Synonyms: Corsican pepper.
Aroma: Clear, fresh, camphoraceous, sweet, herbaceous.
Colour: Pale yellow to green.
Plant: A large bush or small tree with many tough but slender branches, a brownish red bark and small sharp pointed leaves. It has white flowers followed by small bluish black berries.
Main Growing Areas: North Africa, Mediterranean.
Major Constituents: Myrtenyl acetate, 1,8 cineole, alpha-pinene, alpha-terpineol.
Interesting snippets: The ancient Egyptians macerated myrtle leaves in wine to counteract fever and infection.
In Ancient Greece myrtle incense was burnt on Aphrodite’s (the goddess of love and beauty) altar.
Part of Plant used / Extraction: Leaves and twigs by steam distillation.
Therapeutic actions: Coughs, colds, bronchitis, asthma, sinusitis, muscular aches and pains, arthritis, inflamed skin, bruises, psoriasis and eczema. Helpful for stress and insomnia.
Emotional and Spiritual: Uplifting, refreshing. Eases anxiety and tension and soothes feelings of anger, greed, envy and fear.
Provides protection during major life transitions and promotes harmony, love and respect.
Susanne Fischer-Rizzi writes that myrtle maybe helpful for people who have had experiences that have made them temporarily unable to see their own beauty and for those with addictions and self-destructive behaviour.
Robbi Zeck writes during dark times, when you are in pain, struggling or feeling disheartened, gentle myrtle with its air of beauty and purity brings comfort and an elemental return to the source. When you are experiencing feelings of separation, use myrtle as a reminder that we are all born connected. Walk in your own beauty and be at one with all things. May there always be beauty around you, above you, below you and within you. Know that you are the gift who shines beauty and light out to others.
Valerie Ann Worwood writes that its spirit is energetic truth, and forgiveness, giving support to the unsupported and teaching that divine love embraces all living beings
Safety: Non-irritating, non-sensitising, non-toxic.
Sources: Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion, Australia (1995)
Bowles E.J, The A to Z of Essential Oils. New Burlington Books (2003)
Fischer-Rizzi S, Complete Aromatherapy Handbook. Essential Oils for Radiant Health Sterling Publishing Company (1990)
Keim Loughran J, Bull R, Aromatherapy & Subtle energy techniques, Frog Books (2000)
Worwood, V.A, The Fragrant Heavens. Doubleday Publishing UK (1999)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)
Header image photo of myrtle by Forest & Kim Starr.