MyrtlePlant/Part: Bush /Leaves (Source : North Africa/ Iran)

Latin Name: Myrtus communis

Family: Myrtaceae

Extraction: Steam Distillation

AROMA: Fresh, slightly sweet and penetrating.

PROPERTIES: Reputed to have a pronounced clearing effect and particularly useful with pulmonary disorders especially when accompanied by night sweats. Indeed, promotes restful sleep due to its sedative nature and perhaps more beneficial at night than the stimulating Eucalyptus which it resembles in action. Both oils are helpful in combating excessive moisture, bronchial catarrh and clearing sinusitis. Generally effective in keeping infection down. Noted for its regulating effect on the genito-urinary stem, easing such problems as hemorrhoids, diarrhea and dysentery . Its antiseptic properties may help to clear cystitis and urethritis. Could stem leucorrhoea, help to loosen general congestion of the pelvic organs and said to be an effective tonic to the womb.

CHEMICAL CONSTITUENTS: Geraniol, Linalool, Myrtenol, Nerol (Alcohols), Myrtenal (Aldehyde), Cineole (Ketone) , Camphene, Dipentene, Pinene (Terpenes).

Myrtle FlowersPRECAUTIONS: May irritate mucous membranes with prolonged use.

BLENDS: Bergamot, Cardamom, Coriander, Dill, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Rosewood , Rosemary, Spearmint, Thyme, Ti-Tree.

This large bush or small tree, is a native of North Africa, but grows freely all around the Mediterranean and as a cultivated garden plant throughout most of Europe. In France it is sometimes called poivrier corse' (Corsican pepper).

It has been known for its antiseptic properties at least since the lime of the ancient Greeks, and Dioscorides prescribed it for lung and bladder infections, in the form of an extract made by macerating the leaves in wine.

The essential oil is distilled from the young leaves, and is pale yellow in colour. It has a pleasant, clear fresh smell, resembling Eucalyptus (which belongs to the same plant genus, the Myrtaceae) but more delicate and less penetrating. The main constituent is cineol, with myrtenol, pinene, geraniol, linalol and camphene.

MyrtleIts most important properties are antiseptic and bactericidal, particularly in pulmonary and urinary infections, as illustrated by Dioscorides. It is especially valuable in chronic conditions of the lungs, and where there is a lot of bronchial catarrh.

Because of its relative mildness, this is a very suitable oil to use for children's coughs and chest complaints. It is very well tolerated when used in normal 3% dilution as a chest rub, and because of the unobtrusive smell children will accept it where they may dislike Eucalyptus. Used in small amounts, it is slightly sedative, unlike the stimulant Eucalyptus, so it is a good choice for use on the chest, in inhalations or burners at night. I have also found it a good oil for elderly people both as a treatment and a preventive measure against chest infections.

Myrtle oil is astringent, and has been used to reduce haemorrhoids. Because of this astringent quality, the leaves and flowers used to be used in skincare, and were a major ingredient of Angel's Water', a popular 16th century skin lotion. With this in mind, we might consider adding Myrtle to the range of oils used to combat acne.

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