Myrrh: Practice Points – Patient Counselling. FAQ

Myrrh has been used since ancient times in a variety of forms as an antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and analgesic medicine.

• It has been used as a topical preparation to reduce inflammation and enhance wound healing — in vivo evidence suggests the anti-inflammatory activity of one of the main constituents is stronger than hydrocortisone and local anaesthetic activity is likely.

• Preliminary evidence suggests that it may be a useful treatment in gingivitis and periodontal disease.

• The preparation known as guggulipid, which comes from Commiphora species, may have lipid-lowering effects according to clinical studies; however, evidence is contradictory and further research is required to confirm this.

Myrrh is not to be used in pregnancy and may interact with a number of medications when used orally.

Answers to Patients’ Frequently Asked Questions

What will this herb do for me?

Traditionally, the herb has been used as a mouthwash or topical paint to relieve symptoms of mouth ulcers, sore throats and gum disease. It has also been used as a topical application for inflamed skin conditions and wounds. Scientific research confirms antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and local anaesthetic effects and significant antiparasitic effects. The preparation known as guggulipid, which comes from Commiphora species, may lower total cholesterol levels.

When will it start to work?

A mouthwash or paint should provide rapid symptom relief.

Antiparasitic activity has been reported within 3 days’ use in some parasitic infestations.

The lipid-lowering effects of guggulipid have been reported within 12 weeks.

Are there any safety issues?

The herb should not be taken during pregnancy and may interact with some medications.