Common Names of Burseraceae: Corkwood, Commiphora; (English), Kanniedood (Afrikaans).
Plant: Myrrh is a natural amber-coloured gum resin extracted from small thorny trees, that has been used as a perfume, incense, and medicine throughout history. The resin is steam distilled to release the essential oil with its slightly woody spicy fragrance. The trees grow naturally in Northern Africa, the Middle East and Namibia. The Namibian myrrh comes from trees in the North Western Namibian desert where the resin is wild harvested.
Uses: It is anti bacterial and anti fungal, used as an anti septic in mouthwashes, gargles, toothpastes and for toothache. It is used topically for abrasions and minor skin ailments, bruises, aches and sprains. It is also used for indigestion, ulcers, colds, coughs, asthma, lung congestion and arthritic pain.
It was used by the Egyptians in a sun-worshipping ritual and during mummification.
Greek soldiers were known to take a phial of Myrrh oil with them into battle, to stop bleeding wounds.