Lemon Verbana (Lippia citroidora)


Lemon verbena is just as popular today for use in cosmetics as it was in the early 19th century when its essential oil was first used as a scent for perfume. This herb was also used in traditional folk medicine to cure certain ailments. Lemon verbena leaves are edible and contain several of antioxidant flavonoids.

Lemon verbena has been used for hundreds of years as a sedative, to ease muscle spasms and to prevent intestinal gas. It is also used as a tea and for fragrance in perfumes. Due to its late introduction into Europe, lemon verbena was not figured as an important medical herb. In folk medicine, it has been used as an aid to digestion and allegedly has a tonic effect on the stomach and intestines. It is given credit as a sedative and fever reducer. The essential oil is extracted through steam distillation. This essential oil is said to be acaricidal and bactericidal. Pure oil of verbena is expensive, so it is often diluted with other distillates. Also due to its strong lemony smell, both as a fresh and dried plant, it has been used as a flavoring in all types of dishes, salads, stuffings, meat dishes, baked goods and grains, as well as being a popular tea. The dried leaves of lemon verbena are a prized in scent filling for sachets and pillows, and are a popular ingredient in potpourri mixtures. For most medicinal purposes, users will make a tea by pouring boiling water over the fresh or dried leaves and allowing the concoction to steep for at least five minutes. At the end of the steeping time, the leaves are strained out, leaving lemon verbena tea.