Geographic and botanical origin
Myrrh is the gum of the tree species Commiphora myrrha. The raw material myrrh origins in the region around the Gulf of Aden: Yemen, Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya. Myrrh is called “Molmol” in the Somali language. Hence, the tree species from which it is harvested is sometimes also called Commiphora molmol.
Harvest and Processing
Myrrh is harvested trough an incision into the trees. The gum exudes from the tapped cut and is collected by farmers. The myrrh gum is cleaned and the sorted by color, size, grade of purity and origin. The main quality marker of myrrh is its odor.
Sensory and phytochemical composition
The raw material Myrrh consists of small, bright to dark, brownish to red gum lumps. These lumps have a pleasant smell.
Myrrh is composed to a big part of water soluble gum. The raw material is valued for the small amounts of essential oils. These can be extracted by steam distillation.