bola :Myrrh is a secretion product of the myrrh bush. It is formed in the resin ducts in the bark and is formed as a liquid gum resin either spontaneously or when you break the bark of the shrub. In air, the resin then solidifies in irregular, orange-brown pieces. To obtain the myrrh, the bark is cut after the rainy season from June to August and the hardened myrrh is collected. The commercially available drugcomes from collections in the Sudan, Yemen, Eritrea and Somalia.
HISTORICAL AND MYTHOLOGICAL REVIEW:Both frankincense—also known as olibanum—and myrrh have been traded in the Middle East and North Africa for upwards of 5,000 years. It is believed that the Babylonians and Assyrians burned them during religious ceremonies. The ancient Egyptians bought entire boatloads of the resins from the Phoenicians, using them in incense, insect repellent, perfume and salves for wounds and sores; they were also key ingredients in the embalming process. Myrrh oil served as a rejuvenating facial treatment, while frankincense was charred and ground into a power to make the heavy kohl eyeliner Egyptian women famously wore. Sacks of frankincense and potted saplings of myrrh-producing trees appear in murals decorating the walls of a temple dedicated to Queen Hatshepsut, who ruled Egypt for roughly two decades until her death around 480 B.C.
Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta - Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta - Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicotyledons
Species: Commiphora myrrh
- Commiphora mukul (Known as Guggul or Guggulu in Ayurveda, it is native to India)
- Commiphora molmol (commonly farmed species)
- Commiphora myrrha (It is native to Yemen, Somalia, Eritrea and Ethiopia)
VERNACULAR NAMESSanskrit: Barbarah, Bola, Bolah, Gandharasah, Rasagandha, Rasam, Surasah,
Hindi: Bol, Bola, Hirabol
Urdu: Mur makki,
Telugu: Balintrapolum, Balin tabolu, Valentrapolam,
Tamil: Vellaippa-polam, Vellaippapolam
Malayalam: Narumpasa, Narumpasamaram,
Kannada: Bola, Gandharasa, Guggula,
Punjabi: - ਕਮਿਫੋਰਾ ਮੇਰ੍ਰਹ Kamiphōrā mērraha
Arabic: شجر المر
Japanese: ミルラ; 没薬を採る木; ミリス; ラム酒
French: -myrrhe commiphora
Persian: Myrrha mechensis
Greek: σμύρνα, μύρρα
Varities:-The drug Bola is not described in the Brihathrayi texts. It is introduced through the Rasashasthra granthas and Yoga Shasthra granthas at the later times.
Commiphora myrrha is actually a nature African Plant and P.V Sharma is of opinion that the gum of Commiphora crythrae(zhrb)English is the Bola of Bhava Mishra. The later one is found in Somaliya which is known as Bissabol Myrrh.
SynonymsSynonyms in Ayurveda: jatirasa
In Sanskrit, it is called Bol or Vola and this word seems to be derived from Bole (meaning trunk).
Rasa: Katu Tikta
Guna: Laghu Ruksha
Karma: Kaphahara Pittahara Vatahara
Cultivation:A plant for the drier tropics and subtropics, where it can be found at elevations from 250 - 1,300 metres. Plants prefer a minimum temperature that does not fall below about 10°c. It grows wild in areas where the mean annual rainfall is within the range 230 - 300mm
Requires a well-drained soil and a position in full sun. Prefers shallow soils and is chiefly found over limestone
Hardwood cuttings at the end of the growing season
Harvesting:Part harvested : Gum
When people harvest myrrh, they wound the trees repeatedly to bleed them of the gum. Myrrh gum is waxy and coagulates quickly. After the harvest, the gum becomes hard and glossy. The gum is yellowish and may be either clear or opaque. It darkens deeply as it ages, and white streaks emerge.
Myrrh gum is commonly harvested from the species Commiphora myrrha.
Phytochemistry:It contains commiferin, a- and b amyrones, Myrrhol, Myrrhin, a-pinene, cadinene, limonene, cuminaldehyde, eugenol, m-cresol, heerabolene, acetic acid, formic acid and sesquiterpenes. It also contains resin, α-, β- and γ-commiphoric acids, α- and β-heerabomyrrhols, heeraboresene, commiferin, burseracin, various terpenes, steroids campesterol, cholesterol and β-sitosterol.
- important formulations
- Bol Parpati
- Bolbadh Rasa
- Charak Femiforte
- Eladi Kera Thailam
Parts used for medicinal purposeGum, Leaves, Stem, ,
- The ole gum resin can be taken in a dose of 500 mg to 1.25 grams.
- This medicinal dosage can be added to hot boiling water and steeped for fifteen minutes. This can be taken twice or thrice day.
- Or the powdered resin is taken, once or twice a day.
- Myrrh Tincture 2.5–5.0 mL is mixed with one glass of water and used several times daily as a gargle or a mouthwash.
Antidote:-Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Taking myrrh by mouth during pregnancy is UNSAFE and should be avoided. Myrrh can stimulate the uterus and might cause a miscarriage. There isn’t enough information to rate the safety of using myrrh on the skin during pregnancy, so until more is known, it’s best to avoid this use.
Adulterations are not easily detected in the powder, so that it is better purchased in mass, when small stones, senegal gum, chestnuts, pieces of bdellium, or of a brownish resin called false myrrh, may be sorted out with little difficulty.
The resin from opopanax and other Commiphora species are blended with myrrh resin to extract the essential oil.
Controversy:In Egypt, myrrh is used for the treatment of schistosomiasis and several Egyptian investigations have demonstrated antischistosomal activity of oral preparations of myrrh. However, this activity could not be confirmed by other investigators. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) report for myrrh suggests that the potential antischistosomal activity of myrrh remains controversial
Commercial value:To obtain the myrrh, the bark is cut after the rainy season from June to August and the hardened myrrh is collected. The commercially available drugcomes from collections in the Sudan, Yemen, Eritrea and Somalia.
Several species are recognized in commerce. It is usually imported in chests weighing 1 or 2 cwts., and wherever produced comes chiefly from the East Indies.
- Myrrh is native of arid and alpine habitats in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Oman and Yemen. It is small, thick-stemmed tree or shrub with a succulent trunk and spine-like twigs.
- Stem: Tree with somewhat thick trunk and spreading branches.
- Leaves: Small and sparse, generally single and grey-green, oval-shaped and trifoliate, but variable in size and shape. Leaf terminate in an acute point.
- Bark: Silver, papery and peeling, with green bark underneath.
- Fruits: Tiny and brown, with a smooth, oval shape.
- Resin: Damaging or incising the stem produces a pale yellow, oily resin.
Histology:Male flowers usually precocious, 2-4 in dichasial cymes 3-4 mm long which are often sparsely glandular; bracteoles pale brown. 0.5-0.7 mm long and wide, often lightly attached at the base and forming a fragile detachable collar; receptacle beaker-shaped, petals oblong, tapering pointed and recurved at the tip, 4.5 mm long, 1.5 mm wide; filaments 1.4 and 1.2, anthers 1.2 and 1.0 mm long.
Geographical distribution:Hirabola is used for medicinal purpose throughout India, Middle East, Tibet, China and. It is native to eastern Mediterranean countries and Somalia and used in African countries from ancient times. In India, it is mainly imported from Persia or Saudi Arabia.
ECOLOGICAL ASPECT:C. myrrha is normally found in open Acacia, Commiphora bushland on shallow soil, chiefly over limestone.
Plant conservation:-This taxon has not yet been assessed
General Use:Myrrh is used for indigestion, ulcers, colds, cough, asthma, lung congestion, arthritis pain, cancer, leprosy, spasms, and syphilis. It is also used as a stimulant and to increase menstrual flow. It applied directly to the mouth for soreness and swelling, inflamed gums (gingivitis), loose teeth, bad breath, and chapped lips. It is also used topically for hemorrhoids, bedsores, wounds, abrasions, and boils, pain relief, including menstrual pain resulting from blood stagnation. Treat throat and mouth inflammation, swelling, conjunctivitis, cold sores and cancer sores, leucorrhea, heavy periods, used locally to treat boils, abscess, applied locally to treat gum disorders, sore throat etc.
Therapeutic Uses:Myrrh is used either alone or with other medicinal herbs both internally and externally. It constricts mucous membrane of mouth and used as a gargle treat oral problems. Myrrh is also used topically in the treatment of skin diseases, infections and wounds due to its antimicrobial action.
Systemic Use:Myrrh stimulates the production of gastric juices, tones the digestive tract and used to treat diarrhoea, flatulence, dyspepsia, loss of appetite. Stimulates the production of menstrual blood (emmenagogue). Also used to treat genital infections, leucorrhoea, thrush, scanty periods, used for haemorrhoids, arthritis has expectorant activity and is also used for flu, catarrh, bronchitis, asthma, sore throat. Stimulates the production of white blood cells regeneration of skin cells, assists in the healing of wounds. Myrrh treats eczema, wounds, wrinkles and has very good mollifying qualities. Use of myrrh imparts a cooling, calming effect, combating apathy and increasing mental clarity and focus. Myrrh is also administered as horse tincture in veterinary practice for healing wounds. Because of its anti-fungal properties it can be used as a vaginal wash for thrush or in a footbath for athletes foot.
Administration:-Most often as a tincture, or the essential oil, rarely teas or capsule form.
Pharmacological:Pachana, Deepana, Medhya, Vrushya, Garbhashaya, Vishodhana, Jwara, Kushta, Apasmara, Arsha, Bhagna, Svedagraha, Pradara, Raktadosha.
Clinical trials:Massoud A, El Sisi S, Salama O, Massoud A (2001). "Preliminary study of therapeutic efficacy of a new fasciolicidal drug derived from Commiphora molmol (myrrh)". Am J Trop Med Hyg. 65 (2): 96–99. PMID 11508399
Research:Abdul-Ghani, RA; Loutfy, N; Hassan, A (2009). "Myrrh and trematodoses in Egypt: An overview of safety, efficacy and effectiveness profiles". Parasitology International. 58 (3): 210–4. doi:10.1016/j.parint.2009.04.006. PMID 19446652. ( A good review on its antiparasitic activities)
Use in other system of medicine:Many ancient texts extol the healing properties of Myrrh as a cleansing, purifying agent and it continues to be a proven and popular remedy today. In the early 20th century myrrh was still being used in hospitals to treat bed sores. 1 Myrrhs antifungal, antiseptic and astringent actions makes it a specific in the treatment of infections in the mouth such as mouth ulcers, gingivitis, and phyorrhoea. 2 Used as a gargle it can help with laryngitis and respiratory complaints; it is both expectorant and a stimulant of circulation and finds many uses in the treatment of the common cold. Externally it is healing and antiseptic for wounds and abrasions and can be applied diluted with a carrier oil or used sparingly as a tincture. Myrrh is a useful agent for treating thrush, (Candida albicans) and athletes foot fungal infections.
KEY WORDS: bola Commiphora myrrha (Nees) Engl.
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