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The Myrtle.

Botanical name:

Myrtus.

A little shrub, very beautiful in its manner of growth, a native of Italy, but common in our gardens. The trunk is covered with a rough brown bark. The branches are numerous, slender, tough, and reddish. The leaves are very beautiful; they are small, short, of a fine green, pointed at the ends, not serrated at the edges, and they stand in great numbers, and in a beautiful order upon the branches. The flowers stand on short foot stalks; they are large, white, and full of threads: the fruit is a round black berry, as large as the biggest pea, and has a crown at the top. The leaves, when bruised, have an extremely fragrant smell. The shrub will bear our climate better than is imagined'; there are, in some places, hedges of it five or six feet high, that stand the winters without the least hurt.

The leaves and berries of the myrtle are used; they are cordial and astringent. A strong infusion of the fresh leaves is good against a slight purging, strengthening the stomach at the same time that it removes the complaint. The dried leaves powdered, are excellent against the whites. The berries are good against bloody fluxes, overflowings of the menses and in spitting of blood.


The Family Herbal, 1812, was written by John Hill.



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