Myrtle Essential Oil

(Last Updated On: August 3, 2018)

Did you know that myrtle essential oil is one of the 7 wonders of the world? Not really but it is really a mysterious essential oil  in the sense it probably is not one of the famous essential oils. Myrtle the common name is also known as Myrtus. (It almost sounds like the name of an ancient Greek mythological god). It is a genus of flowering plants that come from the family of Myrtaceae. It was described by, Linnaeus, who was famous for his work in Taxonomy which is the science of identifying, naming, and classifying organisms such as plants, animals, bacteria and fungi.

A side note in the above mentioned genus over 600 names have been removed making it a very lonely genus. Anyway, Myrtle has a genus of three species that are known today. They are Myrtus Communis which the common myrtle which is native in the Mediterranean. There is Myrtus Nivelle which is native to North Africa and we have Myrtus phillyreifolia which there was no information to be found.

The common myrtle is found in the mediterranean as mentioned above, Micronesia and western Asia. It grows to be 16 feet tall and the leaves are a few inches long. It is a plant you cannot miss. It has a fragrant essential oil that is extracted from it. The flower petals are usually white with five petals and sepals and numerous stamens. The fruit is round berry containing many seeds and the berries are usually blue-black in color occasionally they are yellow-amber in coloration.

The Saharan Myrtle are native to the mountains of the central Sahara desert. (interesting a desert that has mountains) Specifically the plants are located in a specific mountain ranges called the Tassili n’Ajjer Mountains located in the area of southern Algeria. And the other mountain range is the Tibesti Mountains in area of northern Chad. Apparently, these types of myrtle plants are very hard to locate. They grow in small areas of sparse woody areas in the mountains again above the Central Sahara Desert.

Let’s talk about the essential oil itself and its uses. One major feature that myrtle essential oil is supposed to offer is to help with breathing. The oil itself can be extracted from the leaves, berries and branches. Pretty much the whole plant.  The oil extracted from the leaves is chiefly used for medicinal purposes and it might be that the oil extracted from different parts of the plant are used for different benefits. Once the oil hits room temperature it becomes a  liquid  ranging from greenish-yellow to yellow to possibly light orange in color. The oil taken from the berries are strictly used for alcholic beverages and flavoring drinks throughout the whole Mediterranean Area.  

Adaptogen Anyone

Make Friends With Adaptogens

An adaptogen will increase the function of a low-functioning gland and will have the opposite affect on a high-functioning gland. This this respect myrtle essential oil will bring an over functioning or lower functioning glnd to a normal state of functioning.

 Supposedly the oil is able to balance the function of the thyroid as well naturally. This is in sharp contrast to drugs that will just bulldoze the body or thyroid in one direction or the other. The common myrtle essential oil is able to increase or decrease the thyroid gland dependent on the health of the person. Some experts are amazed at how the oil works harmoniously with the human body. This may an over statement on how well the oil really will affect the human body. No other essential oil is known to work this way with our bodies.

Astringent Power

Myrtle Essential Oil Astringent

If this oil is added to mouthwash it can cause the gums to contract and secure their grip on the teeth and it will help the skin to contract to diminish any wrinkles. This almost sounds like an anti-aging element to this oil. It is said to stop hemorrhaging by forcing the blood vessels to contract to obviously slow down the bleeding. The oil can help with bad acne as well.

Acne Method:

Method in putting Essential Oil for Acne

  • Mix 10 ml or 2 teaspoons of grapeseed oil with one drop of wheat germ.
  • Take this concoction and add it to 7 drops of myrtle essential oil shake well.
  • Apply this mixture daily to the affected areas.
  • Repeat this procedure until the acne clears.

The oil can also help to treat hemorrhoids by its potent astringent properties. It is very high in tannin content which helps in the cause against hemorrhoids.

Hemorrhoid Method:

Hemorrhoid

  • Six drops of myrtle essential oil to 1 oz of cold cream and mix well.
  • Apply sporadically throughout the day as needed.
  • Use this treatment until the hemorrhoids are gone.

Antifungal Killer

What About Prescription Antifungal Drugs and Topical Treatments

There was a study conducted where myrtle essential oil was pitted against Candida albicans and various species of Aspergillus. The synergistic effects of myrtle essential oil and the antifungal compound amphotericin were compared. The essential oil came out on top in both comparisons.

Antiseptic Hero

Antiseptic

Myrtle essential oil can even act like an antiseptic. It is a super substance to apply to wounds because it inhibits the germs of infecting the wound. If the gash or cut is caused by an object made of iron it can prevent sepsis and tetanus from setting in.

Anti-Malaria Wonder

anti malaria essential oil

It is claimed that myrtle essential oil is used as an agent against malaria infestation historically in Iran. Malaria is a parasite-based disease passed to humans by infected mosquitos. This disease is widely found in the Middle East and Africa where it kills thousands of people every year. Scientists reportedly administered myrtle essential oil to mice who were infected with malaria. After four days of treatment 84% of the mice experienced a reversal in the progression of the disease. The treatment was non-toxic for the mice and the researchers hope this shows promise of treating humans with malaria. Remember, these were mice that were treated not humans. The outcome with humans could be quite different.

Diabetes Foe

Diabetes Beat

So it is claimed that the oil extracted from the leaves can be used to lower the blood sugar in type-2 diabetic patients. This is according to Turkish folklore. Really there is absolutely no scientific grounding for this supposed benefit. A study conducted explored the effect of myrtle essential oil on rabbits carrying diabetes and those that did not have the disease. They measured the effects of single and multiple doses administered to both groups of rabbits.  

It was found that the rabbits who did not have diabetes reflected no change in blood sugar levels after being given the oil orally. But the rabbits with diabetes showed  a 51% reduction in blood sugar levels in only 4 hours after being given the oil.The rabbits were administered the myrtle essential oil once a day for a week. The lower blood sugar levels were maintained throughout the week long study. The researchers administered 50mg and 100 mg per 1 kg of body weight. It wa also discovered that serum triglyceride was reduced by 14%. This is dandy for the rabbits but whether it will work on humans or not remains to be seen.

Anti Catarrhal  Action

Anti Catarrhal

This property of myrtle essential oil is supposed to inhibit the accumulation of phlegm and catarrh in the respiratory tracts. There have been no studies conducted to verify this conclusion. This property is also able to curb mucous production thereby suppressing potential coughing reflexes. Is this factual or not remains to be seen.

Culinary Wonders

Breakfast recipe

The common myrtle essential oil extracted from the berries are used for producing aromatic liquor in the islands of Sardinia and Corsica. The alcohol produced is called Mirto by immersing the myrtle berries in the alcohol. Mirto is a typical drink in Sardinia, and is produced by immersing the berries in alcohol to make the red wine. The white wine is produced by immersing the mirto extracted from the leaves or the less common yellow berries in alcohol.   

The berries whole or ground are an adequate substitute for pepper. They are what gives Mortadella sausage  and American Bologna sausage their distinct flavors. Meats and small birds, delicacies in the Mediterranean, are stuffed with or wrapped in myrtle leaves. The leave can be tasted after the bird or meat are cooked. Then the flavor of the leaves comes out very strong.

 The berries are edible and the myrtle branches and twigs can be burned under meat to add flavoring.

To Stink or not to Stink

It Can Treat Body Odour

Now, they are saying myrtle essential oil can be used as a deodorant. The oil can eliminate foul odors by being dispersed in fumigants and vaporizers. The oil is also found in incense sticks and burners. It can be used as a body deodorant or perfume. It seems a bit messy to use it as a deodorant and the ol would be to thick to use as a perfume. It leaves no irritation, redness, or patches on the skin like commercial deodorants. In all honesty the se side effects from commercial deodorants are rare if at all.

A Disinfectant

Natural Disinfectant

It is claimed that myrtle essential oil can act like a disinfectant because it has bactericidal, fungicidal, germicidal, and antiviral properties. A lot of powerful components to be found in one essential oil. Almost too many to be realistic. It is supposed to help cure infections in the stomach and intestines. While stopping the diarrhea at the same time.

Warts are said to be a contagious skin disease. So it is claimed taht medical treatments of warts are useless because the patient will relapse many times. And thee warts may increase in size with each new breakout. There is no clinical evidence to support this claim. It is rare that an essential oil is used to treat common warts. Facial warts are very difficult to treat. Iranian medicine uses myrtle essential mil topically to treat warts this is a low cost but effective treatment it is said.

In a study conducted with two patients had arts on their faces and bodies. They were instructed to apply myrtle essential oil to their bodies but not to their aces which is kind of strange. The results were the warts were eliminated on the body as well  as the ace. Remember the oil was not applied to facial warts. Researchers Speculated that myrtle essential oil has antiviral effects but it also has systemic effects throughout the body. This hypothesis has not been proven and is still in the speculative stage. It does not seem feasible the oil could remove warts from the face without being applied topically to facial warts.

In the food industry, scientists have intentionally have inoculated tomatoes and iceberg lettuce with a nalidixic acid resistant strain of Salmonella bacteria. The study was to find out if myrtle essential oil could kill these invading bacterium. So washing the fresh tomatoes and iceberg lettuce in a myrtle essential oil solution noticeably reduced the bacteria in both the tomatoes and lettuce. The dilution rate was 1 to 1000 and these results suggest that in the future myrtle oil can be used to spray vegetables and other foods instead of using synthetic disinfectants. This is merely speculation at this point.

Expectorant Use

expectorant

This property of myrtle essential oil clears phlegm out of the nasal tracys, bronchial tubes, and lungs. This phlegm caused by colds and it will help to reduce coughing caused by the common cold. This has not be validated by any studies.

Nervy Nervine

This property allows myrtle essential oil to stabilize the nerves keeping the person calm and free from stress. So that the minor issues of life will not affect the person. It is a supposed beneficial agent against such diseases as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, and  shaking limbs, vertigo or dizziness, anxiety and chronic stress. These are definitely superb benefits for any essential oil to have. But these benefits seem to be exaggerated as really no essential oil can help with all of these supposed nerve-related diseases and conditions.There is no studies to support any of these benefits and extended research is in order to verify these claims.   

Repellent  

repellent

It sure seems like there isn’t anything that myrtle oil cannot help with in one way or the other. Now, it is being touted as a natural bug repellent. In a study the use of myrtle essential oil was compared to DEET to repel mosquitoes. The study was conducted using caged mosquitoes. The essential oil was topically applied to the skin of subjects at a 50% dilution rate. The protection times for myrtle and marigold were set at 4.36 hours respectively. This was in comparison to DET which the protection time was set at 6.23 hours at 25% dilution rate. The myrtle was a natural non-toxic repellent and as very effective at repelling mosquitoes.

The results of the DEET and marigold were not disclosed. So, which option was more effective as a repellent is not known. Without these conclusions the study was pretty useless.

Sedative Savvy

sedative

Myrtle essential oil is said to calm and relax the human body. This would alleviate stress, anxiety, nervous disorders, tension. Annoyance, nervous disorders and other nerve-related conditions. No support for these claims.

There were spiritual benefits listed but they will not be discussed here. They were based on speculative principles which did not seem reasonable.

Blending Mastery

Recipe for Natural Cholesterol Management

Myrtle essential oil blends well with many essential oils including benzoin, Atlas, Bergamot, Elemi, Black Pepper, Eucalyptus, CedarWood, Frankincense, Myrrh, Neroli, Ho Wood, Rose, Jasmine, Hyssop, Lavender, Lemongrass, Lemon. Sage Clary, Melissa, Coriander, Rosewood, and Ylang-Ylang oils. But about every oil under the sun.

Warnings:

It is said that only therapeutic grade essential oils should be used and myrtle essential oil falls into this classification. It is approved as a Food Additive (FA), and Flavoring Agent(FA) by the FDA. It is readily available on the market in different states of quality. In other words some grades are better than other grades of myrtle essential oils. So any oil not found in this classification cannot be considered safe to use.Nursing women and pregnant women should not use myrtle essential oil. It is highly advised that children under six years of age should not be administered myrtle essential oil.  

Finally:       

Myrtle essential oil was not intentionally portrayed as a super oil in this article. A Lot of super benefits were discussed here about this oil. Some of the benefits were proven in clinical studies. Other claims were just too illogical to be taken seriously. Some of these benefits were based on animal studies which are always dangerous. It is no guarantee that the results shown with the animal studies would have the same results in human studies.

For one thing the quantities given to animals will be much different than those given to humans. The studies may or may not be promising for potential human subjects. Without conducting studies on humans directly there is just now to tell. It is not a reasonable comparison to cite animal studies with human studies that have yet to be conducted. Animal studies just are not an effective indicator on the effects myrtle essential would have on live human subjects.  

Myrtle essential oil is a versatile oil but it shouldn’t be classified as a super oil because all the benefits listed in this article have not been proven to be reliable. Some have but not all of them have. Try some myrtle essential oil and see what you think.

Written by Irina Radosevic MD
Irina graduated from the University of Belgrade, School of Medicine as a Doctor of Medicine (MD) and spent over 3 years working in the Clinical Hospital Center Zvezdara, in the Department of Emergency Medicine. She also undertook a postgraduate in Cardiology from the same University and had previously worked for over a year as a Physician and Nutritionist Dietitian for the Fitness club Green Zone. She eventually left her chaotic but fulfilling job in the ER to pursue her passion of writing, travelling and mountain climbing which has included writing a first aid course for the alpine club of Belgrade. Irina currently works as a VA for PintMedia focusing on medical and travel writing. Feel free to connect with Irina on LinkedIn and FaceBook. Her CV can be seen here.