Myrrh, a gum-resin from Commiphora myrrha, has been a constituent of incense, perfume, and such, in ceremonial religious life. as well as an article employed by the common people from the days of the most remote antiquity. It was one of the rare and precious gum-resins in the days of the Bible, being mentioned in connection with such substances as frankincense and olibanum. That it was highly valued in the days of Solomon is evident from the fact that it is mentioned conspicuously in connection with the gifts brought by the Queen of Sheba to that monarch. It is yet obtained from Arabia, the present writer finding it in the bazaars of Aden (and adjacent Arab bazaars), a city that had an existence as a port of export for Oriental products in very early days. Theophrastus (633), Pliny (514), and other early writers mention this drug, which from all times has been valued in domestic medicine for its aromatic qualities, and as a constituent of incense in religious ceremonies. In Herodotus (Macaulay, Book II, p. 153) it is named as one of the substances used by the Egyptians in embalming the dead.
"First with a crooked iron they draw out the brains through the nostrils, extracting it partly thus and partly by pouring in drugs; and after this with a sharp stone of Ethiopia they make a cut along the side and take out the whole contents of the belly, and when they have cleared out the cavity and cleansed it with palm-wine they cleanse it again with spices pounded up; then they fill the belly with pure myrrh pounded up and with cassia and other spices except frankincense, and sew it together again."
The History of the Vegetable Drugs of the U.S.P., 1911, was written by John Uri Lloyd.