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Commiphora molmol


Commiphora molmol


No documentation

Vernacular Name

Myrrh, molmol, somali myrrh, commiphora  


Commiphora molmol has an unmistakable earthy aroma. C. molmol has been used for thousands of years and was popularly used for embalming. Other uses include incense, perfume, toothpastes and other toiletries. Its value in ancient cultures is evident in the fact that it was used with great reverence.

C. molmol shrub is very spiny and reaches upwards to 4m. 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 color. [1]

Origin / Habitat

Found in areas such as Ethiopia and Somalia, C. molmol can be traced back to the Arabian Peninsula.[2] It has been associated with countries such as Yemen, Oman, and Egypt.[3]

Chemical Constituents

Sesquiterpenes: delta and beta elemenes; Alpha copaene; Monoterpene hydrocarbons: furanic composites; Ketones, aldehydes.[3],[4]

Plant Part Used

Oleoresin from the stem and branches.

Medicinal Uses


Anti-inflammatory, vulnerary, cicatrizing

Stimulant, energizer

Antibacterial, antiviral





Most Frequently Reported Uses

Anti-inflammatory, vulnerary, cicatrizing

Stimulant, energizer

Antibacterial, antiviral


Powder:  200-1000mg daily

Tincture: from 20 drops to 2 fluid drachms

5-10 drops daily



Using tumor-bearing mice, researchers looked at the cytotoxic potential of C. molmol in cancer. The oleoresin in dosages of 250mg and 500mg per kg/day had cytotoxic activity against Ehrlich solid tumor cells. The researchers stated that more studies are needed to develop possible cancer therapies.[5] A similar study found that treatment with 125-500mg/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.

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.

Pre-clinical studies have demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects of C. molmol in both acute and chronic inflammation.[7]

When compared to five other Egyptian herbs, Commiphora exhibited the greatest antithrombic activity in an experimental setting.[8]

A review of properties of C. molmol identified various properties that warrant further investigation such as anesthetic, antiseptic and anti-tumor.[3]


In a small human study, C. molmol 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.[9]

C. molmol 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 C. molmol are lacking.

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]

Interaction and Depletions

Interaction with other Herbs

No documentation

Interaction with Drugs

There are no reported interactions between C. molmol and prescription medication.

Precautions and Contraindications

Side effects

Can be irritating to the eyes. Avoid contact with eye area.


Not to be used by pregnant or nursing women as it is thought to be an emmenagogue or uterine stimulant.[15]

Age limitation

Keep out of reach of children.

Adverse reaction

No documentation

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  1) Essential Oil


  1. World AgroForestry Centre. AgroForestryTree Database. Commiphora myrrha. Available from: [Accessed on 20 February 2009].
  2. Al-Mathal EM. Commiphora molmol in human welfare (review article). J Egypt Soc Parasitol. Aug 2007;37(2):449-468.
  3. Tonkal AM. An update review on Commiphora molmol and related species. J Egypt Soc Parasitol. Dec 2008;38(3):763-796.
  4. Bauer K, Garbe D, Surburg H. Common Fragrance and Flavor Materials: Preparation,Properties and Uses. Wiley VCH: Germany; 1997.
  5. Al-Harbi MM. Anticarcinogenic effect of Commiphora molmol on solid tumors induced by Ehrlich carcinoma cells in mice. Chemotherapy. Sep-Oct 1994;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. Atta AH. Anti-nociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of some Jordanian medicinal plant extracts. J Ethnopharmacol. Mar 1998;60(2):117-124.
  8. Olajide OA. Investigation of the effects of selected medicinal plants on experimental thrombosis. Phytother Res. May 1999;13(3):231-232.
  9. Al-Mathal EM. Myrrh (Commiphora molmol) in treatment of human and sheep dicrocoeliasis dendriticum in Saudi Arabia. J Egypt Soc Parasitol. Aug 2004;34(2):713-720.
  10. Massoud AM. Light microscopic study of the effect of new antischistosmal drug (myrrh extract) on the liver of mice. J Egypt Soc Parasitol. Dec 2005;35(3):971-988.
  11. Sheir Z. A safe, effective, herbal antischistosomal therapy derived from myrrh. Am J Trop Med Hyg. Dec 2001;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. Aug 2001;65(2):96-99.
  13. Hamed MA. Efficacy of Citrus reticulata and Mirazid in treatment of Schistosoma mansoni. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. Nov;100(7):771-778.
  14. Fathy FM. Effect of Mirazid (Commiphora molmol) on experimental heterophyidiasis. J Egypt Soc Parasitol. Dec 2005;35(3):1037-1050.
  15. McGuffin M., Hobbs C., Upton R., Goldberg A. Botanical Safety Handbook.  American Herbal Products Association: CRC Press;1997.

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