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Use of Bog Myrtle essential oil as a skin treatment

Updated on July 29, 2012
Lis Burke [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Lis Burke [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Bog Myrtle essential oil

Bog Myrtle essential oil, extracted from the Scottish Highlands-grown plant, is gaining a scientific reputation as a problem-skin remedy.

This UK essential oil is growing in popularity now that scientists have revealed that the the oil from the fruit of this plant could be used to prevent sun damage to skin and to treat sensitive skin, especially acne.

This all-but-forgotten plant had been used for centuries to flavour food, dye wool, scent soaps and to make candles. But now scientists are claiming these new properties for the Scottish Highlands variety of the plant - also known around the world as Sweet Gale or Myrica Gale.

A well-known pharmaceutical brand in the UK is now involved in trials which could see this natural essential oil used in skin treatment products.

Uses for Bog Myrtle essential oil

If you are familiar with the dreaded Scottish midge (or midgie as it is affectionately known) you may be familiar with the traditional use of Bog Myrtle in Scotland. It has been used for centuries as an midge repellent and a deterrent for any biting, blood-sucking insects that might find their way into your tent.

It smells great too!

Bog Myrtle or Sweet Gale is also well-known for its use in beer and ale-making, especially before hops was widely-used.

Traditionally, it has been used to dye wool yellow and to flavour stews in a similar way to the Bayleaf.

The leaves of Bog Myrtle have also been used to help fight depression. It is used as a sweet-tasting tea in China and across Europe with its reputation for increasing blood flow to areas of the body.

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Scottish Bog Myrtle essential oil as a skin treatment

Recent scientific tests have shown that the Scottish Highlands-grown Bog Myrtle is more effective than Tea Tree oil for the treatment of the bacteria which causes spots and acne. It can also prevent free radicals caused by the skin's exposure to the sun.

Best of all, this pure essential oil is one of the mid-priced oils and can be bought online.

Due to this new popularity of the oil, the Bog Myrtle plant itself is becoming even more abundant in Scotland. It thrives in acidic peat bogs near rivers and lochs. It could become quite the booming industry that the Scottish Highlands needs right now.

Bog Myrtle midge and insect repellent recipe

If you have access to the bog myrtle plant, you could keep a sprig in your hat or pocket whilst out walking. You can simply rub the leaves onto your skin as a natural insect repellent. However, rubbing the leaves into your skin gives it a lovely Shrek-like green tinge which might scare away more than the wee beasties.

Here is a basic homemade recipe guaranteed to work as a midge repellent whist camping or walking in Scotland. This natural remedy can also be used to repel other various biting, munching, feasting insects - and flies!

To make a solution for a 500ml spray bottle:


a few drops (less than a 1/2 teaspoon) bog myrtle essential oil

a few drops lavendar essential oil

a few drops tea tree essential oil

a few drops eucalyptus oil

a few drops neem oil

a few drops ecological washing-up liquid


fill a 500ml spray bottle with water with the mixture

shake well before spraying onto your skin

Do not spray into your face or near the eyes, but perhaps spray some onto your hat or scarf instead before putting it on.


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      Ruth 5 years ago


      I just want to say very nice blog, with this type of rare information. I was looking for this type information from long time. I really appreciate your work on natural living style, and waiting for your next update. Once again thanks a lot.

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      zubairakhtar 6 years ago

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      Mary Holmes 7 years ago

      Am also looking for bog myrtle EO wholesale. Is it available in the US?

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      LINDA MAC GILLIVRAY 8 years ago