Murr Makki (Myrrh commiphora)
Dr. M. Laiq Ali Khan
THIS plant is well known since olden times and mentioned in several old treatises. It is found in Arabian countries, North East Africa, Ethiopia, Iran and Thailand. It is imported in India from these countries and is available in the market. It is the resin of the plant, which is extracted by making an incision in the stem. This resin is collected in the form of dry pearls like structures, red in colour but white inside, bitter in taste with a fragrance. These dry drops of Murr Makki are clubbed together and formed into a big lobe, which are sold in the market as a drug. By virtue of its usefulness, it is included in British Pharmacopoea for various treatments.
Hazrat Abdullah Bin Jafar narrates from the Prophet (Pbuh): “Fumigate your houses with Al-Sheeh, Murr and Saatar.” (Baihaqi)
History of ancient Egypt reveals that the plant of Murr Makki was brought to Egypt from Africa in 1700 B.C. and was used by the physicians of that era for the treatment of wounds. It was used for fumigation in preaching houses and was used as a fragrance in hair oils.
It dries up the septic materials and resolves the cold and phlegmatic inflammations. It checks the chronic diarrhoea, useful in cough and brochial asthma. It relieves the chest pain and pleurisy. It is a good digestive tonic. It increases the W.B.Cs in blood, hence can be used as immunity enhancer. It is used as worm killers for stomach with castor oil. It is good tonic for weaker persons, if taken with Cardamom, Tabasheer and Honey. If applied with vinegar locally, it is very much effective against scabies, fungal infections of the skin. It removes the bad odour of arm pits. It acts as a good mouth wash if dissolved in vinegar and used for gargles. Inflammation of gums is relieved easily by using it locally on gums with vinegar. The extracts of its leaves checks the nose bleeding if dropped in the nostrils. Chemical analysis of the drug shows the presence of Resin (40-60%), volatile oil (2-10%), Benzoin (27-50%) in addition to a bitter substance. It contains the ingredients of Balsom oil (7.5%). Besides this the fragrant ingredients contain Benzyl Benzoate, which is a good remedy against scabies and pediculosis. The volatile oil contains the cinnamon and carbolic type of compound. It also contains some inorganic compound such as phosphates and carbonates of calcium and aluminium. Silica and iron are also found as inorganic elements.
Since the drug is a good antiseptic, expectorant and diuretic it is used effectively in healing the septic wounds and gargles are useful for mouth ulcers and stomatitis. Internally it is administered in chronic bronchitis, bronchial asthma, cystitis and dysmenorrhoea. Tincture Myrrh is used by the dental surgeons for the inflammation of the gums. The decoction of Murr Makki with Arq-e-Gulab is very much useful for mouth ulcers.