New aspects of Myrrh in Iranian Traditional Medicine


Yalda Shokoohinia and Majid Shakeri


Traditional & Complementary Medicine Exhibition 2007 (TCME 2007), Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia




Myrrh, Iranian traditional medicine, Commiphora


Myrrh as a safe potent drug has the capacity to be used in many medical cases. Although there are some pharmacological and chemical supports for the drug use but there are many important virgin applications of the drug cited in Iranian rich traditional medical books, which are not tested, yet. Safety of drug encouraged us to elucidate and introduce these new applications. Gharrabadin-kabir, Ghanun and Al-havi are some of the books reviewed here. Myrrh is the oleogumresin of certain Commiphora species (Burseraceae). It has been cited in almost important ancient medical literature of Iran. It was used in religious rituals and as flavoring and incense, too. Wounds: The drug was stated to promote the generations of new tissues. The astringency of the drug which does not irritate the mucous (unlike some others) and being antiseptic and antifungal, gives the drug ability to heal wounds and abrasions completely and not let the scars to remain. Furunculosisand warts are important uses not tested, yet. Buccal cavity and oropharinx: Myrrh is used for aphtous ulcers, gingivitis and pharingitis but as a powder it was proposed to use with vinegar for relieve of bad smell of mouth and nose to relieve nasal congestion in common cold. Eyes: Poultice of myrrh has been used for eyelid inflammation, trachoma, cataract and to relieve turbidity in sight. Periodic fevers: The use of myrrh in periodic fevers and chills is an effect which can be referred to antimalarial effects which are not tested yet. Asthma: Myrrh as powder in snuffing and smoking form has been used for bronchial complaints and even septic ones and to relieve roughness of sound. Uterus bleeding: Making the uterus clean from clotted blood and even abortion-stimulating, myrrh has been used in female reproductive system complaints. The use of drug in acute inflammation  of spleen and hernia are of sporadic applications reported yet. Medical applications of myrrh (a safe drug) which are not reported before, can be extrapolated to new medical uses. Eye delivery of drug is important to notice. Tuberculosis, malaria, hepatitis, cancers, vitiligo and convulsions remains to be tested. Contradictions mentioned in Ghanun have not been reported in any new paper or book, yet. Well-designed clinical studies of myrrh are lacking, too.