The healing power of myrtle

Myrtle originally grows in Southern Europe and North Africa. It is an evergreen, small tree; it grows to about five meters high. Myrtle produces white, star-shaped flowers. Myrtle cannot survive a Dutch winter and is therefore not a popular garden plant here. It could survive in a south-facing garden. In winter you could keep it as a pot plant in a greenhouse. Myrte is widely known for its medicinal abilities. It is mainly used for colds and problems falling asleep. NB! This article is written from the personal view of the author and may contain information that is not scientifically substantiated and/or in line with the general view.

Botanical drawing myrtle / Source: Public domain, Wikimedia Commons (PD)


  • Myrtle is an edible plant
  • Myrtle in cosmetics
  • Traditional medicinal use of myrtle
  • Naming
  • Active substances
  • Myrtle, good for the respiratory tract
  • Myrtle to sleep with
  • Other medicinal properties of myrtle
  • Dose and safety

Myrtle is an edible plant

Myrte has edible parts. The fruits are eaten in the Middle East and a drink is made from it. The dried flowers can also be eaten and used in sauces and syrups. In Italy, the flower buds of myrtle are eaten. The sweet flowers are great for adding to a salad. they are flowers to enjoy.

Myrtle in cosmetics

Myrtle is used in the cosmetics industry to make skin care products, soaps and perfumes. Essential oil is mainly used for this, which can be extracted from the bark, leaves and flowers. Eau d’ange is a perfumed water made from myrtle flowers.

Traditional medicinal use of myrtle

Myrtle leaves are aromatic. An essential oil is made from it. In addition, it is good for the blood and a tonic for the body. Research has shown that myrtle has antibiotic qualities. Myrtle is used internally for: Urinary tract infections, digestive problems, vaginal discharge, bronchial congestion, sinusitis and dry cough. In India it is used for brain diseases, especially epilepsy. When myrtle is used externally, it is usually the essential oil that is used. This is used for acne, gum problems, wounds and hemorrhoids. Myrtle essential oil can also be helpful for rheumatic conditions. The fruit has medicinal qualities because it has a carminative effect. The fruit is used in folk medicine in the Middle East for: dysentery, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, internal ulcers and rheumatic diseases.

Side effect: fifteen minutes after taking myrtle, the urine starts to smell like violets.


The Latin name of myrtle is Myrtus communis . In Dutch the plant is called Mirt, Mirte or Myrte. In English it is called common myrtle, which is a translation of the Latin name. Communis means ‘common’ or ‘common’. The name myrtle comes from the same word as myrrh; the Akadian word ‘murru’ and the Arabic ‘murr’, which means bitter. Although myrtle generally appears quite sweet, it contains bitter substances.

Active substances

In phytotherapy, only the leaf of myrtle is used for its medicinal properties. This leaf contains the following active ingredients: essential oil with mainly 1,8 cineole, monoterpene, in particular alphapinene, the monoterpene alcohol myrtenol, the terpene myrtenyl acetate, tannins, bitter substance, myricetin, myricitrin and resin.

Myrtle, good for the respiratory tract

Myrtle essential oil has an expectorant or expectorant effect on the respiratory tract. Coughing up mucus is made easier. In addition, mucosal inflammation is reduced. Due to these medicinal activities, myrtle essential oil is prescribed in phytotherapy for:

Myrtus communis / Source: Raffi Kojian, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-3.0)

  • Acute and chronic bronchitis,
  • Sinusitis or sinusitis,
  • A sore throat.
  • Adjuvant for cystic fibrosis,
  • Adjuvant for emphysema.

100 kilos of myrtle leaves is good for 10 grams of myrtle essential oil.

Myrtle to sleep with

Myrtle oil makes the mind positive. In addition, it is a sedative. It is important that falling asleep is easier if you have used myrtle oil. This makes the entire sleeping process more effective and you can wake up more rested in the morning. Due to these activities, myrtle is recommended by herbalists for the following indications:

  • insomnia,
  • Difficulty falling asleep,
  • Mild depression.

Other medicinal properties of myrtle

  • Myrte has prostate decongestant properties. This makes it a herbal remedy for prostatitis and benign prostate hypertrophy or benign prostate enlargement.
  • Myrte has a stimulating effect on the hepatobiliary function.
  • Myrte promotes thyroid function.
  • Myrte has a tonic or strengthening effect on the skin.

Dose and safety

Stick to the therapeutic dose.

  • 30 drops of mother tincture three times per day.
  • 1 to 4 grams of herbal powder per day.

External use of essential oil is done by using a teaspoon of a carrier oil such as almond oil, grapeseed oil, olive oil or another type of organic oil. Myrtle essential oil is for external use only.

  • Inhalation for respiratory diseases.
  • Apply a few drops on a teaspoon to the chest and back for respiratory complaints.
  • For sore throats and sinus infections, apply a few drops of essential oil to the neck.
  • In case of urinary tract and prostate disorders, apply to the lower abdomen and lower back.
  • In case of insomnia, apply to the solar plexus or inside of the wrists.
  • Essential oil may only be used on prescription. The urine takes on a violet scent after using essential oil.