Myrrh is a shrub that has been used to ease wound pain and help the body fight infection. The resin from its roots is often used as an oil or tincture and put on sores in the mouth. Myrrh can also be taken as a capsule, powder, or as plain resin. It can also be applied as a cream or salve.
There aren’t any advised doses for myrrh.
What Research Shows
May Be Effective
- Canker sores —may ease pain A1
- Ulcerative colitis —may be as effective as standard treatment when used with chamomile and coffee charcoal C1
Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.
It is likely safe for most adults to take a small amount of myrrh for a short time and use it on the skin, but it may make your skin dry.B1 Large amounts may be unsafe. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to use for a long period. Myrrh should not be taken during pregnancy or when breastfeeding.
Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.
A. Canker Sore
A1. Mansour G, Ouda S, et al. Clinical efficacy of new aloe vera- and myrrh-based oral mucoadhesive gels in the management of minor recurrent aphthous stomatitis: a randomized, double-blind, vehicle-controlled study. J Oral Pathol Med. 2014;43(6):405-409.
B1. Calapai G, Miroddi M, et al. Contact dermatitis as an adverse reaction to some topically used European herbal medicinal products - part 1: Achillea millefolium-Curcuma longa. Contact Dermatitis. 2014 Jul;71(1):1-12.
C. Ulcerative Colitis
C1. Langhorst J, Varnhagen I, et al. Randomised clinical trial: a herbal preparation of myrrh, chamomile and coffee charcoal compared with mesalazine in maintaining remission in ulcerative colitis--a double-blind, double-dummy study. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2013 Sep;38(5):490-500.
Last reviewed March 2020 by EBSCO NAT Review Board
Eric Hurwitz, DC
Last Updated: 6/29/2020