Myrtle ( Myrtus communis ), is a plant belonging to the blueberry family with balsamic, anti-inflammatory, astringent properties, very useful in cases of cystitis, digestive problems, gingivitis and hemorrhoids. Let’s find out better.
Properties and benefits of Myrtle
Myrtle due to its content in essential oil (mirtol, containing mirtenol and geraniol and camphene), tannins and resins, is an interesting plant with aromatic and medicinal properties.
Balsamic, anti-inflammatory, astringent, slightly antiseptic properties are attributed to myrtle, therefore it is used in the herbal and pharmaceutical fields for the treatment of diseases affecting the digestive system and the respiratory system.
Traditionally, myrtle has been attributed useful benefits against cystitis, poor digestion, hemorrhoids and gingivitis
Even the Sardinian liqueur, obtained from the maceration in alcohol of the fruits of the myrtle, is known for its digestive action.
Myrtle also has a tonic and antiseptic action, useful for the production of creams for natural cosmetics and intimate cleansers for sensitive skin.
How to use
Everything about Mirto is used : leaves, flowers and berries. From the flowers an essence is obtained that is used in the cosmetic field, the leaves instead, once dried, are used to flavor meat and fish dishes but also for the preparation of infusions.
The berries, in addition to being consumed as soon as they are picked, are used for the preparation of myrtle liqueur.
With myrtle leaves you can prepare:
- a decoction, used against bronchitis and inflammation of the respiratory tract;
- an infusion, useful against bleeding and as an astringent in case of diarrhea.
Furthermore, the leaves of the myrtle contain numerous useful substances to improve the action of the immune system against seasonal ailments.
Contraindications of Myrtle
No particular contraindications are indicated in the intake of myrtle; the only side effect could be skin allergies and is not recommended for pregnant women and children up to two years of age.
Description of the plant
Myrtle ( Myrtus communis ), is a shrubby plant, no taller than 2 meters. The stem is covered with a bark that varies color according to the age of the plant.
In young individuals it is reddish, while in more mature ones it becomes grayish. The flowers are white or pale pink, give off a pleasant scent and bloom in late spring until even September.
Habitat of the Myrtle
Myrtle is an evergreen tree that grows spontaneously in the Mediterranean area: Sardinia and Corsica are two places where the plant grows luxuriantly and abundantly.
In Roman times the myrtle was considered the symbol of glory, prosperity and eternal love; myrtle flowers were often present during wedding banquets as a good auspicious and propitiatory sign.