Among palms, ferns and trees that rise up imposingly towards the sky and gurgling streams, winds the Australian rain forest, which is also the habitat of a plant that is considered very interesting by science, the lemon myrtle. The lemon myrtle, scientific name Backhousia citriodora, is a plant of the Myrtaceae family and owes its name to the leaves that smell like lemon. Local people have known this plant for centuries and used it thanks to its healing and cosmetic properties for the skin. And today we draw inspiration from this ancient wisdom to discover a truly beneficial remedy that we can now find in specialized stores and online in the form of essential oil of lemon myrtle.
Lemon myrtle, properties
As often happens, science can only confirm tradition and lemon myrtle is not an exception. In fact, this plant contains antioxidant, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial substances, thus proving useful to inhibit the action of a wide range of bacteria, such as, for example, Propionibacterium acne, a bacterium linked to some skin diseases such as acne, or Staphylococcus aureus, responsible for most skin infections (Yabuta et al, Biosci Biotechnol Biochem, 2018 - Guo et al, Toxicol Rep, 2014). Not only that, there is a study that demonstrates the effectiveness of external applications of lemon myrtle essential oil in treating molluscum contagiosum, a skin infection that affects both children and adults and that causes lesions on the skin (Burke et al, Biomed Pharmacother , 2004).
Lemon myrtle essential oil, uses and recommendations
Given its properties, lemon myrtle essential oil is useful in case of acne, wounds, insect bites but also cold sores of the lip and warts. Moreover, it can be used in case of sore throat and inflammation of the oral cavity. However, care must be taken. In fact, lemon myrtle essential oil when used pure on the skin is toxic. The essence must therefore be diluted no more than 1%, a threshold value under which the use of lemon myrtle essential oil is considered safe (Hayes et al, Food Chem Toxicol, 2002). So, you can add 5 drops of lemon myrtle essential oil in 50 ml of a plant based oil, such as jojoba, and apply on the area of the skin to be treated. Or, you can pour two drops of this essential oil into a glass of water and use to gargle.