The gummy resinous exudations of Balsamodendron Myrrha.—Asia.
Therapeutic Action.—Myrrh is described as stimulant, tonic, expectorant, emmenagogue, diaphoretic and antispasmodic. We would say it was stimulant and tonic, its stimulating effects being most conspicuous, while its tonic properties next engage our attention.
Taken in small doses, it promotes the appetite and produces gentle warmth in the stomach, aids assimilation, diminishes excessive secretions from the mucous membranes, and invigorates the general system. In larger doses it causes increased fullness and frequency of the pulse, a sensation of warmth in the mucous membrane of the respiratory passages, and increased temperature of the surface. When locally employed it acts as a mild astringent, detergent, antiseptic, topical excitant and tonic.
Myrrh is indicated in enfeebled states of the general system, with weak, vascular action, and in profuse secretions from mucous membranes. It seems beet adapted to relaxed and leuco-phlegmatic habits.
In chronic catarrh, humoral asthma, pulmonary consumption, attended with a profuse or debilitating expectoration, and in cases of profuse secretions from other mucous surfaces, as the bowels and genito-urinary organs, it is advantageously used to lessen the secretion or discharge. It is also used in other conditions of the pulmonary organs where the secretion is abundant, but not readily expectorated, owing to weakness of the respiratory organs, with a view to aid expectoration.
The American Eclectic Materia Medica and Therapeutics, 1898, was written by John M. Scudder, M.D.