An ancient legend tells of Myrisine, a very beautiful young girl with incredible athletic skills. The girl loved to challenge, and win, her male peers in sports competitions. One day, however, a boy, envious of being defeated by Myrisine, killed her. But here came the goddess Athena, who decided to turn Myrisine into a plant so that she could live forever. This plant was myrtle, which from that moment became a symbol of glory and honor, but also of beauty. The head of the winners of the first Olympics was surrounded with the myrtle and, still with the myrtle, the legend says that Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty, adorned herself to celebrate her victory over the other goddesses, as established by Paris when he gave her the golden apple as a gift. But myrtle is not just an ornament. In fact, the leaves and berries of this plant can become a precious ally for health, as demonstrated by various scientific researches. So let's try to deepen this interesting topic.
Myrtle for the liver
Myrtle protects the liver. In fact, studies have shown that extracts from the leaves of this plant are useful in counteracting liver damage caused by an overload of medicines but also by some substances that can be taken with food. For example, acrylamide, which is a carcinogen that forms when starchy foods are cooked at high temperatures, such as when frying chips or baking bread in the oven, and glutamate, which is found as a flavor enhancer in bouillon cubes, soups or canned vegetables, can cause inflammation and damage to the liver gland. The intake of myrtle extracts, on the other hand, is able to counteract this damage, reducing inflammation, protecting the vitality of liver cells and fighting apoptosis, which is the programmed death of cells (Hassan et al, Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 2020). You can prepare a herbal tea based on myrtle leaves. Proceed like this. Bring a glass of water to a boil, remove from heat and add two teaspoons of dried leaves. Leave to infuse for ten minutes, then filter and drink.
Myrtle for airways health
Thanks to the substances it contains, including flavonoids, myrtle has anti-inflammatory, balsamic and antimicrobial properties (Hennia et al, Medicines, 2018). Therefore, myrtle is useful in protecting the bronchi (Fekri et al, Drug Chem Toxicol, 2018). Against cough and bronchitis you can resort to myrtle mother tincture, 30 drops twice a day. Alternatively, you can drink a cup of myrtle herbal tea, the preparation was explained in the previous paragraph. Not only that, it is also possible to inhale the essential oil of myrtle, preparing fumigations with 2-3 drops of essential oil to be poured into a bowl of boiling water. In addition, if you want to protect the airways from colds and coughs, you can spread 5 drops of essential oil in the room using an oil-burner lamp.
Myrtle for digestion
Myrtle berries, thanks to their anti-inflammatory properties, protect the gastrointestinal mucosa (Sumbul et al, Hump Exp Toxicol, 2010). In case of indigestion or reflux you can use the mother tincture of myrtle, 30 drops twice a day. But myrtle can also help with children with little appetite and stomach problems. In fact, studies have shown that drinking a juice prepared with myrtle berry syrup helps regain appetite in children as early as 4 weeks (Paknejad et al, Phytother Res, 2021).
Myrtle for scalp health
Myrtle protects the scalp and fights dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis and irritation thanks to its antiseptic, antifungal and soothing action (Hennia et al, Medicines, 2018). Not only that, myrtle also strengthens hair (Handjani et al, Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association, 2018). You can add a drop of myrtle essential oil to the shampoo you use. Alternatively, you can add two drops of myrtle oil to two tablespoons of softened coconut oil. Apply to damp scalp with a massage. Leave on for 15 minutes, then rinse with your shampoo.
Myrtle for a good restful sleep
Myrtle, in the form of mother tincture, also promotes rest. In fact, this plant has shown a sedative and relaxing action on the muscles (Hajiaghaee et al, Pharm Biol, 2016). Then add a drop of essential oil on the pillow or you can spread the essence with an oil-burner lamp.
Myrtle against sunburn
Myrtle, taken orally in the form of mother tincture, or applied externally, as an essential oil diluted in a carrier oil, has been shown to strengthen the skin and counteract the damage caused by burns and sunburns. It is believed that this action can be traced back to the antioxidant power of myrtle (Ozcan et al, Burns, 2019).