Description: Myrtle is an evergreen shrub with small, pointed leaves and fragrant white or pink flowers. The essential oil is steam distilled from the leaves and twigs, and sometimes the flowers are also included.
Countries of origin: France, Spain, Corsica, Tunisia, Morocco, Italy
Characteristics: Myrtle has fresh, spicy, camphoraceous top notes and floral, herbaceous undertones. It blends well with spices, and also with lavender, neroli, lime, bergamot, lemon, hyssop, bay, rosemary, clary sage, pine and cypress.
Main therapeutic properties: Anti-catarrhaI, antiseptic, astringent, bactericide, expectorant, sedative.
Myrtle is one of the best essential oils for children’s ailments, because it is mildly sedative, has a gentle action and a soft, pleasing fragrance. It is especially recommended for respiratory ailments, and is good in back and chest massage, baths and steam inhalations. At night in a child’s bedroom a burner of myrtle — placed well out of reach — is settling and alleviates irritable coughing.
Its astringent property makes myrtle useful in skin care for oily skin and open pores, and it is helpful blended into an ointment base for haemorrhoids. It can also be used in a douche to help treat urinary-tract infections. Overall, myrtle is soothing, calming and cheering.
Psychologically, myrtle is clarifying, purifying and protective. It has been recommended for addictive, self-destructive and compulsive-obsessive behaviour, especially if this manifests in drug use. Massage from an aromatherapist as part of a professional team is recommended for all serious cases. However, for minor and temporary instances, myrtle in massage, baths and mood perfumes is supportive. Myrtle carries the spirit of truth and forgiveness, and acts like a doorway to universal divine energies.