Myrrh, the Middle Eastern tree resin, may contain powerful heart-healthy compounds, according to new Saudi research. heart surgeryNadia Saleh Al-Amoudi from King Abd Al-Aziz University in Saudi Arabia said that myrrh resin could be used along with other plants to give a big boost to heart health. She said, however, that more research would be needed before scientists could find a safe way of administering it to people. Raw myrrh resin can be toxic and should not be eaten. Though the substance has many sources in Africa, India, and the Middle East, myrrh comes primarily from the dried sap of a number of trees native to Yemen, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Jordan. Though the name of the resin entered English from Ancient Greek, it is thought to have originally come from a language source located in the Middle East or East Africa, where it has been used as a traditional remedy for sore throat, congestion, bad breath, cuts, and burns. For the purposes of the study, Al-Amoudi fed a cocktail of myrrh resin and other plant materials to albino rats, and found that it increased their blood levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as “good” cholesterol. Myrrh is known in the west as one of the three gifts of the Magi and is part of the Christian story of Christmas, and it has other medicinal associations for various cultures around the world.
Ayurvedic medicine, the traditional medicinal system of India, has its own uses for myrrh. Chemists working with Ayurvedic medicine have found that Indian myrrh contains compounds which lower blood lipids.The compound found in Indian myrrh inhibited a gene in the livers of test animals that affects cholesterol absorption. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), myrrh is used to treat menstrual problems, as well as problems affecting the heart, liver, and spleen. TCM also employs myrrh and used along with frankincense for treating arthritis. news from hc2d.co.uk – Myrrh is a reddish-brown resinous material, the dried sap of a number of trees, but primarily from Commiphora myrrha, which is native to Yemen, Somalia, the eastern parts of Ethiopia, and Commiphora gileadensis, which is native to Jordan. The sap of a number of other Commiphora and Balsamodendron species is also known as myrrh, including that from Commiphora erythraea (sometimes called East Indian myrrh), Commiphora opobalsamum and Balsamodendron kua. Its name entered English via the Ancient Greek, μύρρα, which is probably of Somali or Arabic origin, where it is known as (مر: Murr). The name “myrrh” is also applied to the potherb
Myrrhis odorata otherwise known as “Cicely” or “Sweet Cicely”. High quality myrrh can be identified through the darkness and clarity of the resin. However, the best method of judging the resin’s quality is by feeling the stickiness of freshly broken fragments directly to determine the fragrant-oil content of the myrrh resin. The scent of raw myrrh resin and its essential oil is sharp, pleasant, somewhat bitter and can be roughly described as being “stereotypically resinous”. When burned, it produces a smoke that is heavy, bitter and somewhat phenolic in scent, which may be tinged with a slight vanillic sweetness. Unlike most other resins, myrrh expands and “blooms” when burned instead of melting or liquefying. Commiphora myrrha tree, one of the primary trees from which myrrh is harvested. The scent can also be used in mixtures of incense, to provide an earthy element to the overall smell, and as an additive to wine, a practice alluded to by ancient authorities such as Fabius Dorsennus. It is also used in various perfumes, toothpastes, lotions, and other modern toiletries. Myrrh was used as an embalming ointment and was used, up until about the 15th century, as a penitential incense in funerals and cremations. The “holy oil” traditionally used by the Eastern Orthodox Church for performing the sacraments of chrismation and unction is traditionally scented with myrrh,
and receiving either of these sacraments is commonly referred to as “receiving the Myrrh”. In Chinese medicine, myrrh is classified as bitter, spicy, neutral in temperature and affecting the heart, liver, and spleen meridians. Its uses are similar to those of frankincense, with which it is often combined in decoctions, liniments, and incense. When used in concert, myrrh is “blood-moving” while frankincense moves the Qi, making it more useful for arthritic conditions. Myrrh also has been used in the treatment of amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, menopause, and uterine tumors, as its “blood-moving” properties can purge stagnant blood out of the uterus. Myrrh has also been recommended to help toothache pain, and can be used in liniment for bruises, aches and sprains. Myrrh is most commonly used in Chinese medicine for rheumatic, arthritic, and circulatory problems. It is combined with such herbs as notoginseng, safflower stamens, Angelica sinensis, cinnamon, and Salvia miltiorrhiza, usually in alcohol, and used both internally and externally. Myrrh is used more frequently in Ayurveda, Unani medicine, and Western herbalism, which ascribe to it tonic and rejuvenative properties. A related species, known as guggul in
Ayurvedic medicine is considered one of the best substances for the treatment of circulatory problems, nervous system disorders and rheumatic complaints. Myrrh (Daindhava) is used in many rasayana formulas in Ayurveda. However rasayana herbs have special processing. Outside of this form myrrh is said to be contraindicated for pregnant women or women with excessive uterine bleeding, and not be used with evidence of kidney dysfunction or stomach pain. As of 2008, 35% of Saudi Arabians use myrrh as medicine. In pharmacy, myrrh is used as an antiseptic and is most often used in mouthwashes, gargles, and toothpastes for prevention and treatment of gum disease.Myrrh is currently used in some liniments and healing salves that may be applied to abrasions and other minor skin ailments. It is also used in the production of Fernet.
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