Commiphora molmol

 

Commiphora molmol

[span class=alert]In regards to the Traditional Use and Therapeutic Action sections of Essential Oils, the oils are rated as is standard practice in the French school of aromatherapy and others. The ratings ranked from one (+) to four (++++) with four indicating the highest value, indicate the oil’s therapeutic value from a practicing clinician’s point of view. The French rating system mentioned are obtained from this book reference entitle ‘Les Cahiers Pratiques D'Aromatherapie Selon L'Ecole Francaise’ (Authors: Francine Baudry, Pascal Debauche & Dominique Baudoux). However, further clarification might be required and will be updated once additional information of the rating system is obtained.[/span]

Family Name

Burseraceae

Genus Name

Commiphora 

Vernacular Name

Myrrh, molmol, somali myrrh, commiphora, guggal gum oil

Original Habitat

Found in areas such as Ethiopia and Somalia, Myrrh can be traced back to the Arabian Peninsular.[1] It has been associated with countries such as Yemen, Oman, and Egypt.[2] The myrrh shrub is very spiny and reaches upwards to 4 metres. The bark is whitish, silver or blue-grey. This bark peels, and reveals the green under bark which contains the resin. This resin is hard, translucent and yellowish in colour.[3]

Plant Part Used

Oleoresin from the stem and branches

Formulation

The essential oil of C. molmol is found in some dental hygiene products, skin care products, topical antibacterial ointments, foods, beverages and as a fragrance in perfumes, lotions and creams. It is also used as single oil and in formulations in therapeutic aromatherapy.

Description

Myrrh oil is obtained by steam distillation of the gum oleoresin and presents in a light brown/greenish liquid.[4] The oil itself is too thick to pour so it is often mixed with a solvent at 25%. Its fragrance is deep, sweet, warm and spicy.

Chemical Constituents

Sesquiterpenes: Delta and beta elemenes (30%)
Alpha copaene (10%)
Monoterpene hydrocarbons: Furanic composites (5%)
Ketones, aldehydes [2][4]

Medicinal Uses

Anti-inflammatory, vulnerary, cicatrizing +++
Stimulant, energizer ++
Antibacterial, antiviral ++
Parasiticidal +++

Anticarcinogenic- Using tumour-bearing mice, researchers looked at the cytitixic potential of C. molmol in cancer. The oleoresin in dosages of 250 mg and 500 mg per kg/day had cytotoxic activity against Ehrlich solid tumour cells. The researchers stated that more studies are needed to develop possible cancer therapies.[5] A similar study found that treatment with 125-500 mg/kg also showed anticarcinogenic properties in mice as a result of the antioxidant, cytotoxic and nonmutagentic potential.[6] Although human studies are greatly needed, Commiphora shows promise in the future treatment of cancer.

Antibacterial- Terpenes derived from the oleoresin of C. molmol exhibited displayed potentiation of ciprofloxacin and tetracycline against S. aureus, several Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium strains and two K. pneumoniae strains.[7]

Anti-inflammatory- Pre-clinical studies have demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects of C. molmol in both acute and chronic inflammation.[8]

Antithrombic- When compared to five other Egyptian herbs, Commiphora exhibited the greatest antithrombic activity in an experimental setting.[9]

A review of properties of Myrrh identified various properties that warrant further investigation such as anesthetic, antiseptic and anti-tumour.[2]

Traditional Use

Dermatosis and ulcerative wounds ++
Viral, bacterial, parasitic, intestinal and hepatic infections +++

Parasiticidal- Many studies have been published on a proprietary product produced in Egypt that has been shown to be protective against schistosomes,[10][11] and to treat fascioliasis.[12][13] This drug was also found to be effective for the treatment of heterophyidiasis.[14]

In a small human study, Myrrh as Mirazid was given to patients before breakfast on six consecutive days to evaluate its efficacy against Dicrocoeliasis dendriticum, a zoonotic helminthic disease. At the end of the six days all patients examined demonstrated 100% clear of the microbe, a finding confirmed again after two months.[15]

Myrrh acts as an astringent to mucous membranes of the mouth and throat and is therefore used as mouthwash and gargle for oral hygiene purposes.

Clinical studies on Myrrh essential oil are lacking. Studies of an extract of Commiphora molmol which focus on the effects of guggulipids are not applicable to Myrrh essential oils.

Contraindications and Precautions

Allowed only for topical and inhalation use in France.

Not to be used by pregnant or nursing women as it is thought to be an emmenagogue or uterine stimulant.[16]

 

 

[span class=alert]Keep out of reach of children as oils are highly concentrated.Essential oils are irritating to the eyes.  Avoid contact with eye area.Always dilute essential oils with carrier oil, lotion, cream or gel even when using in diffuser or bath.Essential oils are sometimes prescribed to be used internally, but should only be used internally under professional supervision.[/span]

Read More

  1) Western Herb

References

  1. Al-Mathal EM. Commiphora molmol in human welfare (review article). J Egypt Soc Parasitol. Aug2007;37(2):449-468.
  2. Tonkal AM. An update review on Commiphora molmol and related species. J Egypt Soc Parasitol. Dec2008;38(3):763-796.
  3. World AgroForestry Centre. AgroForestryTree Database. Commiphora myrrha. Available at : http://www.worldagroforestrycentre.org/sea/products/afdbases/af/asp/SpeciesInfo.asp?SpID=17990. Accessed 20 February 2009.
  4. Bauer K, Garbe D, Surburg H. Common fragrance and flavor materials: preparation, properties and uses. German y: Wiley VCH; 1997.
  5. al-Harbi MM. Anticarcinogenic effect of Commiphora molmol on solid tumors induced by Ehrlich carcinoma cells in mice. Chemotherapy. Sep-Oct1994;40(5):337-347.
  6. Qureshi S. Evaluation of the genotoxic, cytotoxic, and antitumor properties of Commiphora molmol using normal and Ehrlich ascites carcinoma cell-bearing Swiss albino mice. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 1993;33(2):130-138.
  7. Rahman MM. Antibacterial terpenes from the oleo-resin of Commiphora molmol (Engl.). Phytother Res. Oct2008;22(10):1356-1360.
  8. Atta AH. Anti-nociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of some Jordanian medicinal plant extracts. J Ethnopharmacol. Mar1998;60(2):117-124.
  9. Olajide OA. Investigation of the effects of selected medicinal plants on experimental thrombosis. Phytother Res. May1999;13(3):231-232.
  10. Massoud AM. Light microscopic study of the effect of new antischistosmal drug (myrrh extract) on the liver of mice. J Egypt Soc Parasitol. Dec2005;35(3):971-988.
  11. Sheir Z. A safe, effective, herbal antischistosomal therapy derived from myrrh. Am J Trop Med Hyg. Dec2001;65(6):700-704.
  12. Massoud A. Preliminary study of therapeutic efficacy of a new fasciolicidal drug derived from Commiphora molmol (myrrh). Am J Trop Med Hyg. Aug2001;65(2):96-99.
  13. Hamed MA. Efficacy of Citrus reticulata and Mirazid in treatment of Schistosoma mansoni. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. Nov2005;100(7):771-778.
  14. Fathy FM. Effect of Mirazid (Commiphora molmol) on experimental heterophyidiasis. J Egypt Soc Parasitol. Dec2005;35(3):1037-1050.
  15. Al-Mathal EM. Myrrh (Commiphora molmol) in treatment of human and sheep dicrocoeliasis dendriticum in Saudi Arabia. J Egypt Soc Parasitol. Aug2004;34(2):713-720.
  16. McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A. Botanical safety handbook.  American Herbal Products Association: CRC Press; 1997.