Plum Dragon Herbs

Mo Yao (Myrrh Resin)


Mo Yao, also known as Myrrh Gum, is a resin obtained from the stem of the myrrh tree (Commiphora myrrha) that is native to Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. It has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for its medicinal properties. Mo Yao is known to have a warming effect on the body and is used to treat a variety of ailments, including pain, inflammation, and digestive issues.

In TCM, Mo Yao is believed to have a tonifying effect on the blood, and it is commonly used to treat conditions such as irregular menstruation, abdominal pain, and other gynecological problems. Additionally, Mo Yao is also used to treat respiratory conditions such as coughs, colds, and bronchitis. When used in combination with other herbs, Mo Yao is believed to enhance the therapeutic effects of the formula.  The resin of Mo Yao(Myrrh) is almost  almost inseparable from Ru Xiang (Frankincense resin) due to their synergistic effect, is bitter with neutral energy. It belongs to the TCM class of herbs that invigorate the blood. Used with Frankincense, it forms a combination that is part of the base ingredients in many bruise liniments.

High Quality Mo Yao: What does it look like?

High-quality Myrrh resin is usually golden-brown to reddish-brown in color and comes in translucent to opaque pieces. It should be free of any impurities, such as dirt, sand, or foreign matter. It should have a strong, warm, and slightly bitter aroma, and should be flexible and not too brittle. It should be sticky, brittle when dry, and gummy when wet.  It should also be free of any cracks or fissures and should be uniform in color and texture. If you break a piece of high-quality Myrrh resin, it should have a clean, sharp break and not crumble or powder easily.

Other key characteristics of Mo Yao include: 

  • Warm, earthy scent: Myrrh has a rich, warm, and slightly bitter aroma that is often used in perfumes, incense, and aromatherapy products.

  • Antiseptic and anti-inflammatory: Myrrh has been used for centuries to treat wounds, infections, and skin conditions due to its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.

  • Supports oral health: Myrrh has been used in traditional medicine to support oral health and treat conditions such as gum disease, mouth sores, and bad breath.

  • Religious significance: Myrrh has been used in religious rituals for thousands of years, particularly in the Middle East, where it is often used as an ingredient in incense and perfumes.

  • Versatile use: In addition to its use in perfumes and incense, Myrrh is also used in cosmetics, soaps, and other personal care products due to its skin-conditioning properties.

How is Mo Yao prepared and processed?

Myrrh resin is obtained from the sap of certain species of trees in the genus Commiphora, which are native to the dry and semi-arid regions of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. The following steps describe the general process of cultivating myrrh resin:

  1. Preparation: The trees are usually grown from seeds or cuttings and are trained to grow into a specific shape for easier tapping. The trees need to mature for several years before they can be tapped for resin.

  2. Tapping: The process of tapping the trees for resin involves making small incisions into the trunk or branches and allowing the sap to flow out and harden into resin. This is typically done several times a year, depending on the local climate and tree species.

  3. Collection: The resin is collected once it has hardened and is usually scraped or cut from the tree trunk or branches. The resin is then cleaned and sorted by quality.

  4. Processing: The collected resin is then processed to remove impurities and prepare it for use in various applications. This may involve grading, sorting, and cleaning the resin, and sometimes also involves boiling or steam distillation to extract the essential oil.

  5. Packaging and storage: The processed resin is then packaged and stored in airtight containers to protect it from moisture and to preserve its quality.

The cultivation of myrrh resin is a labor-intensive process that has been practiced for thousands of years in the regions where the trees grow. The specific method used may vary depending on local practices, the species of tree being tapped, and the desired end-product.

Popular Recipe for Mo Yao

Herbal Tea with Myrrh Resin:


  • 10g dried myrrh resin
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 slice of fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon of honey (optional)
  • 1 cup of water


  1. Rinse the myrrh resin to remove any impurities.
  2. Place the myrrh resin, cinnamon stick, and fresh ginger in a pot.
  3. Add 1 cup of water to the pot.
  4. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Strain the liquid and discard the solids.
  6. Add 1 tablespoon of honey to the tea, if desired, and stir to dissolve.
  7. Serve the hot tea and enjoy its flavorful and soothing properties.

Note: It is recommended to consult with a licensed practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine before using myrrh resin, as it may have contraindications for certain health conditions and may interact with certain medications. Proper dosing and usage should be determined by a healthcare professional.

Safety Precautions for the use of Mo Yao

While Mo Yao (Myrrh) is generally considered safe, it is important to be cautious when using this herb, as it may have certain safety precautions. Here are some of the most important ones to keep in mind:

  1. Consult a healthcare professional: Before using Mo Yao, it is recommended to consult with a licensed practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine or a healthcare professional to determine if it is safe for you to use and to ensure proper dosing and usage.

  2. Possible side effects: Mo Yao may cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It may also interact with certain medications and exacerbate certain health conditions.

  3. Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Mo Yao should be avoided by pregnant and breastfeeding women, as its safety has not been established in these populations.

  4. Proper storage: Store dried Mo Yao in a cool, dry place, away from direct light and moisture to ensure its potency and effectiveness.

  5. Follow instructions: Always follow the instructions on the packaging or as recommended by a healthcare professional when using Mo Yao. Do not exceed the recommended dosage.

It’s important to note that this is a general guideline and it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional or herbalist to determine the right dosage and usage for you.

Additional Information about Mo Yao

Common Names:  Mo Yao (Myrrh Resin); Commiphora Myrrh, Myrrha

Properties: Bitter, neutral

Channels Entered: Heart, Liver, Spleen

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