Myrtus communis, the common myrtle or true myrtle, is a species of flowering plant in the myrtle family Myrtaceae. It is an evergreen shrub native to southern Europe, North Africa, Western Asia, Macaronesia, and the Indian Subcontinent, and also cultivated. It is also sometimes known as Corsican pepper.
The medicinal properties of Myrtus communis were utilized as early as 600 B.C.E. Symbolically and ritually important in ancient times, it was used to represent honor, justice, prosperity, generosity, hope, love, and happiness. In Greco-Roman mythology, numerous gods were associated with the common myrtle and its flowers, such as Aphrodite and Demeter. Also a key part of various Jewish traditions, it is one of the four species used in the festival of Sukkot, and the Bible records its use in purification ceremonies. As a shrub that thrives along waterways, it was also seen as a symbol of restoration and recovery.
For uses and further historical significance, see Myrtus.
The essential oils derived from this plant have anti-proliferative and anti-quorum sensing properties, helping against food spoilage. Myrtus communis berries are also macerated in alcohol to make Mirto liqueur.
Berries macerated in alcohol to make Mirto liqueur.
- The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species, retrieved 13 August 2016
- USDA GRIN Taxonomy, retrieved 13 August 2016
- Wright, Emily (Oct 27, 2020). "The Ancient Oils Collection" (podcast). Essential Oil Solutions. Retrieved 1 June 2021.
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- Myszka, Kamila; Sobieszczańska, Natalia; Olejnik, Anna; Majcher, Małgorzata; Szwengiel, Artur; Wolko, Łukasz; Juzwa, Wojciech (June 2020). "Studies on the anti-proliferative and anti-quorum sensing potentials of Myrtus communis L. essential oil for the improved microbial stability of salmon-based products". LWT. 127: 109380. doi:10.1016/j.lwt.2020.109380.
- "RHS Plantfinder - Myrtus communis". Retrieved 10 April 2018.
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- "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 64. Retrieved 10 April 2018.