A fragrant and practical herb, lemon verbena has a long history of use around the world, but today it is largely undervalued in America. It originated in Argentina and Chile and was introduced to the rest of the world in the late 1700s. Historically and globally, lemon verbena has been used in a variety of ways. In France it is known for its herbal properties and is often used in teas, culinary and liquor flavoring, and even in the production of perfumes and soaps. In Morocco, it is believed that a tea made by steeping the leaves in hot water can help relieve menstrual cramps and stomach aches. As an herbal remedy, Lemon Verbena also serves to ease tension, anxiety and stress, to reduce fever, and to ease colds, asthma, colic, dyspepsia, indigestion, flatulence and diarrhea. Additionally, while there is little scientific research, there is oral history that indicates this herb may have EMF protecting properties.
Lemon verbena should be used in moderation, as prolonged internal use or large doses of Lemon Verbena may cause gastric irritation. In general, Lemon Verbena boasts a host of creative uses. Use the leaves and flowers in culinary creations including teas, desserts, fruit salads and jams. Add a sprig of Lemon Verbena to your vacuum cleaner bag, to help freshen the air as you clean. Plant Lemon Verbena in your garden, yard or in strategically placed pots, or hang bunches of it around your patio to take advantage of its strong citrus scent, which acts as a natural insect repellant. Tuck a few leaves behind books, or place on shelves, to keep fish-moths away. Consider it for homemade perfumes, cosmetics and potpourris. And when you really need to relax, run hot water over a bunch of fresh Lemon Verbena sprigs to make a scented bath that will help soothe tired muscles and clear nasal passages.
Live Naturally with Herbs: Lemon Verbena. Natural News.
Aloysia citriodora. Missouri Botanical Garden.
Lemon Verbena: From Sorbet to Soap. New York Times.
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