Essential Myrrh health benefits, uses and side effects

One of the ancient valuable treasures we can ever be grateful for its existence is the natural-healing aromatic oleo-gum, Myrrh resin. This resin has been praised and used in religious activities and aromatherapy for many years due to its healing, calmative, and healthful benefits. There’s no more worth than gold like Myrrh resin!
Myrrh, also known as Commyphora Molmol has lots of health benefits and uses. Below are its benefits, uses and side effects. 
Myrrh contains a natural anti-bacterial defense against pathogens. Some of the bacteria are harmful and could lead to worse health conditions. 
These pathogens could be living anywhere in our bodies and in our surroundings.  Thus, it is important to keep ourselves healthy and away from danger. 
A study showed myrrh countered harmful pathogens living in the intestine, respiratory tract, skin, and surroundings. (1). These pathogens could turn into a disease or infection if not prevented early. 
Moreover, another research investigated the harmfulness of a particular bacteria in the respiratory organ. It indicated that myrrh was able to inhibit the hemolytic activity of the major human pathogen (2).
As it continues to fight off bacteria, another research suggested that myrrh can be a treatment against bacterial infection. This was mixed with water or combined with clove, cumin, and garlic that gave this result (3).
Concerning food, it also helps to keep food away from foreign matter. An analysis shows that the myrrh exhibited inhibitory effects against bacteria that cause food poisoning, animal and plant pathogens, and food spoilage (4
According to WHO, wounds may contain bacterial infections that lead to a chronic wound, bone infection, or death. It needs immediate and effective care in treating wound to prevent further damage.
There is a lot of research related to myrrh wound healing. Some of these involve another essential oil or another product to see its effectiveness. Some studies conduct experimenting on rats. 
One study tested gastric ulcer and skin injury on rats and treated it with myrrh through drinking water. The experiment lasted for five weeks. The white blood cells elevated before and throughout the trials of the group of rats with myrrh compared to the other group. The study concluded that myrrh helped the production of white blood cells involved in the immune response (5).
This is supported by another study on rats wherein myrrh was blended in henna and pomegranate. The study showed that it healed the skin and fought micro bacteria in the wound (6). 
Furthermore, a study suggested that a combination of myrrh with sandalwood presented a high micro bacteria activity. It is also suggested to combine essential oils for better efficacy (7). 
So much with animals, it was also tested on humans. Another examination presented that myrrh with honey cleansed an infected wound by removal of dead tissue, cells, and bacteria. This paste healed the wound of a 65-year-old man with diabetes, a deep wound in his feet, and a tissue loss. 
This ointment was applied for four weeks alongside medical treatments and daily blood sugar controls. The balm was prepared every three days and put in the fridge. After the topical cleaning, they would apply the paste in the wound to examine the removal of bacteria (8). 
However, according to WHO, it is not recommended to apply antibiotics directly into the wound. Proper consultation and examination is a must before proceeding in applying ointment into the wound.
Oral health is commonly understood as related to mouth and teeth but it’s more than that. WHO said that oral health affects general health. This can lead to serious diseases such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and respiratory diseases.
A study evaluated the efficacy of myrrh and aloe vera on the mouth ulcer. The gel was applied four times a day for five days. The result proved to be effective against topical management in mouth ulcers and myrrh was best in pain reduction (9).
Also, myrrh suppressed bacteria in the mouth. It showed antibacterial effects that prevented oral inflammations (10).
Moreover, myrrh healed a wound in an animal model and repaired a damaged tissue in less than 2 weeks (11). 
Recommendation from the doctor is still needed before you follow these steps. 
Another study tested myrrh on rabbits who were induced with lead toxicity, oxidative stress, and immunotoxicity. It was concluded that myrrh is a potent anti-oxidant that reduces lipid peroxidation and strengthens the immune system (12).
One study also mixed myrrh, propidine, chlorhexidine into toothpaste and tested against artificial saliva. The result stated it exhibited antioxidant and antibacterial effects (13).
Another experiment presented that myrrh was able to mitigate the colitis in experimental animals by degrading inflammation. It also suggested it improved antioxidant activities (14). 
Moreover, a study tested if myrrh can be an effective antioxidant, anti-inflammatory against heart attack. The study concluded myrrh improved heart functions and abolished inflammation (15). 
Another study also suggested myrrh as an antioxidant extract for dead cells (16). 

There are studies that show how the myrrh is used:
1. Used as prevention against food spoilage
According to the FDA, food waste consists of 30-40% of the food supply in the United States. Thus, it is important to keep food safe and consumable for us to eat. 
Food spoilage can be critical for our health and expenses as well. A study has shown that myrrh can help fight food spoilage, food poisoning, and animal and plant pathogens. The research process used agar diffusion and agar serial dilution methods (4).
Another research suggested that an aqueous myrrh suspension can be helpful to be added to yogurt (17). Yogurt contains good bacteria findings said there was no significant difference of myrrh eliminating these good bacteria in the yogurt. 

2. Used as an antibacterial ointment
Wounds need to be cleaned thoroughly and medicated correctly. Ointments aid wounds to heal and to cleanse deeper bacteria that did not get rid of in the first wash. One study showed that myrrh with honey balm successfully removed the wound bacteria. This was treated alongside medical maintenance and treatments (8).

3. Used as a toothpaste
Oral health involves bad breath, cavities, and may also cause serious body diseases. Our mouth is full of bacteria every time we eat and speak. It is essential to use clean it 2 times a day to assure its clean from remaining bacteria. A study experimented by mixing myrrh, propidine, chlorhexidine into toothpaste and tested against artificial saliva. The findings exhibited antioxidant and antibacterial effects (13).

4. Used as a medical drug
Medicines are developed constantly to fight diseases and infections. Studies have been dedicated to searching for raw materials to create a new medicine in fighting harmful pathogens. We are constantly exposed to parasites and bacteria which are commonly found in our bodies and surroundings.
One experiment showed that a drug was derived from the myrrh extracts. It was to combat parasitic infections. The drug (a formulation consisting of 8 parts of resin and 3.5 parts of volatile oils, all extracted from myrrh). It was given in a dose of 12 mg/kg per day for 6 consecutive days in the morning on an empty stomach. The findings suggest that the formulation is safe and effective for treating fascioliasis (18). 

Most of the studies show that myrrh had minimal or no side effects. However, a study was conducted on mice to test the toxicity of myrrh. It stated that higher doses (20, 40, and 80 μL) of myrrh. Myrrh lower does in (1, 5, and 10 μL). The higher doses lead to toxicity in the liver, spleen, and kidney (19).
Although researchers claim that myrrh is safe to consume as a way to kill bacteria and parasites, it is noteworthy to consult a therapist and doctors before using it as a medication. 


  1. Dolara P, Corte B, Ghelardini C, Pugliese AM, Cerbai E, Menichetti S, Lo Nostro A. Local anaesthetic, antibacterial and antifungal properties of sesquiterpenes from myrrh. Planta Med. 2000 May;66(4):356-8. doi: 10.1055/s-2000-8532. PMID: 10865454.
  1. Lee K, Lee JH, Kim SI, Cho MH, Lee J. Anti-biofilm, anti-hemolysis, and anti-virulence activities of black pepper, cananga, myrrh oils, and nerolidol against Staphylococcus aureus. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2014 Nov;98(22):9447-57. doi: 10.1007/s00253-014-5903-4. Epub 2014 Jul 16. PMID: 25027570.
  2. A., M., & A., G. (2012). Effect of some natural plant extracts against gram negative bacteria in Njran Area, Saudi Arabia [Abstract]. Egyptian Academic Journal of Biological Sciences, G. Microbiology, 4(1), 85-92. doi:10.21608/eajbsg.2012.16663
  3. Wanner J, Schmidt E, Bail S, Jirovetz L, Buchbauer G, Gochev V, Girova T, Atanasova T, Stoyanova A. Chemical composition and antibacterial activity of selected essential oils and some of their main compounds. Nat Prod Commun. 2010 Sep;5(9):1359-64. PMID: 20922991.
  4. Haffor, A. A. (2009). Effect of myrrh (Commiphora molmol) on leukocyte levels before and during healing from gastric ulcer or skin injury. Journal of Immunotoxicology, 7(1), 68-75. doi:10.3109/15476910903409835
  5. Elzayat, E. M., Auda, S. H., Alanazi, F. K., & Al-Agamy, M. H. (2018). Evaluation of wound healing activity of henna, pomegranate and myrrh herbal ointment blend. Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal, 26(5), 733-738. doi:10.1016/j.jsps.2018.02.016
  6. Orchard A, Viljoen A, van Vuuren S. Wound Pathogens: Investigating Antimicrobial Activity of Commercial Essential Oil Combinations against Reference Strains. Chem Biodivers. 2018 Dec;15(12):e1800405. doi: 10.1002/cbdv.201800405. Epub 2018 Dec 17. PMID: 30362637.
  7. Lotfy, M., Badra, G., Burham, W., & Alenzi, F. (2006). Combined use of honey, bee propolis and myrrh in healing a deep, infected wound in a patient with diabetes mellitus. British Journal of Biomedical Science, 63(4), 171-173. doi:10.1080/09674845.2006.11732742
  8. Mansour, G., Ouda, S., Shaker, A., & Abdallah, H. M. (2013). Clinical efficacy of new aloe vera- and myrrh-based oral mucoadhesive gels in the management of minor recurrent aphthous stomatitis: A randomized, double-blind, vehicle-controlled study. Journal of Oral Pathology & Medicine, 43(6), 405-409. doi:10.1111/jop.12130
  9. Baek, H., Kang, S., Auh, Q., Chun, Y., & Hong, J. (2013). Effect of antibacterial effects of myrrh, rhatany, chamomomilla against to oral microorganisms. Journal of Oral Medicine and Pain, 38(4), 299-312. doi:10.14476/jomp.2013.38.4.299
  11. Ashry KM, El-Sayed YS, Khamiss RM, El-Ashmawy IM. Oxidative stress and immunotoxic effects of lead and their amelioration with myrrh (Commiphora molmol) emulsion. Food Chem Toxicol. 2010 Jan;48(1):236-41. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2009.10.006. Epub 2009 Oct 8. PMID: 19818824.
  12. Lisa, E. L., Carac, G., Barbu, V., & Robu, S. (2017). The Synergistic Antioxidant Effect and Antimicrobial Efficacity of Propolis, Myrrh and Chlorhexidine as Beneficial Toothpaste Components. Revista De Chimie, 68(9), 2060-2065. doi:10.37358/rc.17.9.5822
  13. Fatani, A. J., Alrojayee, F. S., Parmar, M. Y., Abuohashish, H. M., Ahmed, M. M., & Al-Rejaie, S. S. (2016). Myrrh attenuates oxidative and inflammatory processes in acetic acid-induced ulcerative colitis. Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine, 12(2), 730-738. doi:10.3892/etm.2016.3398
  14. Nancy S. Younis, Maged E. Mohamed, Protective effects of myrrh essential oil on isoproterenol-induced myocardial infarction in rats through antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, Nrf2/HO-1 and apoptotic pathways, Journal of Ethnopharmacology,Volume 270,2021,113793,ISSN 0378-8741,
  15. Ali S. Alqahtani, Omar M. Noman, Md. Tabish Rehman, Nasir A. Siddiqui, Mohamed F. Alajmi, Fahd A. Nasr, Abdelaaty A. Shahat, Perwez Alam, The influence of variations of furanosesquiterpenoids content of commercial samples of myrrh on their biological properties,Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal,Volume 27, Issue 7,2019,Pages 981-989,ISSN 1319-0164,
  16. Alhejaili, M., Olson, D., Velázquez, C., Janes, M., Boeneke, C., & Aryana, K. (2019). Short communication: Influence of an aqueous myrrh suspension on yogurt culture bacteria over yogurt shelf life. Journal of Dairy Science, 102(3), 2011-2016. doi:10.3168/jds.2018-14831
  17. Massoud, A., Massoud, A., Salama, O., & Sisi, S. E. (2001). Preliminary study of therapeutic efficacy of a new fasciolicidal drug derived from Commiphora molmol (myrrh). The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 65(2), 96-99. doi:10.4269/ajtmh.2001.65.96
  18. Ramakanta Lamichhane, Kyung-Hee Lee, Prakash Raj Pandeya, Kang-Kyung Sung, SangKwan Lee, Yun-Kyung Kim, Hyun-Ju Jung, "Subcutaneous Injection of Myrrh Essential Oil in Mice: Acute and Subacute Toxicity Study", Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2019, Article ID 8497980, 13 pages, 2019.

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