The many medicinal benefits of myrtle

According to a study published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine, Myrtus communis L. (myrtle) from the Myrtaceae family has various medicinal uses. Researchers believe that the plant can be used to develop natural cures for health problems such as cancer, diabetes, gastric ulcer, and skin diseases.

  • In the Unani system of phytomedicine, the ancient Greeks used M. communis to cure different illnesses.
  • Different parts of M. communis and its essential oil are used as ingredients in traditional cures. The modern uses of the plant include cosmetics (e.g., hair fall control), flavoring for food and drinks, and for extensive therapeutic purposes.
  • For the study, the researchers gathered data from legitimate databases and services like Medline, PubMed, Scopus, and other database sources (e.g., Google Scholar) using key terms like “ethnobotanical uses,” “ethnopharmacological studies,” “Myrtus communis L,” and “phytochemical studies” for each database. About 73 references were included in the scientific review.
  • In the review, ethnobotanical data determined that M. communis is used in traditional medicine to treat diseases such as anxiety, cancer, deep sinuses, diabetes, diarrhea, dysentery, dyspepsia, gastric ulcer, hemorrhage, hemorrhoid, hypertension, inflammation, insomnia, leucorrhoea, pulmonary disorders, rheumatism, and skin diseases.
  • Findings from ethnopharmacological studies revealed that the plant has extensive pharmacological activities: anticancer, antidiabetic, antidiarrheal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, antioxidant, antiulcer, anxiolytic, sedative-hypnotic, and vasodilative activities, to name a few.
  • Research data also confirmed that the plant contains flavonoids, glycosides, phenolic acids, tannins, and terpenes. The myrtle oil was also full of different bioactive monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes and their derivatives.

Based on data from the ethnobotanical, ethnopharmacological, and phytochemical studies analyzed in the review, the researchers concluded that M. communis can be used for various medicinal purposes.

View the full text of study at this link.

You can read more articles about myrtle’s various medicinal properties at

Journal Reference: 

Sisay M, Gashaw T. ETHNOBOTANICAL, ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL, AND PHYTOCHEMICAL STUDIES OF MYRTUS COMMUNIS LINN: A POPULAR HERB IN UNANI SYSTEM OF MEDICINE. Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine. 2017;22(4):1035–1043. DOI: 10.1177/2156587217718958

comments powered by Disqus