The Myrtus communis or as it is popularly known, the myrtle is a native of Northern Africa, Southern Europe, and the Mediterranean. This is a herb that was well respected in ancient times for treating infection and fever related to infection.
The herb is known for its stomachic, stimulant, rubefacient, cordial, carminative, decongestant, astringent, aromatic, astringent, anti-viral, anti-rheumatic, antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties.
Accordingly, it is used today extensively in the treatment for dry coughs, bronchial congestion, digestive problems and urinary infections. It is also used to treat haemorrhoids.
Egyptians used myrtle – crushed the leaves in wine and drank it - in the treatment of pulmonary infections, bladder conditions and stomach problems. In Britain, it is generally used for genito-urinary problems and bronchial infections.
In Ayurveda, Myrtus communis is used for treating epilepsy and a number of cerebral infections. It is normally taken as tea and essential oil when used medicinally. It is also used in regular cooking of meats and vegetables where it can substitute bay leaf.
The herb is contraindicated for pregnant women; otherwise it is safe for administration.