This section is from the book "Dental Medicine. A Manual Of Dental Materia Medica And Therapeutics", by Ferdinand J. S. Gorgas. Also available from Amazon: Dental Medicine.
Myrtol is obtained from the leaves and berries of the Myrtus Communis (Myrtaceae), an evergreen shrub native of the Mediterranean countries. It is a volatile oil containing various terpenes, cineol, and a camphor-like substance.
Myrtol is a disinfectant and antiseptic, and causes no irritation to the skin. Upon a denuded or abraded surface it causes a slight burning sensation, which soon passes off. It is claimed that a 9 per cent. solution of myrtol will completely arrest the growth of the micro-organisms of pus; and myrtol will also prevent the decomposition of organic matters. Internally myrtol promotes digestion, but large doses cause headache and nausea. It communicates a violet odor to the breath and urine, and is eliminated from the system by the lungs and kidneys.
Myrtol has been employed with success as a disinfectant for wounds and ulcers ; also in cutaneous diseases of a vegetable parasitic origin, and as a local remedy in psoriasis. Internally, myrtol has proved useful in the destruction of intestinal worms; also in chronic bronchitis, gangrene of lungs, pulmonary tuberculosis, chronic pyelitis and cystitis ; also in passive hemorrhage.
Myrtol is employed in dental practice as a disinfectant of pulp canals and as an antiseptic for gangrenous pulps, also to destroy the growth of micro-organisms in alveolar abscesses, and to disinfect carious cavities in teeth, and as a mouth wash in inflammation of the mucous membrane, etc., etc.