is a red-brown resinous material, the dried sap
of the Commiphora myrrha
tree, indigenous to Somalia
. A number of other Commiphora
saps are also known as myrrh, including that from Commiphora erythraea
(sometimes called East Indian myrrh), Commiphora opobalsamum
, and Balsamodendron kua
Myrrh is a constituent of perfumes and incense, and was highly prized in ancient times. Myrrh was one of the gifts of the Magi to the baby Jesus in the story told in the Gospel of Matthew. Myrrh was used as an incense in funerals and cremations, a fact alluded to in the Christmas carol We Three Kings.