Myrrh is susceptible to quality variation because of the mixture of species that often exists in export shipments. Pieces of good quality selected myrrh should be slightly sticky on breaking, rather than crystalline, indicating a high oil content.
Commiphora species are small trees or shrubs with short, thorny branches. True myrrh is produced by C. myrrha, a variable species found in southern Arabia and northeast Africa (chiefly Somalia) as far south as northeast Kenya. Other resin-producing Commiphora occur in southern Arabia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia and Kenya.
Guggulu (False Myrrh)
Syn: Commiphora mukul. (Hooks. Ex Stocks)
Sanskrit / Indian name: Guggulu, Gugul
It is a small tree or shrub with spinescent branches. It is a gum resin used in Ayurvedic medicine and considered in that tradition to have astringent, antiseptic and antisuppurative properties. See Ayurvedic guides (e.g. The Yoga of Herbs -- Vasant Lad & David Frawley) for information on possible medicinal properties.