Myrrh is a gum-resinous exudation from a small, shrubby tree - Balsamodendron Myrrha, of the natural order Amyridaceae, growing in Arabia, and the northeastern coast of Africa. It is obtained in the form of small, irregular fragments or tears, or in larger masses, composed of agglutinated portions. The juice exudes spontaneously from the stem of the tree, and concretes upon the bark. When pure, myrrh is of a reddish-yellow or reddish-brown color, translucent, with a strong, peculiar fragrant odor and a bitter aromatic taste, brittle and pulverizable. Its powder is of a light yellow color; when of a dark color it is impure. When powdered myrrh is rubbed up for fifteen minutes with an equal weight of muriate of ammonia and fifteen times its weight of water gradually added, and it dissolves quickly and entirely, it may be considered pure.

Medical Properties And Action

Myrrh is stimulant, astringent, expectorant and emmenagogue. It stimulates the digestive organs and improves the appetite. In large doses of a half ounce, it causes a burning sensation in the stomach, increased arterial excitement, and profuse diaphoresis, with a great influence on the urinary passages. It diminishes discharges from mucous membrane when internally administered, and is a useful external application for relaxed tissues.

Therapeutic Uses

Myrrh is internally administered in chronic catarrh, humoral asthma, amenorrhoea, chlorosis, leucorrhoea, chronic bronchitis, etc., etc.; and in combination with chalybeates and aloes in uterine affections.

Locally, myrrh is applied to inflamed, ulcerated and aphthous surfaces.


Of powdered myrrh, gr.x to Dose 1226 in pill or suspended in water.

Tincture Of Myrrh

Tinctura Myrrhae (myrrh, Tincture Of Myrrh 1227

; alcohol, Oij). Dose.- to

It is used internally and externally.

Dental Uses

Myrrh, in the form of the powder and tincture, is employed as a local application to inflamed ulcerated and spongy gums, ulcerations of mucous membrane of the mouth and throat, in the form of a gargle; also in alveolar pyorrhoea, mercurial stomatitis, indolent ulcers, aphthous sore mouth of children. The diluted tincture forms a stimulating gargle or mouth wash, and the powder is employed as an ingredient of dentifrices, for its stimulating and astringent properties.

Dental Formulae

Astringent Mouth Wash.

Myrrhae (tinct.) . . .

Rad. iridis......


Cort. cinchona; .... Ext. krameriae ....


Spt. rectificat. . . . Cong.j. M.

Dental Formulae 1230Dental Formulae 1231

Macerate for 7 days and filter; to filtrate add 15 ounces of simple syrup.

(For other Mouth Washes and Lotions see Index to Diseases, etc.)

Van Valzah's Obtunder and Local Anaesthetic. Pip. menthol .... Tincture myrrh .... Alcohol.......

Dental Formulae 1232Dental Formulae 1233