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Myrtus communis

Plant Origin: Morocco
Method: Steam distilled from leaves
Cultivation: Unsprayed (grown organically but not certified)
Key Constituents
1,8-cineole 33.90%
alpha-pinene 20.15%
myrtenyl acetate 18.88%
alpha-terpinol 5.13%
linalool 2.54%
limonene 11.01%
geranyl acetate 2.58%
methyl eugenol 1.22%

Children? Tisserand notes that "any oil with 40% or more 1,8-cineole should not be applied to the face of infants or children or otherwise inhaled by them" (page 109).

Per Tisserand, "in addition to regular myrtle oil, 'green' and 'red' myrtle oils are available. Green Myrtle is high in myrtenyl acetate/linalool, and is produced in Corsica, and red myrtle refers to the cineole-rich type available from Morocco."

Properties and Usage
Myrtle is fresh, camphoraceous, sweet herbal scent somewhat similar to Eucalyptus. It has been researched by Dr. Daniel Penoel for normalizing hormonal imbalances of the thyroid and ovaries, as well as balancing hypothyroid conditions. It has also been researched for its soothing effects on the respiratory system. It is a calming oil acting more like a sedative than eucalyptus.

Myrtle has mucolytic properties, is a liver, prostate and thyroid stimulant, sinus and lung decongestant and antispasmodic.

Myrtle is often used for thyroid issues, throat, lung and sinus infections, prostate problems, muscle spasms, skin irritations such as acne, blemishes, bruises, oily skin, wrinkles, psoriasis, hemorrhoids and so on. It has been used as an antiseptic for the treatment of urinary tract infections. For bladder infections or infections of the ureter, a sitz bath is recommended.

Fischer-Rizzi notes that Myrtle is helpful for people with addictive or self-destructive behavior.

NCBI Abstract: Antibacterial Activity of Mytle

Application Suggestions (See Essential Oil Usage for more information and a dilution chart.)

Topical: Dilute with a carrier oil and apply 2-4 drops on chest, back or as desired. Myrtle can be used for massage, with a compress, in the bath, sitz bath, douche, ointments and skin care lotions.

Kurt Schnaubelt notes that one might consider using 4 drops essential oil per 10mL base oil for nose drops. This may be too strong for some, so if you feel to try drops, we'd suggest that you start with 1 drop and add more up to 4 drops until you are comfortable.

Tisserand notes that the maximum dermal use level should be 1.9%.

Inhalation: Diffuse or directly inhale.

Oral Caution: Diabetes medication
The quality of Myrtle is suitable for internal use within safe parameters, if such use is deemed appropriate. We feel that internal use is rarely *needed* and should only be used with respect for how concentrated the oils are. HEO does not advocate internal use of essential oils without appropriate knowledge and understanding of how to administer, for what purpose, how much, which essential oils, safety concerns and so on. In our experience, essential oils are generally more effective used topically with proper dilution or inhaled. Kurt Schnaubelt Ph.D. notes that "French aromatherapy literature contains many references to using oils orally." He goes on to note that "generally 1 drop is always enough when ingesting essential oils." A potential toxicity hazard could occur when untrained people use essential oils orally and ingest too much. Keep in mind that while medical doctors or health care practitioners may prescribe essential oils for internal use, they are trained and experienced in the safe application of essential oils. It is not a matter of using "French aromatherapy" or "British" methods, it's a matter of experience and appropriate application.

Click here for more information about Internal Usage

A drop in a glass of water can be used as a gargle for oral and pharyngeal mucus.

Tisserand notes that the maximum daily oral dose is about 0.06 ml.

1. Although the book says to dilute, I use Myrtle on a cotton swab to swab my 3 year old's nostrils at the first sign of stuffiness. I sit in front of her and do it to myself first so she knows it's OK. Then I ask her if she wants to do it. She'll grab the swab and do it herself. She knows it helps! It will wipe out an infection overnight and restore normal breathing almost instantly when used at the first signs of sinus issues. - Leigh 

2. Myrtle is EXCELLENT! We have completely taken our daughter off all her maintenance meds [steroids] since being on Myrtle.  She has been doing great. The summer seems to be her worst, so we will see, but I have been very impressed with it thus far and pray that it continues to do the trick. -A.K.

3. Thank you so much for all you have done to help us get our child with Reactive Airway Disease (asthma) off all of her medications. In only two months after using Myrtle, we are medication free! Your suggestions of what oils to use and how have helped us to remove her completely off meds and that hasn't happened since she was 6 months old (she is now almost 6). What a blessing! I thank God for all that you do and the knowledge He has given you with oils. Thanks so much for sharing that knowledge with all of us! - A.K.

4. My 3-month-old son woke up congested. He was hardly able to nurse because he couldn't breathe. Our normally happy guy was very fussy. I ordered Myrtle so I could swab his nostrils. After swabbing, I nursed him, and after 3 days of not nursing well and being fussy, he is content. I am so amazed by God's incredible design, and as I learn more, my heart overflows with praise to Him! - R.S.

5. For sinus issues, I apply diluted Myrtle around our little one's nostrils. I tried this on myself first so I could be sure that this would not be irritating, and it was very pleasant. A drop of Myrtle on a cotton swab can be used to gently swab the nostrils to help eradicate or prevent sinus infection. When I first did this with our little one, I sat in front of her and showed her what I was going to do. I took a cotton swab, put a drop of Myrtle on the end, and then I swabbed MY nostril. I smiled and made very positive comments on how nice it was and how much better I could breathe. I did my other nostril, and then I asked her if she'd like for me to let her do it. By this point, she was excited to do what Mommy seemed to enjoy so much. She let me do it for her the first few times, but very quickly she graduated to being able to do this for herself. - Linda

6. Thanks to Essential Oils, it has been over year with no antibiotics for my daughter. I think that is a record, and considering we flew around the world and moved to a new country, it's remarkable. She has Down Syndrome, and a simple cold would become a sinus infection. I am thankful for HEO. We use Myrtle in the nostril. When she has been with other kids (co-op, AWANA) or starts to sound like she is getting something, we put Plague Defense on the feet. If her chest sounds congested we use Lung Healing. I am not super consistent, but I use the oils when her nose is runny or her chest sounds congested or when she might be exposed to illness. If she gets something, I will switch between Warrior and Plague Defense. - Beth

7. Myrtle is an adaptogen and can be beneficial in balancing a hyperthyroid. I have extreme thyroid issues (as in, no thyroid at all), and my levels generally fluctuate between hypo and hyper. I have found the Myrtle oil to be very helpful in assisting my body in its absorption and use of my thyroid hormone replacement medication. I truly feel a difference when I use it. I dilute it in a carrier (whatever I have on hand) and apply it topically to my neck and to my back. Yes, I realize that Myrtle cannot help a thyroid that doesn't exist when I apply it to my neck (haha!), but it seems to help out my parathyroids. I apply it to my back because it helps with my adrenal fatigue. Using Myrtle EO has been a HUGE blessing to me. I feel better than I have in over a decade. - Rachelle

8. I have been using Myrtle neat in my nose with a Q-tip to try to get rid of my sinus headaches. It seems to work well. Most of the time, I have been able to avoid taking Advil and Sudafed, which is what I would have done before. Sometimes I will smell Peppermint too, but the myrtle is now what I try first. I am not crazy about the Myrtle smell, but I really picky about smells, especially with a headache. Within 10 minutes I am feeling better though. Sometimes I will reapply a few times. - Leslie

9. All day Friday I had what felt like a bad cold or allergy symptoms. Congestion, watery eyes, runny nose. I remembered reading a testimony about using Myrtle oil ( swabbed neat inside both nostrils). I did that a couple of times Friday and diffused Eucalyptus oil that night. Saturday I got up and took my kids to an amusement park! Started feeling bad again Saturday night (after all day in the sun), swabbed with Myrtle, diffused eucalyptus and got up this morning, went to church, came home and cleaned house all day. No more symptoms!! It also worked on my 9 year old with same symptoms. Lord willing, I won't ever be without those 2 oils again! Thank you HEO!!! - Mitzi

10. I just recently got Myrtle, and I've already had a few nights where I felt stuffiness coming on. I swabbed my nostrils and could breathe fine when I went to bed. I think it helped to ward off a cold that was trying to attack. I'm very happy with the results! - Kelly

11. I have ordered Myrtle oil recently for my 8-year-old daughter. She had bad allergies and stuffiness all the time. After using Myrtle oil, she feels much better and can breath easily. She uses it neat inside her nose once a day before she goes to bed. It is very gentle oil. I tried it before her. I would like to thank Linda and her team for these amazing oils. - Anju [HEO's comment: Although neat use doesn't seem to irritate, regular use like this will likely dry the sinuses. We stongly suggest that one dilute or use a salve after swabbing with Myrtle.]

12. Myrtle is great! We use it at the first sign of anything respiratory. We just put it on a Q-tip and swab it just inside the nose. We don't usually have any problems with using oils neat, but you should dilute it just in case. - Sheryl

13. Myrtle is the best for resp/sinus issues!! - Mitzi

14. Myrtle swabbed in the nostrils rocks! - Dana

15. My husband loves to swab his nostrils with Myrtle. - Norma

16. Myrtle neat in the nose is great. I've been doing that at bedtime and when I get up all week. It sure helps me breathe! - Laura [HEO's comment: Dilute or follow with a salve to avoid drying out the nasal passages.]

17. For the last week I've been suffering from an upper respiratory infection, laryngitis and extreme chronic negative pressure in one ear. It's been a challenging week to teach 6th grade!. I've been swabbing Myrtle (a family FAVE...my 4yo often asks for it by name) in my nose for my sinuses. I borrowed the diffuser from my toddler's room and started diffusing Lung Healing at night as I sleep. As soon as I turned it on, within MINUTES, I had a productive cough, actually getting some stuff loosened and up. Also, Ear Infection blend, diluted, on the back of my ear and on a cotton ball stuck in my ear is the only thing giving me relief there. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! - Liz

18. I love Myrtle for opening up sinuses. - Tzadi

19. After reading the testimonials on Myrtle, I was so excited to find it worked just as well for me. I have chronic sinus problems and Myrtle was such a blessing, clearing some stuffiness when I used it around my nostrils every night. However, I'm really sad to share that even though I knew better, I was so happy to have found something so effective, I completely forgot about potential sensitization with repeated use. After a year plus of nightly use of diluted myrtle, I now have itching, irritation and peeling of the skin around my nose. I just wanted to share my experience by way of reminder that sensitization does happen even with gentle oils. Use wisely. - Jana

Hopewell Essential Oil blends with Myrtle
Hemorrhoid Care
Respiratory Relief
Tendon Ease

Oral Caution: Diabetes medication

Children Caution: Tisserand notes that "any oil with 40% or more 1,8-cineole should not be applied to the face of infants or children or otherwise inhaled by them" (page 109).

Avoid contact with the eyes and other sensitive areas. Essential oils are both lipophilic and hydrophobic. Lipophilic means they are attracted to fat—like the membranes of your eyes and skin. They are also hydrophobic, meaning they do not like water. Flushing with water will only send the essential oil back to the eye's membranes. Applying a carrier oil will create another fat for the essential oil to be attracted to other than the membranes of the eyes or skin. We’ve not known this to cause permanent injury or long-term discomfort, but if you feel concerned, please call your health care provider.

Battaglia, Salvatore, The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, 2002, page 235-236.
Fischer-Rizzi, S., Complete Aromatherapy Handbook, 1990.
Mojay, G., Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit, 1996.
Tisserand, Robert; Young, Rodney, Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals, Elsevier Health Sciences UK 2nd Edition 2014, pages 357-358.