Advanced Search
» Myrrh, guggul and opopanax

Myrrh, guggul and opopanax

Thursday 09 May 2024

Myrrh or Commiphora Myrrha

These three resins belong to the Burseraceae family, as do most of the gum-resins used in fumigation (olibanum, copal, gum elemi, palo santo, etc.). Myrrh is certainly the best known of the three. However, opopanax and guggul are not without interest. In the days of the Egyptian pharaohs, myrrh was transported from the kingdoms in the southern part of the Horn of Africa, such as Puntland (today's Somalia) or the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula (today's Yemen and the Sultanate of Oman). Myrrh was transported on the incense routes to Egypt, Gaza or Eilat.

Myrrh is a gum-resin, composed of 30/60% gum, 25/35% resin and 3-8% essential oil. It is used in perfumery and in the manufacture of remedies, for mouth, gum and throat care and for dermatological problems.
When fumigated, it produces a pungent, earthy, balsamic and bitter odour that encourages rooting. It blends well with olibanum.
Synonyms: Commiphora myrrha, Commiphora molmol, Commiphora abyssinica, Balsamodendron myrrha, Myrrhe herabol...


The Guggul or Commiphora Mukul

Gugul or Indian Bdellium, Commiphora mukul or Commiphora wightii. This resin comes from a small tree of the Burseraceae family native to the semi-arid and desert regions of India and the Middle East.
Most of the Guggul available on the market comes from India, from the states of Rajasthan or Gujarat. The use of this resin in India dates back to ancient times. It is widely used in Ayurvedic medicine (traditional Indian medicine). It contains fat-soluble steroids, Guggulipid (guggulsterones) which, according to current studies, have interesting virtues against obesity or arthritis problems, the regulation of cholesterol levels or the treatment of acne.

Synonyms and spelling :
There are many ways to spell this product, and many synonyms: guggul, gugul, guggulu, Indian bdellium, Indian myrrh, etc. Guggul, sometimes called "Indian frankincense", has nothing to do with this resin. It is more closely related to myrrh, also of the Commiphora genus. When fumigated, it gives off a balsamic, pungent and resinous odour with vanilla notes. A guggul fumigation is beneficial against stress, nervousness or anxiety.


Opopanax or Commiphora erythrea

Also native to Somalia, Ethiopia or Eritrea, opopanax is widely used in perfumery. It is used in the composition of some of the world's most famous perfumes, including Shalimar (Guerlain), Coco (Chanel) and Poison (Dior).
When fumigated, it gives off a balsamic, earthy, woody and sweet smell. Opoponax is very relaxing and invigorates the senses, it promotes inspiration and a more intuitive perception and makes one optimistic.
Synonyms: Commiphora erythrea, Opopanax, Opoponax, Myrrh bisabol or bissabol...

Leave a comment