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What is myrrh and how is it used?

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Quick Answer

Myrrh is a type of resin that's bled from a number of thorny trees. The resin forms a natural gum, and it can be turned into an essential oil that's used in perfume, medicine and oral hygiene.

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What is myrrh and how is it used?
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Full Answer

Myrrh has been harvested since ancient times. It is currently commonly harvested in Northern Africa and Asia. The resin is extracted by stripping the bark of the tree and letting it run out of the sapwood. The waxy resin solidifies after it has been extracted and darkens with age.

Myrrh is used in Chinese, Ayurvedi and Unani medicine. In modern medicine, myrrh is used as an antiseptic in mouthwashes and toothpastes, and it is applied on the teeth and gums for the prevention or treatment of gum disease. It is also used as a liniment for aches, sprains, bruises, abrasions and other skin ailments. Myrrh can also be used as an effective analgesic for toothaches.

Other medicinal uses for myrrh include relieving the effects of colds, ulcers, cough, indigestion, asthma, lung congestion, indigestion and arthritis pain. Research has shown that powerful anti-cancer properties can be extracted from Myrrh. These chemicals inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors, and it has been shown on a laboratory dish to kill cancer cells resistant to anti-cancer drugs.

Other research has indicated that it is an effective liver detoxifier after lead poisoning. Myhhr is usually ingested by mixing it with wine or other foods. It is also used as a perfume and incense in some oriental cultures.

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