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J Ethnopharmacol. 2016 Dec 4;193:481-489. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2016.09.054. Epub 2016 Sep 30.

Myrtus communis L. and its application in treatment of Recurrent Aphthous Stomatitis.

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Microbiology Department, Medicinal Plant Research Center of Barij, Kashan, Iran. Electronic address:



In Iranian Traditional Medicine, M. communis is a famous plant in treatment of oral ulcers and "Gholaa"- the ancient name of aphthous.


The aim of this review is to create a bridge between the traditional claims about the application of M. communis in treatment of "Gholaa" and its prescription for aphthous, the current form of "Gholaa" in modern medicine METHODS: We extracted the information about the application of M. communis in treatment of aphthous from different resources including Google scholar, Pubmed, ScienceDirect, Springer, ethnobotanical, the traditional books from Traditional Medicine Tehran University of Medical Sciences.


In Iranian traditional texts, "Gholaa" was the corrosive diseases on the surface and inner layer of mouth and tongue and divided into three types of bloody, phlegmatic and burned black bile types. Recurrent Aphthous Stomatitis (RAS) is equal to the black bile and phlegmatic types and minor aphthous type can be matched with phlegmatic type. The corrosive propagated lesions can be herpetic aphthous. In modern medicine, M. communis essential oil and its decoction decreased the average time of pain relief and decreased the size of ulcers in patients with minor RAS without any adverse effects. The number of ulcers was not the subjects of any different clinical trials. All patients were satisfied with M. communis topical essential oil (5%), and 81% patients were satisfied with M. communis topical decoctions (5%). It appears the efficacy of M. communis is related to its analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and wound healing effects.


M. communis is effective in minor RAS as its traditional claims and confirming its efficacy in major and herpetiform RAS and comparing the efficacy of its decoction topical formulations or essential oil topical ones are required more and larger experimental and clinical investigations in future.


Myrtex; Myrtle; Myrtus communis; Oral paste; Recurrent Aphthous Stomatitis; Topical solution

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