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Myrtle – (Myrtus communis)


The myrtle is an evergreen shrub from Africa that is now widely grown in the Mediterranean region as well. It has shiny green leaves and an exotic white flower that ripens into a black berry later in the growing season. The leaves are aromatic and spicy. It has been used in herbal remedies since ancient Greece and had great symbolism in pagan religions. Parts of the herb are made into a liqueur called "Mirto" in Sardinia, where it has attained the status of being one of their national drinks.


Key Medicinal Uses

Internally – Myrtle is used for digestive and urinary ailments.

Externally – Myrtle is used topically for wounds. The essential oil is used in massage to help varicose veins. It should be diluted in a carrier oil like sweet almond oil before use. It is a mild oil, and can be used for children.

Other Uses – Myrtle wood is used to make walking sticks, cups and bowls. It also makes lovely musical instruments and furniture. Twigs of the herb add a wonderful flavor when added to the barbeque. The leaves are often used in potpourri, and the roots and bark of this beautiful shrub are used in tanning leather. Berries are used in cooking rather like juniper berries or peppercorns to season savory dishes. The leaves are used in stuffing. An Italian liqueur called mirto is made from the berries.

Parts Used

Leaves, berries – The leaves and berries are used medicinally.


There are no clear contraindications for myrtle. If you decide to take it, use caution and watch for allergic reactions. If you are pregnant or nursing, it is fine for cooking, but you may want to play it safe and not take it medicinally.

Preparation and Dosage

Myrtle essential oil is commercially prepared. To use it in massage or to apply to the skin for any reason, dilute it in a carrier oil first. Sweet almond oil is a very compatible oil. For any other preparation, follow the guidance of your herbalist or follow the directions on the label.

Myrtle Herbal Remedies Top