Sudan/ Yemen/ Somalia/ Ethiopia/ Kenia
Product: Myrrh Gum
Latin Name: Commiphora myrrha
Plant Family: Burseraceae
Other Names: Common Myrrh, Gum Myrrh, Karan, Bal, Bdellium, Bol, Bola, Bowl, Didin, Didthin, Gomme de Myrrhe, Vola-Heera-Bol, Heerabol, Herabol Myrrh, Myrrhenbaum, Mirra, Mirrh, Mo Yao, Murrah, Myrrha & Myrrhe.
Description: Myrrh gum comes from a small, spiny, deciduous shrubby tree native to Yemen, Somalia, Eritrea and eastern Ethiopia which reaches a height of 4 metres. The base of the trees trunk is thick and looks swollen, stems like this are known as ‘pachycaul’, the bark is papery and can be reddish in colour to bluish grey; many gnarly thorny branches grow off the trunk. The trifoliate, elliptical to lanceolate leaves are pinnately compound, alternate and 5-35mm in length, they are mid green in colour with serrated edges. The 4-petaled flowers are 3-4mm in length and white to creamy white in colour. The resin exudes from the tree readily without the tree having to be cut or scored.
Brief History: The ancient Egyptians used this resin as an antiseptic, as incense, it was a key ingredient in the famous Egyptian incense Kyphi which was used as a medicine and a fumigant, it was used in the embalming process and they even used it to repel fleas. In the 11th century the Anglo-Saxons used myrrh as a medicine, the German herbalist Hildegard von Bingen in the 12th century used herb more as a spiritual means of banishing negativity writing that ‘it chases from the person phantasms, magic spells, and demonic invocations made with evil words and evil herbs’.
SUGGESTED USEUse the resin on its own as incense, it blends well with other herbs and resins and is often used as a base resin in blends. The resin can be turned into tincture or powdered to add to lotions, creams, balms and soaps for the skin, and can help minor wounds to heal. As a tincture, myrrh can be added to dental products to help heal mouth ulcers and sore gums.
Shelf life of two years provided that goods are stored in an airtight container in ambient conditions.
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