The Biblical Queen Esther changed her name to Hadassah, after the Hebrew word hadas, for “myrtle.” This small, attractive North African tree now makes itself at home throughout the Mediterranean, and was a favorite in the ancient gardens of Baghdad, Granada and Damascus. Today, it is grown in Morocco. It was the main ingredient in the 16th-century complexion remedy called “Angel’s Water.”

Family: Myrtaceae

Extraction: Distilled from leaves, twigs and sometimes flowers. The scent is spicy and slightly camphorous.

Medicinal Action: Treats lung and respiratory infections, spasmodic coughs, muscle spasms and hemorrhoids.

Cosmetic/Skin Use: Myrtle is appropriate for oily complexions, acne and enlarged surface veins.

Emotional Attribute: The scent balances energy. The ancient Greeks and Romans honored poets with myrtle to suggest that their fame would never die.

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Written by Kathi Keville

Explore Wellness in 2021