Myrtle essential oil facts and benefits

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Myrtle essential oil facts and benefits

Myrtle essential oil Quick Facts
Name: Myrtle essential oil
Scientific Name: Myrtus Communis
Origin Originates from Africa, and grows all around the Mediterranean
Colors Clear to greenish-yellow to yellow-very-light-orange
Health benefits Astringent, Deodorant, Antiseptic, Expectorant, Nervine, Sedative, Spiritual, Adaptogen, Treat Malaria, Aphrodisiac, Ant catarrhal, Disinfectant, Lowers Blood Sugar Heals Mouth Ulcers, Mosquito Repellant
Myrtus, with the common name myrtle, is a genus of flowering plants in the family Myrtaceae, described by Linnaeus in 1753. The myrtle plant was first mentioned in history in ancient Greece. Myrtle is an evergreen shrub that originated from Africa and has become a native plant in the Mediterranean region. Its small, dark green leaves, purple-black colored berries, and fragrant white flowers are all sources of myrtle oil. However, it is the leaves that produce the oil used in traditional medicine. The oil derived from berries is frequently used as a flavoring agent for beverages and alcoholic drinks.

Normally oil is extracted from the leaves, branches, and berries. The oil that is most commonly used medicinally is extracted from the leaves. This oil will be liquid at room temperature. The color will range from clear to greenish-yellow to yellow-very-light-orange. Its aroma is reminiscent of frankincense or bay. Some examples of myrtle oil have a slight hint of camphor or eucalyptus. The oil from the myrtle berries is used as a flavoring for drinks and alcoholic beverages throughout the Mediterranean Area.

Health Benefits of Myrtle Essential Oil

The health benefits of Myrtle Essential Oil can be attributed to its properties as an antiseptic, astringent, deodorant, expectorant and sedative substance. Listed are some popular health benefits of Myrtle Essential Oil

1. Astringent

If used in mouthwash, myrtle essential oil makes the gums contract and strengthen their hold on the teeth. If ingested, it also makes the intestinal tracts and muscles contract. Furthermore, it contracts and tightens the skin and helps to diminish wrinkles. It can also help stop hemorrhaging by inducing the blood vessels to contract. Myrtle essential oil is also very effective in bad cases of acne, especially when there are painful boils with white heads. Mix 10 ml (2 tsp) grape seed oil, 1 drop wheat germ and 7 drops myrtle essential oil, and apply a few times per day until better. Cleanse the skin before and after applying the myrtle essential oil with a lotion made from 50 ml (2 fl oz.) rosewater and 5 drops myrtle. This has a particularly astringent action on the greasy skin which is so often associated with bad acne.

2. Deodorant

Myrtle essential oil helps to eliminate foul odors. It can be used in incense sticks and burners, fumigants and vaporizers as room fresheners. It can also be used as a body deodorant or perfume. It has no side effects like itching, irritation or patches on the skin like certain commercial deodorants.

3. Antiseptic

Myrtle essential oil is suitable substance to apply on wounds. It does not let microbes infect the wounds and thus protects against sepsis and tetanus, in case of an iron object being the cause of the damage.

4. Expectorant

Regular use of myrtle oil helps to reduce the presence and further deposition of phlegm. It also clears congestion of the nasal tracts, bronchi and lungs resulting from colds and provides good relief from coughing.

5. Nervine

Myrtle oil maintains the stability of the nerves and keeps you from becoming nervous or unnecessarily stressed over small issues. It is a beneficial agent against nervous and neurotic disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, shaking limbs, fear, vertigo, anxiety, and chronic stress.

6. Sedative

The essential oil of myrtle relaxes and sedates. It provides relief from tension, stress, annoyance, anger, distress and depression, as well as from inflammation, irritation and various allergies.

7. Spiritual

Myrtle oil helps balance the male and female energies of the body by releasing anger and inner conflict. It will help those who feel suppressed or confused by life as well. Balancing the male and female energies is important to becoming whole in our spiritual evolution. Often times we are taught to be one sided and avoid masculine or feminine characters.

8. Adaptogen

Myrtus communis is an adaptogen that can stimulate an increase or a decrease in thyroid activity depending on a person’s condition. Drugs are incapable of such intelligent discriminations and act only in preprogrammed directions, like robots, whether beneficial or not. Myrtle essential oil has been researched by Daniel Penoel, M.D. of France for normalizing hormonal imbalances of the thyroid and ovaries. It also has benefits for decongesting the respiratory system and the sinuses.

9. Treat Malaria

Myrtle oil has been traditionally used for the treatment of Malaria. Malaria is a parasitic disease of the blood which is passed to human beings by mosquitoes. It is a common disease in the Middle East and Africa, where it causes serious illness and death. Scientists administered myrtle oil to mice that had been infected with Malaria and found that the treatment resulted in an 84% suppression of parasitic activity after four days of treatment. The treatment was not toxic to the mice, and researchers believed that this treatment offered promise for human cases of Malaria.

10. Aphrodisiac

Regular use of Myrtle essential oil is related with Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. It works very well to alleviate problems like impotency, frigidity, erectile dysfunctions, and loss of libido.

11. Ant catarrhal

The uses of myrtle essential oil help to counters the accumulation of phlegm and catarrh in the respiratory tracts. It also curbs the formation of mucus and provides relief from coughs and breathing trouble.

12. Disinfectant

Myrtle essential oil inhibits infections, since it is a bactericidal, germicidal, fungicidal and antiviral substance. It also helps to cure infections in the stomach and intestines, while helping to stop diarrhea. Warts are a contagious skin disease. Medical treatments of warts are often not successful and may involve multiple setbacks during which the affected area may increase in size. Facial warts are particularly difficult to treat. Iranian traditional medicine uses essential oil of myrtle as an economical and low cost topical treatment for warts.

In this study, two patients with common warts were treated. They had warts on the body and on the face. They were instructed to apply myrtle essential oil on the skin of their body, but not on the face. The results were the elimination of the warts on the body as well as the face. Scientists imagined that Myrtle not only has antiviral effects but also may have systemic effects throughout the body.

13. Lowers Blood Sugar

Myrtle leaves as well as the essential oil obtained from the leaves are used to lower the blood glucose level in type-2 diabetic patients. Research worked with groups of diabetic and non-diabetic rabbits. They measured the effects of single and multiple doses of myrtle oil on blood sugar levels for both groups. The non-diabetic rabbits did not experience a change in blood sugar levels after being given oral doses of the essential oil. However, the diabetic rabbits had a 51% reduction in blood sugar levels which appeared after 4 hours. The repeated administration of myrtle oil once per day to the diabetic rabbits maintained the lower blood sugar levels during the week long study. Researchers used 50 mg and 100 mg of myrtle oil per 1 kg of body weight. There was also a 14% reduction in serum triglyceride.

14. Heals Mouth Ulcers

Recurrent Aphthous Stomatitis (RAS) is a common, painful, and ulcerative disorder of the oral cavity with an unknown cause. Myrtle is used in some cultures as treatment for mouth ulcers. The study was a randomized, double-blind, controlled before-after clinical trial. After 6 days no negative side effects were reported. Myrtle was effective in decreasing the size of oral ulcers, and it reduced skin redness, secretions, and pain.

15. Mosquito Repellant

If you live in a warm climate where frost is rare, you could plant several myrtle shrubs near your home to keep away the mosquitoes. Myrtle can also be grown in pots and kept indoors during cold weather months. As a house plant, it will keep away the pests and provide the room with a fresh essential oil fragrance, which will be beneficial to the respiratory system.

How to Make Myrtle Oil

Like many plant essential oils, myrtle oil is obtained by steam distilling the flowers, leaves, and stem. However, you can make infused myrtle oil at home using myrtle leaves. Follow this guide from

What You’ll Need

  • Measuring cup
  • 3 to 4 cups of fresh or 1 cup of dried myrtle leaf
  • Extra virgin olive oil or cold-pressed grape seed oil
  • Jar
  • Large saucepan with ovenproof handles
  • Coffee filters
  • Strainer
  • Dark bottle or jar [preferably glass jar]


Hot Oil Infusion

  1. Measure 3 cups of fresh myrtle leaves. With a knife, chop the leaves into small pieces, about the size of a dime. Transfer the chopped leaves into a jar.
  2. Pour extra virgin oil into the jar until it sits approximately 1 inch above the chopped leaves. Place the contents of the jar into the large saucepan with oven-proof handles.
  3. Preheat oven to 200℉, place the uncovered saucepan into the oven, and observe the mixture. When the oil starts to boil, lower the heat slightly until the oil sits at a temperature where it slowly boils.
  4. Use a wooden spoon to stir the mixture. Do this every 20 minutes. Simmer the oil until the leaves become crisp and “worn out.” This means that the leaves will be devoid of oil for infusion.
  5. Place a coffee filter into a strainer and place over the dark-colored jar. Pour the myrtle extract through the filter until no more oil comes out.
  6. Close the jar tightly and store it in a cool, dark, and dry area.

Cold Oil Infusion

  1. Measure 1 cup of dried myrtle leaves. Chop the leaves using a knife.
  2. Place the chopped leaves into a jar and fill it with cold-pressed grape seed oil until the oil sits approximately an inch above the chopped leaves. Seal the jar afterwards.
  3. Place the jar in a warm place, with access to direct sunlight. Let the jar sit for 2 weeks and shake the jar vigorously at least twice a day.
  4. Put a coffee filter into the strainer, with a dark glass jar underneath it. Pour the oil through and old the strainer over until no oil comes out.
  5. Seal the jar and store in a cool, dry, and dark place.

Other uses of Myrtle Essential Oil

  • Hemorrhoid treatment – Add 6 drops of myrtle oil to 30 grams (1 ounce) of cold cream and mix well. Apply several times a day until the swelling or pain subsides.
  • Acne treatment – Bad cases of boils or white heads can be treated by using 10 ml (2 tsp.) of grape seed oil, 1 drop of wheat germ oil, and 7 drops of myrtle oil.
  • Remedy for any respiratory ailment – Diffuse the oil. You may also add 4 to 5 drops to your bath salts and mix with warm bathwater, or apply a diluted blend to your chest or back.
  • Deodorant – Apart from being an effective skincare agent, myrtle can also ward off bad odor. Add diluted myrtle oil solution to water and use as spray.
  • Cure for insomnia – You may diffuse, mix with bathwater, or apply a drop to the back of the neck and pulse points.
  • Calming agent – If you’re experiencing stress or anxiety, you may use myrtle oil for its calming and relaxing properties.

Its Uses

In illness

Because of its astringent action, due to the high tannin content, myrtle is very effective against hemorrhoids. Add 6 drops myrtle to 30 g (1 oz.) cold cream, and mix well. Apply a few times per day, when the pain and swelling are at their worst.

In beauty

Because the leaves are astringent, they were used in the sixteenth century to clean the skin. A special perfumed water called ‘eau d’anges’ was prepared in France and used for its tonic and astringent action.

Myrtle is very effective in bad cases of acne, especially when there are painful boils with white heads. Mix 10 ml (2 tsp) grape seed oil, 1 drop wheat germ and 7 drops myrtle, and apply a few times per day until better. Cleanse the skin before and after applying the myrtle oil with a lotion made from 50 ml (2 fl oz.) rosewater and 5 drops myrtle. This has a particularly astringent action on the greasy skin which is so often associated with bad acne.

In cookery

Meat and the small birds which are a delicacy in Mediterranean countries can be wrapped in or stuffed with myrtle leaves: these impart their flavor after the meat or bird is cooked. Myrtle branches and twigs can be burned on a fire or barbecue beneath meat. The berries are edible, and were once dried like pepper: they can be used much like juniper, although they are milder.

Other uses

Myrtle has an anti-insect effect much the same as eucalyptus, and it would be worth planting a few shrubs for this purpose if you suffer from mosquitos. Not only will you be bite-free, but you will also purify the room with the fresh, clean, camphory fragrance, which will be beneficial to the respiratory system.

Myrtle flowers can be dried for use in pot-pourris; the oil-rich leaves were once used as an aromatic polish for wooden furniture; and the bark and roots (presumably because of the tannin content) were used in tanning.

Myrtle Oil Side Effects

No side effects have been noted for myrtle essential oil when used in normal dosages. Application of undiluted essential oil may cause allergic reactions, such as skin irritations and reddening, in people with sensitive skin. Before using myrtle or any oil, consult your doctor or seek advice from an experienced Aromatherapist.

Myrtle essential oil facts

The myrtle plant was first mentioned in history in ancient Greece. It was associated with Aphrodite, the goddess of love, and was offered to certain men and women as a symbol of honor. The Greeks also valued the plant because of its healing qualities. Myrtle essential oil is obtained through the steam distillation of the myrtle plant’s flowers, leaves, and stem. Its main constituents are Cineol, Myrtenol, Pinene, Myrtenyl Acetate, Geraniol, Linalool, Camphene and Borneol. However, it’s the leaves that produce the oil used in traditional medicine. The oil derived from berries is often used as a flavoring agent for beverages and alcoholic drinks.

Name Myrtle essential oil
Scientific Name Myrtus Communis
Native Originates from Africa, and grows all around the Mediterranean
Plant Growth Habit Aromatic evergreen shrub
Plant Size About 4 m (14 ft).
Leaf Small, shiny, dark green leaves
Flower Fragrant and white, five-petaled with a spectacular spray of thin stamens.
Fruit Purple-black berries.
Oil Color Clear to greenish-yellow to yellow-very-light-orange
Flavor/Aroma Fresh, camphoraceous, floral herbal scent similar to eucalyptus
Plant Parts Used Flowers, leaves, berries and stem
Method of Extraction Steam distillation
Commonly Blended with
  • Atlas
  • Benzoin
  • Bergamot
  • Frankincense
  • Chamomile
  • Lemon
  • Rosemary
  • Tea Tree
  • Sandalwood
  • Any citrus
  • Black Pepper
  • Cajeput
  • Clary Sage
  • Clove
  • Coriander
  • Cypress
  • Eucalyptus
  • Ginger
  • Helichrysum
  • Lavender
  • Lemongrass
  • Lime
  • Palmarosa
  • Rosewood
  • Thyme
  • Cedarwood
  • Myrrh
  • Neroli
  • Rose
  • Ho Wood
  • Hyssop
  • Jasmine,
  • Melissa
  • Ylang-Ylang
Health benefits
  • Astringent
  • Deodorant
  • Antiseptic
  • Expectorant
  • Nervine
  • Sedative
  • Spiritual
  • Adaptogen
  • Treat Malaria
  • Aphrodisiac
  • Ant catarrhal
  • Disinfectant
  • Lowers Blood Sugar
  • Heals Mouth Ulcers
  • Mosquito Repellent
Traditional Uses and benefits
  • Use a drop of myrtle in your palms, rub vigorously and inhale deeply to clear and calm the mind.
  • Soak a cloth in a few drops of myrtle oil and very warm water. Place over chest area and cover with warm compress to calm and clear the breath.
  • Add four drops of myrtle to warm bath water before bedtime to promote relaxation and restfulness for folks of all ages.
  • To calm the nerves and promote restful sleep, diffuse myrtle oil or add to bath water.
  • It is recommended not to use it in this manner for children under 6 years of age.
  • If you are pregnant, nursing, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner.
  • Do not use myrtle oil on pets, especially cats, as it is toxic to them.
  • Do not take essential oils internally.
  • Do not apply to eyes, sensitive areas or mucous membranes.
Other Facts
  • The oil from the myrtle berries is used as a flavoring for drinks and alcoholic beverages throughout the Mediterranean Area.






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