these two medicinals are combined together, they complement each other. Together, they effectively move the qi and quicken the blood, dispel stasis, free the flow of the viscera, bowels, and channels, quicken the network vessels, disperse swelling, stop pain, constrain weeping sores and engender flesh.”

The major indications for the combination of myrrh and frankincense are:

  1. Pain in the epigastrum, abdomen, hypochondria, and/or heart due to qi and blood stasis, and stagnation in the viscera and bowels or the channels (jing) and network vessels (luo).
  2. Amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, or postpartum abdominal pain due to blood stasis.
  3. Rheumatic complaints due to wind damp causing qi and blood stagnation and stasis in the network vessels.
  4. Wounds, scars, and skin inflammation with blood stasis and necrotic tissue.
  5. Traumatic injuries with pain, swelling, and redness due to qi stagnation and blood stasis.

Yang Yifan, in her book Chinese Herbal Medicines Comparisons and Characteristics, says:

Frankincense and myrrh are aromatic herbs. They are very bitter and pungent, and move quickly. They can strongly disperse congealed blood, and direct it to descend, open up the meridians and collaterals, and are very effective for relieving pain. The two herbs are often used together to enhance the therapeutic effect. In clinical practice, they are often applied to reduce pain and swelling in trauma, arthritis, and fractures.

Frankincense is warm and pungent, and enters the heart and lung meridians. Compared with myrrh, it promotes not only the blood circulation, but also the qi movement. It can also relax tendons. Frankincense is especially suitable for conditions where the joints and muscles are very stiff, swollen, and painful. It is also often used topically more than myrrh.

Myrrh is neutral and it enters the liver meridians. Compared with frankincense, it is more bitter and its dispersing action is also stronger. This herb is stronger than frankincense for breaking up congealed blood and is used not only in trauma and fracture, but also for hard masses, such as tumors.

Both of the herbs have a strong smell and may easily cause nausea and vomiting, and overdose may injure the stomach, so they are better used in pills and capsules. She has emphasized the strength of these herbs, and their ability to treat serious conditions, such as when joint and muscle pain is severe. Despite her comment that frankincense is used more often topically, myrrh is commonly used for local therapies such as in plasters, liniments, and herbal washes.

Dr. Jiao Shude, one of the most famous Chinese herb doctors of the 20th century, described the similarities and differences between the herbs and the value of combining the two:

Frankincense and myrrh both quicken the blood and relieve pain. However, frankincense moves qi to quicken the blood and also stretches the sinews, frees the channels, soothes the network vessels, and relieves pain. Myrrh, by contrast, dissipates stasis to quicken the blood and also disperses swelling and settles pain. The former tends to act on qi, while the latter acts on blood. When the two medicinals are used together, the benefits of each are mutually enhanced. Therefore, these two medicinals are almost always used together in clinical practice.

According to the Advanced Textbook of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Pharmacology, myrrh and frankincense are quite similar in their use internally. The authors say that both herbs regulate qi and blood, and that they are often used together, but “their difference lies in that frankincense can also ease the tendons and muscles, while myrrh is better at activating blood circulation and removing stasis.” The emphasis on the role of frankincense in regulating qi, mentioned by the other authors, is related to its more penetrating fragrance, a characteristic of many qi regulating herbs, such as saussurea, magnolia bark, and sandalwood. By contrast, myrrh has a restrained fragrance, but it has a more potent bitter taste that helps overcome blood stasis.


Nutriceuticals are natural products, or synthesized compounds that match natural products, prepared by enzymatic transformation that retains a natural quality, rather than simple chemical transformation. They are used as dietary or herbal supplements that have implied or explicitly proclaimed health benefits. The concept of a nutriceutical came from the idea that nutritional supplements, such as vitamins and minerals, could be used in place of pharmaceuticals in alleviating some ailments or, at the least, promoting the healthy function of the body. The substances in the nutriceutical category include beneficial compounds in foods that are not counted among the nutrients, as well as various herbs and herbal active components.

Both myrrh and frankincense have given rise to popular nutriceuticals: myrrh yields guggulsterones (named after the Indian myrrh: guggul) and frankincense yields boswellic acids (named after the botanical source Boswellia). In both cases, the original research and product development originated in India, as part of an ongoing effort to investigate and make more useful the tradition of Ayurvedic medicine. Much of the guggulsterone and boswellic acid currently used in manufacturing products comes from an American company-Sabinsa Corporation-founded by Dr. Muhammed Majeed. He was born in Kerala, India; after graduating in Pharmacy from Kerala University, Majeed emigrated to the U.S. in 1974, where he continued his graduate studies and then worked at pharmaceutical companies for 15 years. Then, in 1988, he founded Sabinsa Corporation. Soon after, in 1991, Majeed set up a research and development group at Bangalore, India called Sami Labs Ltd. That facility now has over 500 employees.

Guggulsterones are reputed to lower blood lipids, including cholesterol. The proposed mechanism, based on animal research, is that guggulsterone inhibits a gene in the nucleus of liver cells called the farnesoid X receptor (FXR). This receptor responds to bile acids and affects cholesterol absorption. It is possible that by inhibiting this receptor, intestinal cholesterol is less well absorbed and cholesterol in the liver is better excreted, lowering the serum cholesterol levels. In general, steroidal compounds in herbs, including common triterpene glycosides (saponins) and sterols, have been shown to have a beneficial effect on blood lipids. It remains to be determined whether guggulsterone is superior to other compounds found in plants. The standardized nutriceutical available for most manufacturing of products is 2.5% guggulsterones; preparations of 7.5% and of 10% guggulsterones are produced, but the high sterone products are soft and more difficult to use in manufacturing. The Sabinsa product is trademarked Gugulipid, and some authors confuse this name with the more general term guggulsterone.

Boswellic acids are reputed to have potent anti-inflammatory activity. Research has demonstrated an inhibition of the 5-LOX (lipoxygenase) system, involved in the enzymatic pathways that produce inflammatory molecules (leukotrienes and thromboxanes) from common fatty acids. Drug products that inhibit these enzymes are mainly used in the treatment of arthritis, though there are applications for other inflammatory diseases, such as asthma and ulcerative colitis. Further, 5-LOX inhibitors, including boswellic acid, are now being investigated for potential anticancer activity. The standardized boswellic acid preparations list their content as 50-70% boswellic acids, though it has been suggested that these are actually total organic acids from frankincense, with boswellic acids as the major component. The Sabinsa product is trademarked Boswellin, which should not be confused with the more general term boswellic acid. Both the guggulsterones and boswellic acids are used to manufacture numerous formulations, primarily for use in treating elevated blood lipids and arthralgia, respectively.