Myrtle tea has been acknowledged since ancient times as being potent in its antiseptic, astringent and decongestant properties. In Greek mythology, the myrtle plant is known to be sacred to Aphrodite and Demeter. Prominent ancient Greek writers Hippocrates, Pliny and Dioscorides often mentioned the myrtle in their works.
The myrtle is an evergreen shrub or small tree that grows up to 5 meters tall. Also known by its official name myrtus communis, the myrtle can be commonly found in southern Europe and northern Africa.
The leaves are about 3 to 5 centimeters long, and has a fragrant essential oil. The myrtle has star-like flowers that have five white-colored petals and sepals, and numerous stamens. The plant produces blue-black berries that are bitter. The seeds of the myrtle are often dispersed by birds that feed on the berries.
The beneficial constituents of myrtle can largely be found in the leaves, although the stems and fruits are also utilized by many for their fragrant properties. Pregnant women are recommended to refrain from using myrtle.
The following are the health benefits attributed to myrtle tea:
- Traditionally known to alleviate urinary tract infections.
- Has traditionally been used to combat digestive problems and disorders.
- May help fight bronchial congestion, sinusitis and dry cough.
- May help in the treatment for cerebral infections and epilepsy.
- When applied topically may help treat bruises and wounds.