Aloysia citrodora, which is more commonly known as lemon verbena, is a flowering plant that is found in Brazil, Peru, Argentina, Chile, etc. It is a deciduous perennial shrub, which grows to a height of 3 to 7 meters and has a very prominent lemon scent. The plant needs a lot of water to grow and a fair amount of sunlight, as it is sensitive to cold and loses its leaves at low temperature. It has light green, lancet-shaped leaves and tiny lavender or white flowers, which bloom in the months of August or September. It is a culinary herb that is added to impart a lemony flavor to various food items like marinades, salads, desserts, and meat dishes. Apart from all the culinary uses, it also has some therapeutic properties. This medical significance is because of a few constituents present in this herb.
The main chemical constituent of its oil is citral, which accounts for about 30 to 35%, while the remaining is nerol and geraniol. A few of the benefits of this herb include:
One of the major benefits of this plant is that it has antiseptic, astringent, and anti-inflammatory qualities. It relieves nausea and cramps of the digestive system, and is also helpful in the digestion of heavy foods. The tea made from the leaves of this plant reduces the symptoms of flatulence, diarrhea, upset stomach, stomach spasms, and colon irritability. It also helps in regulating metabolism and breaking down the cellulite present in the body.
Temperature Elevation in Body
Another health benefit of this herb is that it controls the varying temperature in our body. The herb provides relief from fever in case of colds. Its tea or the herb in any form, has a soothing effect on the nasal and bronchial congestion in our respiratory system. It also helps in the treatment of flu, and provides relief from the cold and cough. In case of mild symptoms of asthma, consumption of this herb simply with warm water and honey, stabilizes the condition.
Due to its pleasant aroma, its essential oil is added in massage oils and lotions to have a relaxing effect on the body. The oil helps relieve the stress and promotes a sense of calmness, when used during a massage. In cases of mild depression and mood swings, the pleasing aroma, soothes the mind by relaxing the nervous system. The tea can be made by adding mint and licorice and it can be consumed at any time. It also provides relief from the symptoms of PMS, and helps regulate the menstrual cycle.
Thus, including lemon verbena in your diet once in a while is definitely a healthy choice.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.