'Myrtus Communis' is an evergreen shrub which has a glossy aromatic foliage and white flowers followed by purple-black oval berries.
Myrtus communis is a part of the Myrtacea plant family (the myrtle family). The family also includes several aromatic plants (clove, allspice) and many characteristic Australian plants (such as eucalyptus tree and bottlebrushes)
The evergreen common myrtle has glossy dark opposite leaves, that are a little paler below, and pointed at both ends; virtually stalk less, and about an inch long. Held to the light, the leaves show many small translucent dots containing oil whose fragrance is released by crushing.
Leaves of the myrtle family are often characterized by fragrance. The modest white flower have lots of long, yellow, tipped stamens, while the elongated berries are blue-black, terminated in some remnants of flower and containing many white kidney shaped seeds.
It is native to southern Europe, North Africa, western Asia, and the Indian Subcontinent
Myrtus communis (Myrtaceae) is one of the drugs popularly used in the Unani system of phyto medicine since the ancient Greek period. From time immemorial, different parts of this plant and essential oil have been used for a variety of purposes such as cosmetics (hair fall control), flavoring of food and drinks as well as extensive therapeutic purposes.
Myrtle essential oil and extracts have antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant properties.
Myrtle can be used in food preservation
Ethno botanical information revealed that Myrtus communis (L) has been a folkloric repute for the treatment of several diseases like gastric ulcer, diarrhea, dysentery, cancer, rheumatism, haemorrhage, deep sinuses, leucorrhoea, haemorrhoid, inflammation, dyspepsia, anxiety, insomnia, diabetes, hypertension, pulmonary disorders, and skin diseases
Moreover, ethno pharmacological studies revealed that the plant is endowed with extensive pharmacological activities, including antimicrobial, anti diarrheal, anti diabetic, antispasmodic, vasodilator, antiulcer, antioxidant, anticancer, anxiolytic, sedative-hypnotic, and anti-inflammatory activities, among others.
Ancient doctors believed that among its medical benefits is that if its fumes were inhaled, they would clear the brain of rotten moisture and impurities, and if it's water were drunk, it would remove jaundice and blood retention wherever it occurred, and if it's powder were applied on a wound, it would help it heal.
Ibn Sina said: It is useful for haemorrhoids, vertigo, and nosebleed.