Overview

Myrrh is a sap-like substance (resin) that comes out of cuts in the bark of certain trees.

Myrrh is used for problems in the stomach and intestines, congestion, parasite infections, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

In foods and beverages, myrrh is used as a flavoring component.

In manufacturing, myrrh is used as a fragrance, in incense, and as a fixative in cosmetics. It is also used in embalming.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): Some experts warn that myrrh may interfere with the body's response against COVID-19. There is no strong data to support this warning. But there is also no good data to support using myrrh for COVID-19.

How does it work ?

Myrrh can help decrease swelling (inflammation) and kill bacteria.

Uses & Effectiveness ?

Likely InEffective for

  • A disease caused by parasitic worms (schistosomiasis). Schistosomiasis is a disease caused by parasitic worms. Taking myrrh does not cure this infection in most children and adults.

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Infection of the liver by a parasitic worm (fasciolosis). Some research shows that taking myrrh for 6 days can cure fasciolosis. But other research shows that taking myrrh doesn't work for this infection.
  • Infection of the intestines by parasites. Cryptosporidiosis is a disease caused by parasites in the intestines. Early research shows that taking myrrh along with the drug paromomycin helps treat this infection better than taking the drug alone. But taking myrrh alone doesn't work as well as taking myrrh along with the drug.
  • Miscarriage. Early research in adults with partial miscarriage shows that taking myrrh 500 mg three times a day for 2 weeks may help the body to clear the contents of the miscarriage.
  • Acute pain. Early research suggests that taking a specific myrrh extract might help to reduce several types of acute pain.
  • Chronic pain. Early research suggests that taking a specific myrrh extract might help to reduce several types of chronic pain.
  • A sexually transmitted infection caused by Trichomonas vaginalis (trichomoniasis). Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by a parasite. Early research shows that taking myrrh for 6-8 days may help cure this infection in women who are not cured after taking the drugs metronidazole and tinidazole.
  • Wound healing. Early research in patients that required a surgical cut at the opening of their vagina as part of childbirth (episiotomy) shows that taking a bath with myrrh 10-20 mL diluted in 5 L of water twice a day for 7 days might reduce redness and improve healing by a small amount.
  • A long-term disorder of the large intestines that causes stomach pain (irritable bowel syndrome or IBS).
  • A type of inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn disease).
  • A type of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis).
  • Asthma.
  • Bad breath.
  • Cancer.
  • Chapped lips.
  • Colds.
  • Congestion.
  • Cough.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Hemorrhoids.
  • Indigestion.
  • Infections of the kidney, bladder, or urethra (urinary tract infections or UTIs).
  • Leprosy.
  • Muscle spasms.
  • Parasites.
  • Sore mouth or throat.
  • Syphilis.
  • Ulcers.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of myrrh for these uses.

Side Effects

When taken by mouth: Myrrh is LIKELY SAFE for most people when used in the small amounts found in food. Myrrh is POSSIBLY SAFE when used appropriately as medicine. It can cause some side effects such as diarrhea. But large doses of myrrh are POSSIBLY UNSAFE. Amounts greater than 2-4 grams can cause kidney irritation and heart rate changes.

When applied to the skin: Myrrh is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when applied to the skin or diluted in a bath. It can cause some side effects such as skin rash.

Special Precautions and Warnings

When taken by mouth: Myrrh is LIKELY SAFE for most people when used in the small amounts found in food. Myrrh is POSSIBLY SAFE when used appropriately as medicine. It can cause some side effects such as diarrhea. But large doses of myrrh are POSSIBLY UNSAFE. Amounts greater than 2-4 grams can cause kidney irritation and heart rate changes.

When applied to the skin: Myrrh is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when applied to the skin or diluted in a bath. It can cause some side effects such as skin rash. Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Taking myrrh by mouth during pregnancy is LIKELY UNSAFE and should be avoided. Myrrh can stimulate the uterus and might cause a miscarriage. There isn't enough reliable information to know if myrrh is safe to use on the skin when pregnant. Stay on the safe side and avoid use. There isn't enough reliable information to know if myrrh is safe to use when breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Fever: Myrrh might make a fever worse. Use with caution.

Heart problems: Large amounts of myrrh can affect heart rate. If you have a heart condition, get your healthcare provider's advice before starting myrrh.

Surgery: Since myrrh might affect blood glucose levels, there is a concern that it might interfere with blood glucose control during and after surgery. Stop using myrrh at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Uterine bleeding: Myrrh seems to be able to stimulate uterine bleeding, which is why some people use it to start their menstrual periods. If you have a uterine bleeding condition, use myrrh with caution, since it might make this condition worse.

Interactions ?

    Moderate Interaction

    Be cautious with this combination

  • Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with MYRRH

    Myrrh might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking myrrh along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.

    Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (Diabeta, Glynase PresTabs, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.

  • Warfarin (Coumadin) interacts with MYRRH

    Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting. Taking myrrh might decrease how well warfarin (Coumadin) works to slow blood clotting. This could increase the chance of blood clotting.

Dosing

The appropriate dose of myrrh depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for myrrh. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2020.