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Myrtus communis L. (Myrtaceae)

  • Shahid AkbarEmail author
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Abstract

An evergreen shrub, native to Europe, Mediterranean region, North Africa, West Asia and India. In Rome, the plant was supposed not only to inspire love, but to maintain it. Before pepper was known, myrtle was used as a spice to season food, and wine was flavored with them. Myrtle enjoyed a prominent place in the writings of Hippocrates, Dioscorides, Pliny, Galen and the Arabian physicians. Galen said that its leaves, stems, fruits and the juice are equally astringent. According to Pliny, berries were used in dysentery, and as an application to indolent ulcers and inflamed eyes; and in wine are antidote to poison of mushrooms. Avicenna in his legendary book Canon of Medicine mentioned it as one of the drugs for the treatment of abnormal uterine bleeding. Fresh or dried fruits are diuretic and beneficial in hemoptysis and cystitis; seeds are tonic for intestines and urinary bladder, and relieve foul smell from gums and mouth (halitosis). In the Ethiopian folk medicine, it is suggested to aid sleep, and also used as sedative-hypnotic in Iranian traditional medicine. In the Mediterranean region, especially in Sardinia, it is used as a flavoring agent for alcoholic beverages. Both leaves and the berries contain high levels of total phenolic content, responsible for their antioxidant property. Berries are also a rich source of minerals, such as Ca, K, Mg, Na and P. Administration of ethanol-water extract of aerial parts did not affect blood glucose of normal mice, but administered 30 min before STZ, abolished initial hyperglycemic phase without affecting the second phase, and if the dose was repeated at 24 and 30 h, it did not allow hyperglycemia to develop until after 48 h. Essential oil of Ethiopian origin did not produce hypnosis but potentiated pentobarbital sleeping time in mice, and ethanol leaf extract exerted anxiolytic, myorelaxant and hypnotic effects. In a double-blind RCT, myrtle fruit syrup for 7-days during menstrual period for three consecutive periods in women suffering from menometrorrhagia, significantly reduced the bleeding. In a double-blinded RCT, freeze-dried aqueous extract of myrtle fruits was as effective as omeprazole in relieving symptoms of GERD.

Keywords

Aass Arrayán Asbiri Maatoru Mersin Murad Murteira Myrte Myrtle Xiang tao mu 

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.StocktonUSA

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