Myrtle Essential Oil

Latin name Myrtus communis – Family species Myrtaceae

myrtleMyrtle, also sometimes referred to as Corsican Pepper, should not be confused with Iris which is sometimes called “Myrtle Flower” or Calamus which is sometimes called “Myrtle Grass” and “Sweet Myrtle”.

Shirley Price in Aromatherapy Workbook describes myrtle essential oil as resembling niaouli, “including the 1,8 cineole content” and states that “the effects on the body are almost identical (perhaps not quite so comprehensive); it [myrtle] is also hormonal.”

“The essential oil [myrtle] is antiseptic and decongestant, and is used for chest problems such as bronchitis.” -Andrew Chevallier (The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants)

Stephanie Tourles in Organic Body Care Recipes: 175 Homemade Herbal Formulas for Glowing Skin & a Vibrant Self compares the fragrance to eucalyptus, but describes it as softer and more delicate. She says the vapors of myrtle essential oil help to open sinuses and decongest lungs. Additionally, she says that it is “used on oily, combination, or acneic skin due to its antiseptic and astringent actions”, and the “aroma [of myrtle essential oil] is said to quell anger, calm emotional upset, and lift a ‘down’ mood.”

Oil Selection Guide

Color – Pale yellow or orange
Viscosity – Watery
Scent – Fresh, clear, sweet, herby, camphoraceous
Perfume Aroma – Middle note

Oil Source Information

Plant Type – Tree
Parts Used – Leaves / Twigs / Flowers (sometimes)
Countries of Origin – Spain, Tunisia, Corsica, Italy, Morocco, France, Yugoslavia (former)
Extraction Method – Steam distillation

Known Chemical Constituents

cineole, myrtenol, pinene, linalool, geraniol, camphene

Applications and Uses

Myrtle is used some in aromatherapy. Myrtle can also be found in perfumery (e.g., toilet waters, eau de colognes), soaps, skin care products, and as a flavoring in commercial foods.

Myrtle blends well with

Precautions / Contraindications

See also Essential Oils Safety and Usage.

References and Resources

See Aromatherapy References and Resources page.

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