Myrrh is hardy shrub that grows in desert regions, particularly in northeastern Africa and the Middle East and in regions around Arabia. The resin obtained from the stems is used in medicinal preparations. Today Myrrh is used in some mouth washes and sore throat medicines.
Although it has had a number of reported medicinal uses throughout recorded history, myrrh is now found most often in mouthwashes to soothe mouth and throat irritations. In addition to relieving inflammation, using myrrh as a mouthwash also is thought to improve bad breath. As a mouth rinse, myrrh is approved for treating mouth inflammation by the German Commission E, the German governmental agency that evaluates the safety and effectiveness of herbal products. Undiluted myrrh tincture can also be applied directly to sores inside the mouth. Occasionally, diluted myrrh tincture is used as a wash for hemorrhoids or as a douche to relieve vaginal irritation.
Currently, myrrh is rarely taken by mouth for medicinal purposes, but it is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a flavoring, fragrance, or stabilizing ingredient in beverages, cosmetics, drugs, and foods.