Mo Yao

Myrrha, Commiphora molmol

Chemical Constituents

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


3 to 10 grams oleo-gum resin used as directed by a trained practitioner. [1]



Traditional Use

Commiphora molmol possesses a bitter taste with neutral properties. It works through the liver, spleen and heart channels. [1] It is used as an analgesic in which to break up blood stasis which also relieves swelling. C. molmol is sometimes combined with other herbs that have similar properties to enhance the breaking up of blood stagnation. [5] 


Cytotoxicity activity: 

Using tumor-bearing mice, researchers looked at the cytotoxic 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 tumor cells. The researchers stated that more studies are needed to develop possible cancer therapies. [7] 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. [8] 

Anti-microbial activity: 

Terpenes derived from the oleoresin of C. molmol exhibited displayed potentiation of ciprofloxacin and tetracycline against Staphylococcus. aureus, several Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium strains and two Klebsiella pneumoniae strains. In a small human study, C. molmol as Mirazid was given to patients before breakfast for 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] 

Anti-inflammatory activity: 

Pre-clinical studies have demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects of C. molmol in both acute and chronic inflammation. [10] 

Astringent activity: 

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. 


No documentation.

Interaction and Depletions

Interaction with other Herbs

No documentation.

Interaction with Drugs

No documentation.

Precautions and Contraindications

Side effects

Not to be used in absence of stasis. [5]

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

 Not for long term use.


Not to be used by pregnant or nursing women as it is thought to be an emmenagogue or uterine stimulant. [6]

Age limitation

Keep out of reach of children.

Adverse reaction

Oral toxicity of C. molmol in mice LD50 was found to be >3000mg/kg. [2]


  1. Z. You-Ping. Chinese Matria Medica: Chemistry, Pharmacology and Applications. Florida:CRC Press;1998.444-445.
  2. S. Botros, S. William, F. Ebeid. Lack of evidence for an antischistosomal activity of myrrh in experimental animals. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg.2004;71(2).206–210.
  3. K. Bauer, D. Garbe, H. Surburg. Common Fragrance and Flavor Materials: Preparation,Properties and Uses. Germany:Wiley VCH;1997.
  4. A.M. Tonkal. An update review on Commiphora molmol and related species. J Egypt Soc Parasitol. Dec 2008;38(3):763-796.
  5. D. Bensky, S. Clavey, E. Stoger, A. Gamble. Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica, 3rd Edition. Seattle WA:Eastland Press; 2004.636.
  6. M. McGuffin, C. Hobbs, R. Upton, A. Goldberg. Botanical Safety Handbook. American Herbal Products Association. Boca Raton:CRC Press;1997.
  7. M.M. al-Harbi. Anticarcinogenic effect of Commiphora molmol on solid tumors induced by Ehrlich carcinoma cells in mice. Chemotherapy. Sep-Oct1994;40(5):337-347.
  8. S. Qureshi. 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.
  9. E.M. Al-Mathal. Myrrh (Commiphora molmol) in treatment of human and sheep dicrocoeliasis dendriticum in Saudi Arabia. J Egypt Soc Parasitol. Aug2004;34(2):713-720.
  10. A.H. Atta. Anti-nociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of some Jordanian medicinal plant extracts. J Ethnopharmacol. Mar1998;60(2):117-124.