Sweet myrrh

Sweet myrrh (Opopanax chironium)

Sweet myrrh or bisabol myrrh, is a herb that grows one to three feet high and produces a large, yellow inflorescence. The plant thrives in warm climates like Iran, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Somalia, but also grows in cooler climates. Some view sweet myrrh grown in cooler climates as being of inferior quality. It is different from classic myrrh: sweet myrrh is a rich, dark, and rather sweet resin note, while classic myrrh strikes you as drier and more astringent - perhaps even a bit herbal. A consumable resin can be extracted from opopanax by cutting the plant at the base of a stem and sun-drying the juice that flows out. Though people often find the taste acrid and bitter, the highly flammable resin can be burned as incense to produce a scent somewhat like balsam or lavender. The resin has been used in the treatment of spasms, and, before that, as an emmenagogue, in the treatment of asthma, chronic visceral infections, hysteria and hypochondria. Sweet myrrh resin is most frequently sold in dried irregular pieces, though tear-shaped gems are not uncommon.Sweet myrrh is also used in the production of certain perfumes.