Myrtle –have you ever heard of it before? Myrtle is one of the most famous plants in history. Even up to this day, this plant is still very significant. Why? Because of its amazing health benefits, some of which may be a surprise to you. Some health benefits of myrtle include the reduction of respiratory conditions, regulation of the endocrine system, improvement of heart health, boosting cognitive strength, aiding the functioning of the kidneys, lowering blood glucose levels, treating various skin conditions, and preventing some types of cancer. If you want to learn more about this amazing plant, keep reading.
Myrtle: What is It?
Myrtle is arguably one of the most famous plants in history. It’s often called “myrtus.” To this day, it remains an important part of the modern world. Scientifically, myrtle is known as Myrtus communist and it’s the most commonly used plant in the genus’ species. For thousands of years, this particular small plant has crept into mythology, culinary arts, medicine, culture, and history in a huge variety of cultures, including China, Ukraine, England, Rome, and Greece, among others. The discovery of the usefulness of this significant flower is still ongoing.
Myrtle itself is, in fact, a small evergreen shrub, which is sometimes considered a small tree. It may grow up to be about five meters high. Usually, it grows wild in the Mediterranean, yet it has also been cultivated in various other cultures and regions. The leaves of the plant contain the essential oil are about 3 to 5 centimeters long. The plant also has star-shaped fruits and flowers that resemble small blackberries. For use, its leaves are usually dried. It is similar to bay leaves, which are good for various culinary applications and its essential oil is also extracted for medicinal uses.
Occasionally, the fruit is also beneficial in making alcohol. This is what they call mitro, which some of the Greek Isles commonly drink. Nonetheless, the most dominant among all its uses is the myrtle essential oil. This may be used as a topical application during or as part of an aromatherapy session. It has an impressive effect on health, too. Moreover, the smell of the essential oil is similar to that of eucalyptus and is attained through the leaves’ by way of steam distillation.
Nutritional Value of Myrtle
The fruits and the leaves of myrtle have a unique combination of nutrients and organic compounds, which make it not just an interesting addition to the diet, but also a priceless source of essential oil. Furthermore, myrtle has various flavonoids and antioxidant properties. These include malic acids, citric acids, catechin, quercetin, tannins, pinene, linalool, and myricetin, among others. As you can see, this power-packed plant really has the potential to boost health significantly.
Health Benefits of Myrtle
Here are some of the most staggering health benefits of myrtle:
- Helps in treating diabetes. Even though the proof for this particular benefit is not yet there, some early reports suggest that the flavonols and the volatile compounds in myrtle may reduce blood sugar plasma, meaning it is beneficial in regulating the blood sugar levels.
- Aids heart health. The different flavonoids in myrtle, like myricetin, have the capacity to reduce bad cholesterol oxidation, thus, balancing cholesterol levels. Not just that, it also prevents clogging in the arteries and blood vessels.
- Strengthens cognitive abilities. The myricetin in myrtle is actually one of the most significant flavonols. It is essential in inhibiting the formation of the beta-amyloid fibril. This means that it’s a very powerful aid for those who are suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
- Aids in kidney health. One of the ancient applications of myrtle leaves is for the treatment of kidney conditions and/or urinary tract infections. Myrtle is also beneficial in stimulating urination, thus, helping to eliminate excess fat, fluids, salts, and toxins.
- Helps in preventing cancer. The high levels of antioxidants in myrtle possess anti-mutagenic and anti-carcinogenic properties. These are essential for the prevention of cancer. This is one of the most significant health benefits of myrtle.
- Helps in balancing hormones. Research shows that the essential oil from myrtle is essential in releasing hormones. Not only that, but they also aid in balancing hormones in the body.
- Helps in boosting immunity. Research shows that the anti-parasitic and antibacterial properties of myrtle are essential in boosting the overall immunity of the body, which is beneficial for the prevention of various conditions.