Balsamodendron myrrha Nees

Synonym ► Commiphora molmol Engl.

C. abyssinica (Berg.) Engl.

Family ► Burseraceae.

Habitat ► Arabia, Somaliland.

Ayurvedic ► Bola, Hiraabola, Surasa, Barbara, Gandharasa.

80 Balsamodendron opobalsamum Kunth.

Siddha/Tamil ► Vellaibolam.

Action ► Oleo-gum-resin—em-menagogue (used for irregular menstruation and painful periods), anti-inflammatory (on pharyngitis and gingivitis), antiseptic, bacteriostatic, antiviral, astringent, stimulant, expectorant, stomachic, carminative (in dyspepsia), a leuco-cytogenic agent (increases number of white cells in the blood). Used externally for treating acne, boils and pressure sores, internally as a blood purifier.

Key application ► In topical treatment of mild inflammations of the oral and pharyngeal mucosa. (German Commission E.) As a gargle or mouth rinse for the treatment of aphthous ulcers, tonsillitis, common cold and gingivitis. (The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia, ESCOP.)

The gum (30-60%) contains acidic polysaccharides, volatile oil (2-10%) including other constituents, heer-abolene, eugenol, furanosequiterpenes and monoterpenes.

Myrrh is taken as a powder or a tincture, rather than as an infusion; used generally externally or as a gargle.

Aqueous suspension of the gum resin decreased ethanol-induced and indomethacin-induced ulcer in rats. (JEthnopharmacol, 1997, Jan 55(2), 141150.)

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