The Active Constituents of Myrrh Gum

old message The Active Constituents of Myrrh Gum Darrell Miller 09/20/11

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Date: September 20, 2011 01:25 PM
Subject: The Active Constituents of Myrrh Gum

Myrrh gum has been used in traditional remedies for a wide range of conditions, but is there a scientific explanation for this? Most ancient remedies used in traditional Chinese or Ayurvedic medicine, or by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, come under modern medical scrutiny at some time as we try to establish the truth of the claims made for them. One of the techniques used is to establish whether or not the substance contains any phytochemicals that could explain its traditional uses. Myrrh gum is one of those.

Examination of the claims made for it indicated myrrh gum to be antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial in nature, although it also offered other properties that were not so easily generalized. However, using these properties as a guide, it would be expected to contain phytochemicals that offered them.

True enough: myrrh gum was found to contain a number of substances well known for these properties: sesquiterpenoids, limonene, eugenol and pinene. The sesquiterpenes are powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances, explaining myrrh gum's effect on free radicals and in moderating inflammation. Limonene is a terpene that helps the brain to release dopamine, a natural analgesic.

Eugenol is the active constituent in clove oil, which explains its use in traditional medicines for sore gums and other oral problems. Pinene, another type of terpene, not only possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties but is also an antispasmodic. In these ways, and more, the health benefits of myrrh gum have been explained by modern science. The gum is available as a liquid extract or in capsule forms.

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