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Since May 10th 2008

Initial C

Cassia senna

Centella asiatica
Chamomilla recutita
Cinnamomum verum
Coptis chinensis
Curcuma longa
Calendula officinalis
Cimicifuga racemosa
Crataegus monogyna
Carthamus tinctorius
Cephaelis ipecacuanha
Commiphora molmol
Commiphora mukul
Crocus sativus
Cordyceps sinensis
Cyperus rotundus



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Commiphora molmol Engler (Burseraceae)

Balsamodendron myrrha Nees, Commiphora myrrha Holm, C. myrrha (Nees) Engl. var. molmol Engl.

Local names
Abyssinian myrrh, arbre à myrrhe, bal, barakande, bisabol myrrh, bol, bola, dashi ‘biskiti, gandharsh, guban myrrh, habaq-hagar-ad, heerbol, heerabol myrrh, hirabol myrrh, Männliche myrrhe, mbebe, mbele, mo yao, morr, morrh, mur, murr, myrr, myrrh, Myrrhenbaum, myrrha, molmol, myrrhe des somalis, ogo myrrh, turari, Somali myrrh

Commiphora species are shrubs or small trees, about 3 m high, with rounded tops, thick trunks, dark brown bark and large, sharply pointed thorns on the stem. Branches numerous, irregular or rough, stunted and spiny. Leaves unequal, ternate, alternate. Flowers small, dioecious, yellow-red fascicled, polygamous, arranged in terminal panicles. Calyx tubular, teeth usually four, valvate petals usually found inserted on the edge of the disk; stamens 8–10 on disk alternately long and short fi laments, dialated below. Fruits are oval-lanceolate drupes, about 0.3 cm long. When stems are damaged or incised, oleo-gum resins exude from the schizogenous resin ducts

Plant material used
dried oleo-gum resin

Chemical assays
Not less than 6% essential oil. Qualitative and quantitative highperformance liquid chromatography for furanosesquiterpenes

Major chemical constituents
The oleo-gum resin obtained from C. molmol contains: resins (25–40%), essential oil (3–8%) and a water-soluble gum (30–60%). The gum is composed of 20% proteins and 65% carbohydrates made up of galactose, 4-O-methylglucuronic acid and arabinose. The major constituents of the essential oil are furanosesquiterpenes, and the monoterpenes α-, β- and γ-bisabolene

Medicinal uses
Uses supported by clinical data

Uses described in pharmacopoeias and well established documents
Topical treatment of mild infl ammations of the oral and pharyngeal mucosa. As a gargle or mouth rinse for the treatment of aphthous ulcers, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, common cold and gingivitis

Uses described in traditional medicine
As an emmenagogue, expectorant and antidote for poisons, and to inhibit blood coagulation. Treatment of menopausal symptoms, arthritic pain, diarrhoea, fatigue, headache, jaundice and indigestion, and applied topically for treatment of burns and haemorrhoids

Proven pharmacological activity
Animal studies
Analgesic and antipyretic, Anticoagulant, Antihyperglycaemic, Anti-infl ammatory, Cytoprotectant

Human studies
No information available.

Adverse reactions
Topical application of a diluted (8%) solution of an essential oil obtained from the resin was non-irritating, non-sensitizing and non-phototoxic when applied to human skin. Application of an unspecified extract of the resin to human skin caused contact dermatitis

Gummi Myrrha is used in traditional systems of medicine as an emmenagogue, and its safety during pregnancy has not been established. Therefore, in accordance with standard medical practice, Gummi Myrrha should not be used during pregnancy.

Use of the undiluted tincture may give rise to a transient burning sensation and irritation of the palate.

Drug interactions
Although no drug interactions have been reported, internal ingestion of Gummi Myrrha may interfere with existing antidiabetic therapy owing to the ability of the resin to reduce blood glucose levels. Patients taking anticoagulant drugs or with a history of bleeding disorders should consult their health-care provider prior to using the resin.

Carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, impairment of fertility
An aqueous extract of the resin, 40.0 mg/plate, was not mutagenic in the Salmonella/microsome assay using Salmonella typhimurium strains TA98 and TA100. Intraperitoneal administration of an aqueous extract of the resin at doses 10–40 times the normal therapeutic dose did not have mutagenic effects. A hot aqueous extract of the resin, 40.0 mg/plate, inhibited afl atoxin B1-induced mutagenesis in S. typhimurium strains TA98 and TA100. The genotoxic, cytotoxic and antitumour properties of the resin were investigated in normal mice and mice bearing Ehrlich ascites carcinoma cells. The genotoxic and cytotoxic activity was evaluated on the basis of the frequency of micronuclei and the ratio of polychromatic to normochromatic cells in the bone marrow of normal mice. Intragastric administration of 125.0–500.0 mg/kg bw of the resin did not have clastogenic effects, but was cytotoxic in normal mice. In the mice bearing tumours, the resin had antitumour activity, and was reported to be as effective as the antitumour agent cyclophosphamide.

Pregnancy: non-teratogenic effects
See Contraindications.

Nursing mothers
Owing to the lack of data concerning the safety and effi cacy of Gummi Myrrha, it should not be used by nursing mothers without consulting a health-care practitioner.

Paediatric use
Owing to the lack of data concerning the safety and effi cacy of Gummi Myrrha, it should not be administered to children without consulting a health-care practitioner.

Other precautions
No information available on general precautions or on precautions concerning drug and laboratory test interactions; or teratogenic effects in pregnancy.

Dosage forms
Powdered resin, capsules, myrrh tincture, and other galenical preparations for topical use. Store in a tightly sealed container away from heat and light.

(Unless otherwise indicated)
Myrrh tincture (1:5 g/ml, 90% ethanol), undiluted tincture applied to the affected area two or three times per day; mouth rinse or gargle, 5–10 drops of the tincture in a glass of water; mouthwash or gargle solution, 30–60 drops of the tincture in a glass of warm water; paint, undiluted tincture applied to the affected areas on the gums or the mucous membranes of the mouth with a brush or cotton swab, two or three times per day; dental powder, 10% powdered oleo-gum resin


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