Myrtle and Lemon Myrtle Essential Oils

Plant photo by H. Zell - Own work.

Plant photo by H. Zell – Own work.

Myrtle and lemon myrtle essential oils are both generally available and sometimes confused. Myrtle essential oil comes from the Mediterranean, but lemon myrtle essential oil is from Australia.

Myrtle (sometimes called green myrtle) essential oil is extracted by steam distillation from the leaves and twigs of Myrtus communis. A commercial culinary oil is also obtained by extraction from the berries.

The myrtle is an evergreen shrub which is native to the Mediterranean region. The colour of the essential oil varies according to where it was sourced: North African oil is a reddish brown colour and Corsican oil is a much brighter green.

Myrtle essential oil is antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, astringent, decongestant, deodorant, expectorant, nervine, sedative and a mosquito repellent.

Myrtle is traditionally considered to be sacred to Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty. The oil lives up to this reputation by being helpful to relieve cases of erectile dysfunction and loss of libido, which accounts for its reputation as an aphrodisiac. It is also helpful as a beautifying oil, contracting and tightening skin. helping to diminish wrinkles. It is useful for blends for use on oily skin, open pores, and as a treatment for skin irritation and conditions including quite severe cases of acne. It can also be included in an ointment for haemorrhoids at a rate of 1 drop to each 5ml base.

It is an adaptogen which balances the thyroid and ovaries, and also brings the emotions into balance, relieving stress and anxiety.

Myrtle essential oil is particularly helpful in oil burners or electric diffusers for respiratory disorders especially hay fever, reducing tickly coughs at night, relieving congestion and catarrh and improving the productivity of dry coughs.

I offer myrtle essential oil in my online shop.

lemon-myrtleLemon myrtle essential oil is extracted by steam distillation from the leaves of Backhousia citriodora, an evergreen tree native to Queensland, Australia which is sometimes confused with the lemon ironbark, Eucalyptus staigeriana. It has a clean lemon fragrance, being almost 98% citral.

Lemon myrtle oil is antibacterial, antioxidant, antiseptic, antiviral, decongestant, germicidal, mood-enhancing, relaxing, stimulating, uplifting and an insect repellent.

Used in an oil burner or electric diffuser it helps keep colds, flu and other airborne infections at bay, reduces sinus problems and discourages creepy crawlies like moths and silverfish.

In blends it is beneficial for acne, eczema, Molluscum contagiosum, cold sores, spots (zits) and skin infections of all kinds. It can be used on pet bedding to deter fleas.

As with all essential oils, neither myrtle nor lemon myrtle oil should be taken internally, even though you may see this recommended elsewhere. Essential oils are highly concentrated and can cause permanent damage if used in this way, even if you think you have diluted them. Be safe and use them as intended, in massage blends and diffusers, and keep them out of the reach of children at all times.
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