Learn the Herbs: Lemon Verbena
Lemon Verbena, also known as Lemon Beebrush or Aloysia Citrodora, is a perennial flowering plant known among the gardeners for its tiny purple and white flowers and lemon-scented leaves. However, the leaves also have many culinary and medicinal uses.
In the culinary world, Lemon Verbena leaves are used to a lemon flavor in marinades, puddings, jams, salad dressings, and beverages. The lemon-scented leaves are also a popular choice for herbal tea.
Let’s dig down a little deeper and look at how Lemon Verbena is used in traditional medicine.
Chemical Composition of Lemon Verbena
Lemon Verbena leaves contain the following key chemical components:
Another major chemical compound found in Lemon Verbena leaves is verbascoside – a caffeoyl phenylethanoid glycoside known for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
A Brief History of Lemon Verbena’s Use
Lemon Verbena leaves were traditionally used to make a soothing herbal tea to reduce fever, alleviate colds and flu, and improve digestion. They were also used to relieve joint inflammation and associated pain, disinfect wounds, and speed up their healing process.
Apart from the medicinal uses, the essential oil extracted from Lemon Verbena leaves was also used to make perfumes. During the Victorian era, women used to sew the leaves into their dresses and handkerchiefs due to their fresh, citrusy fragrance.
Health Benefits of Lemon Verbena
Following are some benefits of Lemon Verbena leaves supported by strong evidence:
They Help Reduce Joint Pain and Inflammation
Lemon Verbena leaves work great for inflammation and pain resulting from joint diseases and injuries. This is primarily due to the presence of verbascoside and phenolic compounds.
A research study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that Lemon Verbena leaves extract is particularly effective when used together with fish oil omega-3. Participants who were given the natural formulation reported a significant reduction in pain and stiffness and improved joint function after nine weeks of treatment.
They Work Great for Improving Digestive Health
The use of Lemon Verbena leaves to relieve indigestion and alleviate issues like bloating, flatulence, and cramps is backed by strong anecdotal evidence. They have been used for this purpose for a very long time. While their exact mechanism of action is unknown, experts believe that the mucilage found in the leaves of this aromatic herb helps heal the stomach membrane and also offer it protection from high levels of stomach acid. Citral, a volatile oil present in Lemon Verbena, also helps in the digestion of fats.
The herb is also known to have anti-spasmodic and soothing properties, which help relieve stomach cramps, bloating, and general discomfort.
Lemon Verbena is a Good Natural Sleeping Aid
Lemon Verbena contains two potent monoterpenoids - verbenalin and hastatosides. These, together with verbascoside, help reduce stress[ and calm the body and mind, preparing you for a good night’s sleep.
These effects are believed to result from monoterpenoids’ capability to stimulate the release of GABA in the brain. GABA, essentially an amino acid, works as a neurotransmitter in the CNS to reduce neuron activity and inhibit nerve transmission, helping to calm the mind and prepare it for sleep.
Lemon Verbena leaves not only smell and taste great but also can improve health in various ways. Like all herbs, the secret to experiencing the health benefits of Lemon Verbena lies in using the right formulation and dosage.
At Secrets of the Tribe, we offer 100% organic and pure Lemon Verbena tincture and capsules. Get your hands on them to get the best out of this aromatic herb.