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25 January 2022 / Caitlin Devlin

Myrtle Essential Oil: History, Uses and Benefits

Romantic myrtle nourishes the skin, combats bacteria, and neutralises bad odours.

Myrtle Essential Oil: History, Uses and Benefits

Steeped in mythology, myrtle has been a staple in the wedding bouquets of royal brides since Queen Victoria.

This is due to herb’s associated with lasting love – it was said by the Ancient Romans to be a favourite of Venus. However, the Romans and other ancient societies also used myrtle for plenty of practical purposes; grinding the berries up to form plasters, toning and nourishing skin with a solution of the plant, and disguising bad breath with the leaves. Today, myrtle oil still has many of these same uses, due to the enduring benefits of the herb.

Myrtle essential oil nourishes the skin.

In the sixteenth century, a popular skin lotion called ‘angel’s water’ was used to cleanse and tone the skin. The main ingredient in this lotion was myrtle. Myrtle has strong cleaning properties, able to prevent infections and cleanse pores. A study in 2018 examined the extent of these cleaning properties and found that the oil was effective at reducing signs of acne, as well as getting rid of excess sebum (an oily substance on the surface of the skin) and clearing dead skin cells. These benefits allow the oil to leave skin brighter and healthier. The oil has also been found to have astringent properties, which allows it to increase the skin’s elasticity and reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

It can act as a natural mouthwash.

Pliny the Elder wrote about myrtle’s ability to cure ‘bad mouth odour’, a complaint which he described as ‘a very embarrassing inconvenience. Myrtle oil can be an ideal component in oil-pulling, which is the practice of combining a few drops of essential oil with a carrier vegetable oil and swishing a small amount around the mouth, being careful not to swallow any.

Not only does the oil have infection-preventing qualities which allow it to guard the gums from damage, but its astringent properties can cause gums to contract and strengthen their hold on the teeth, discouraging gaps in which plaque can build up.

It has strong antibacterial properties.

The cineole in myrtle oil makes it an effective antibacterial agent, and it has been found to have significant inhibiting effects on various strands of bacteria – one study found that it is particularly using in combatting a staph infection. Myrtle is also reported to be a comparatively gentle oil and may be safer for use around young children. However, it should still always be diluted before use as a cleaning agent.

It’s also a natural deodorant.

Myrtle oil can be used to eliminate unpleasant personal odour. A 2019 study found that the oil has strong antifungal properties, which can allow it to attack the source of odours and inhibit their growth. The aromatic, deodorising properties of the oil can also help to mask existing odours. The oil can be diluted and dabbed on odorous parts of the body, such as under the armpits – just be careful to avoid any particularly sensitive areas. Diffusing the oil can also be a great way to rid a room of unpleasant odours.

    This mythical oil has a long list of uses to accompany its romantic background. Myrtle may not be scientifically proven to help your dating life, but its significant cosmetic properties, as well as its antibacterial abilities, will keep you looking and feeling your best.

    Shop our myrtle essential oil here.

    Myrtle Essential Oil

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