Myrrh & Frankincense
Gums by their signature have a close correspondence with Blood. Therefore, many of the gums are used as blood medicines. Possibly the most famous gum duo is that of Myrrh and Frankincense, both strong blood medicines.
Myrrh is neutral (slightly Warm), Bitter and Aromatic. Frankincense is Warm, Pungent and Aromatic. The former enters the Blood, breaks Stasis and eases Pain. The latter Moves both Qi and Blood, promotes capillary circulation, and relaxes the Sinews. Together, they work as powerful catalysts for one another, moving Qi and Blood, promoting Circulation, clearing Blood Stasis, and easing Pain.
They are also valuable in external use to move the Blood, promote Circulation, ease Pain, heal Sores, and promote growth of healthy Flesh.
This combination has a variety of important uses:
Firstly, for Pain anywhere in the body associated with stagnation of Qi and Blood (manifesting with sharp, fixed pain, dull complexion, cyanosis of the tongue, lips or nails, history of trauma etc.). Used for pain of the Chest, Abdomen or Pelvis; also of the Joints or Muscles.
It is also very useful for Angina, Heart disease, Arteriosclerosis, Hypercholestemia.
They may be used for Gynecological disorders with associated with Blood stagnation, or with fixed, sharp pain; Amenorrhea, Dysmenorrhea, and Postpartum Pain. Also to help with Cysts and Fibroids etc.
Also very useful for Arthritic and Rheumatic disease associated with Wind and Damp, especially if also with Blood stagnation (darkness of the joints). In India, Guggulu (closely related to Myrrh) is the prime medicine for such joint disorders.
Topically, they are used for Sores, Wounds, Ulcers, Necrosis and skin Inflammations etc. Also topically for all types of Traumatic injury with pain, swelling and bruising.
1. In both Chinese and Ayurvedic medical systems, these medicines are considered irritating and hard-of-digestion in their raw state. Therefore, they are prepared.
2. In TCM, both are stir-fried until brown, or stir-fried with Vinegar (which also enhances their Blood moving, Stasis relieving effects). In India, Guggulu (closely related to Myrrh), is prepared by boiling with various herb decoctions (usually Triphala). We can suggest that alcohol also partly seems to correct the irritant nature (of Myrrh at least), as Myrrh Tincture is kinder to the stomach than raw Myrrh powder, and alcohol also helps move the Blood.
3. In addition, small amounts used in larger compounds in the form of pills or powders can be used without preparation, as has been practiced in Europe and Unani. However, in these instances they are corrected in formula.
4. Further, a number of sources supplied both Myrrh and Frankincense classically. They were obtained from various parts of Africa, the Middle East, and India. Some of these are far lighter and more aromatic, whereas Myrrh in particular is usually rich, heavy and earthy by nature, and therefore harder to digest. So some sources are more suited to being used without preparation.
5. In any event, they are best corrected in formula which may be done with Licorice, Mastic, or the Myrobalans.
Electuary of Frankincense (Wirtzung), Powder for Incontinence (Alexander Benedictus), Pills for Excess Menstruation (Gabelhover), Pills to Increase Memory, Powder for Bruises (Lemery), Powder to Move Blood (Wirtzung), Powder for Hernia of Vigo, Confection for Obstruction of the Lungs, Betony Plaster, Saffron Plaster, Purging Oil of Aloes, Oil for Wounds, The Palsy Balsam, Powder for Moist and Hollow Ulcers, Powder for Hollow Wounds (Wecker), Powder to Agglutinate the Lips of a Wound (Nicholas)
From Eastern Medicine:
Qi Li San, Die Da Wan, Huo Luo Xiao Ling Dan, Xiao Huo Luo Wan, Xian Fang Huo Ming Yin
1. Chronic Joint Pain with Inflammation, add Turmeric and Ginger
2. Pain from Cold, add Trikatu (equal parts of Ginger, Long and Black Peppers)
3. To Move the Blood and break Stasis, combine with Safflower and Peach Kernel. In China, this group would be added to Si Wu Tang, a general blood tonic which these Blood-moving medicines with, thus nourishing while moving.
4. For Angina Pectoris combine with Galangal and Saffron (or Safflower).
5. For obstructions of the Lungs, add Licorice, Saffron, Cassia Wood and Honey (as in Confection for Obstruction of the Lungs)
6. Topically and Internally for Bruises, Wounds, Necrosis etc., add Dragon’s Blood and Safflower.