Myrrh (Mo Yao)
Botanical Name: Commiphorma myrrh
Myrrh has a long history as a perfume and incense with strong medicinal healing powers. It is known to invigorate blood, prevent gum disease and alleviate pain. As a sacred incense it is known to cleanse and uplift the spirit, opening the mind and heart to all things transcendental and divine.
Below is an overview of myrrh, combining and interpreting the best of Western Science, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore and more. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of myrrh.
Western Name: Myrrh
Also Known As: Oleoresin
Organs/Systems: Mouthwash, Pain, Lung, Uterous
Key Western Actions & Medicinal Uses: Antiseptic, Expectorant, Coagulant.
Pin Yin: Mo Yao
Also Known As: N/A
Meridians: Heart, Liver, Spleen
Key TCM Actions & Medicinal Uses: Invigorates Blood/Dispels Blood Stasis/Reduces Swelling/Alleviates Pain: trauma, sores, masses, abdominal pain, amenorreah. Moves Stagnant Blood from the Uterus, including tumors. Promotes Healing: even chronic non-healing sores. Often blended with notoginseng, safflower stamens, angelica, cinnamon, and salvia, used internally and externally.
Parts Most Frequently Used: Resin
Flavors/Temps: Bitter, Spicy, Neutral
Caution: Pregnancy, as it can be very blood moving and invigorating.
History/Folklore: Oleoresin is a natural gum resin. Tree is wounded to bleed gum. The gum is yellowish and can be either clear or opaque, darkening deeply as it ages with white streaks emerging.
Myrrh was so valuable in ancient times that it has been said to be equal to it’s weight in gold. It has been used as a perfume, incense and medicine. Used in Egypt to embalm mummies. In Greek mythology, Myrrh, daughter of King of Syria was punished by Aphrodite who caused her to disguise herself and have incest with her father, when dad discovered her tried to kill her, gods intervened and turned her into a tree, with the resin said to be her tears. Known as the Balsam of Mecca, myrrh was one of the three gifts presented to the baby Jesus in the Christian Bible at his birth by the visiting Magi or wise men. To this day it is used in certain sacred ceremonies of the Catholic Church. It has also been used in many other religious ceremonies throughout the western and eastern worlds. The Chinese will fry it with vinegar to enhance myrrh’s blood moving abilities. Typical dosage will be 3-12g.
Volatile oils. Heerabomyrrhpholic acid, Commiphoric acid, Commiphornic acid, Heerabomrrhol, Heeraboresene, Commiferin, Ergenol, Pinene, Depentene limonene, Cinnamic, Alderhyde, Heerabolene.
“Myrrh beads” are not from the same plant but are crushed seeds worn by married Mali woman in multiple strands around the hip.
The plants name, “myrrh” has origins in Arabic meaning, “bitter.”
A Plant's Defense
Like frankincense, myrrh gum is a resin that is the plants response to penetration of the plant’s bark. It is a waxy substiance that coagulates quickly becoming hard and glossy.
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