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"The fragrance of myrtle allows entrance to the pure and absolute, where ego has no entrance pass," writes aromatherapist Valerie Ann Worwood in Aromatherapy For the Soul. She goes on to say the emotional benefits of myrtle essential oil (Myrtus communis) are to encourage upliftment, comfort, forgiveness, acceptance, empowerment, and harmony.
The botanical name Myrtus communis includes both green myrtle oil and red myrtle oil. Generally, these essential oils have similar uses, though their compositions vary. Lemon myrtle (Backhousia citriodora) is a different oil.
Plant family: Myrtaceae
Production: Steam distilled from the leaves and twigs of the myrtle plant, which is a small tree or large bush. Sometimes, distillation includes the flowers, which may be why the composition of the oil varies.
Aroma: Sweet, fresh, green or lemony, and slightly camphorous. Red myrtle tends to smell more camphorous than green myrtle does.
Perfume/Aromatic note: Top to middle.
Is myrtle safe to use during pregnancy? Unknown. I couldn't find source information.
Is myrtle essential oil safe for children? Yes.
Cautions: Because the composition of myrtle essential oil varies greatly, myrtle oils from different sources may have different bioactive effects, according to The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, Third Edition, Vol. 1.
The green chemotype is a little gentler than the red because green myrtle contains less 1,8-cineole.
Source: Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Ed.
Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art: Myrtle may help relieve acne, oily skin, hemorrhoids, enlarged surface veins, and muscle spasms. The scent balances energy.
The Heart of Aromatherapy: Myrtle supports the respiratory system, soothes allergies and sinus congestion, eases sore throats and coughs, soothes sore muscles, supports digestion, and eases nausea. The scent is relaxing and uplifting.
The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Myrtle may help relieve laryngitis, coughs, colds, heavy legs, insomnia, and feeling tired all the time. For the skin, use the oil for skin disorders, psoriasis, acne, pimples, boils, head lice, and mite bites. Other uses include helping relieve emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion. Best avoided if using multiple medications.
Aromatherapy Bible: "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." The oil is also useful for oily skin and hemorrhoids. Psychologically, the oil is clarifying, purifying, and protective. "Myrtle carries the spirit of truth and forgiveness, and acts like a doorway to universal divine energies."
The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (updated edition): Use myrtle to help relieve acne, hemorrhoids, oily skin, colds, and flu. The oil also supports the respiratory system.
Complete Aromatherapy Handbook: Essential Oils for Radiant Health: Myrtle clarifies and cleanses the mind and spirit, helping relieve despair, fear of illness or death, self-distraction, lack of composure, and excessively materialistic leanings. The oil is beneficial for oily skin, acne, and infected skin and may also help relieve respiratory problems.
Aromatherapy and Subtle Energy Techniques: Myrtle provides protection during major life transitions. Used for the seventh chakra, the essential oil promotes connection with spirit, especially during times of transition.
For relaxation, for meditation, or to help fall asleep, diffuse myrtle.
You can add this essential oil to a DIY deodorant or to skin care routine, especially for oily complexions.
Oily/Teenage Skin Treatment
Blend these ingredients in a small dark bottle:
Apply the oil to skin as needed.
This inhaler is great for travel:
Drop the essential oils onto a blank insert of an aromatherapy inhaler.
Source: The Heart of Aromatherapy
Myrtle hydrosol (not the the essential oil) makes a good eye wash, according to 375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols.
Massage some of this blend into your chest, neck, and shoulders when you have a cough or feel stuffed up.
Pour the jojoba into the bottle. Add the essential oils. Shake gently.
Source: Aromahead Newsletter
Use this aromatherapy bath blend if you feel the need to support your immune system.
Mix the essential oils with the carrier oil. Add the blend to the bathwater and soak for 10–20 minutes.
Source: Shanti Dechen, CCAP, CAI, LMT. "Autumn is Here: The Metal Element." NAHA Aromatherapy Journal, Autumn 2016.3, p. 18.
Myrtle essential oil is useful to help you stay healthy when surrounded by congested people. "Myrtle has an affinity for increasing the strength of the immune system," writes Dechen, "helping to keep the respiratory and Qi (chi) channels open and clear during the common stresses of autumn and winter." Myrtle is milder than Eucalyptus globulus essential oil, which is often recommended for congestion, and suitable to use with all ages.
Photo Credit: Forest & Kim Starr, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons