This flowering plant goes by several different names, like the herb louisa, verveine citronnelle, lemon beebrush, cedrón, or hierba luisemon. However, it is more commonly known as lemon verbena for its soothing aroma as an essential oil and its light and refreshingly lemony taste as a tea. But are there health benefits to consuming the herbal tea version of this plant?
This article will look at the top lemon verbena benefits for health and how to use it daily. If you've never tried lemon verbena tea before, then let's dive right into what makes this fascinating herb so popular among tea drinkers globally.
What is Lemon Verbena?
Lemon verbena is a woody shrub with sharp, pointy bright green leaves and a stem of small white or lilac flowers. The plant can grow as high as 2-3 meters, and you'll know a lemon verbena plant if you accidentally bruise the leaves. It will instantly hit you with a powerful smell of lemon. Hence the name lemon verbena!
A native plant of South America, the green bushes have been cultivated all over Europe for centuries, eventually making their way to North America in the 17 century by the Portuguese and Spanish. Mainly used for its oil, it started to lose popularity because of the discovery of the more economical lemongrass and lemon balm plants.
Today, lemon verbena is still cultivated for oil and used in various products ranging from cosmetics to candles, but it is also used in herbal teas. With a delicious, refreshing lemon flavor, drinking lemon verbena tea provides a soothing and relaxing feeling. The tea is naturally caffeine free and contains several health benefits.
Health Benefits of Lemon Verbena Herbal Tea
In South America, ancient Incas first discovered lemon verbena tea and consumed it regularly as a way to treat several different ailments. Today, lemon verbena is still considered an alternative and complementary medicine, but does it do everything its reputation says it does?
Many scientific studies examined the benefits of lemon verbena tea, lemon verbena extract, and lemon verbena essential oil. These studies show that this plant may possess several health properties, such as being rich in antioxidants and having anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety properties. Let's break down the health benefits of this refreshing and delicious herbal tea.
#1. Detox & Immune System Boost
Detoxing is the process of helping remove free radicals from the body for better health. Drinking lemon verbena tea may help stimulate the detox process.
Scientific evidence shows that it is rich in phenolic compounds. These plant compounds are loaded with antioxidant properties and help protect against free radicals by reducing oxidative stress and detoxifying the body. Since the tea is naturally caffeine-free, you can drink it at night to help with this process while also boosting the immune system.
#2. A Popular Weight Loss
Drinking lemon verbena tea or taking a lemon verbena extract may assist the body in weight loss. Naturally sugar-free, the tea provides a robust drink without the added calories. Studies show that lemon verbena consumption may also suppress a person's appetite and curve sweet cravings.
#3. Reduces Stress
Let's face it; the world can be a highly stressful place at times! A lovely fresh lemon verbena tea is a great way to unwind at the end of a long day, but it may also calm you in other ways. Studies show that taking lemon verbena may calm the nervous system and help relieve muscle tension. The plant also contains a biological component called verbascoside. Found in the lemon verbena leaves, this component may help reduce stress and anxiety in the body.
#4. Better Sleep
Who doesn't like a good night's sleep? People who have insomnia may find that the gentle lemon scent and citrusy aroma have a calming effect which may help a person fall asleep easier and have a better sleep.
Lemon verbena can help reduce oxidative stress aiding in a better overall relaxed state of being, but it also contains melatonin, a hormone found in our bodies. This hormone is increased during the darkness at night and causes a person to fall asleep. When a person's system is out of alignment, the tea helps regulate and increase the melatonin needed for a good night's sleep.
#5. Promotes Digestion
Many cultures worldwide use lemon verbena tea as an alternative treatment to promote digestion. The beneficial properties of this plant can help soothe stomach cramps with its ability to calm the gastrointestinal tract. It may also be helpful in reducing the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion, and bloating.
#6. Reduce Inflammation and Joint Pain
The components found in lemon verbena leaves are known to possess anti-inflammatory properties. In one study, the plant produced higher blood levels of the antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase (GPx), which is responsible for removing free radicals, and lower inflammatory protein interleukin-6.
This combination might be responsible for helping reduce oxidative stress in the body while protecting against muscle damage and reducing joint pain and other inflammatory-related ailments.
#7. Prevents Muscle Damage During Exercise
Lemon verbena's ability to assist in joint management and repair muscle damage may be linked to the plant's anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Many athletes use lemon verbena as a pre-workout supplement to prevent muscle tears and help with muscle growth.
#8. Combats The Symptoms of a Fever
Scientific studies show that lemon verbena contains biologically active components loaded with antipyretic properties or components that help reduce a fever. Along with lemon verbena's restorative and antioxidant properties, drinking the tea is a great way to tackle the high temperatures of fever and help get you back on your feet quicker.
#9. Relieves Congestion
Diffusing lemon verbena throughout the house is a great way to freshen the air, but it may also help clear the sinuses. Studies show that taking a lemon verbena supplement may work as a natural expectorant, loosening phlegm and mucus and helping to clear the respiratory tracts.
How to use Lemon Verbena
There are many ways you can include this helpful plant in your daily life. The natural lemony scent is a great way to freshen the air or make a soothing and calming tea.
Diffusing Lemon Verbena Oils
You can put a few drops of lemon verbena essential oil in a diffuser and fill the house with a lemony fresh scent. Mixing it with a carrier oil, for example, coconut oil, can also apply it directly to your skin. Make sure to first test for potential skin irritation or allergy by applying a little bit to a small skin patch. It is essential to note that you should never ingest essential oils.
Use in Tea And in Foods
Making lemon verbena tea is easy. Simply use a few teaspoons of loose lemon verbena tea leaves and simmer the leaves in 200 ml of boiling water for a few minutes. Leaf quality is essential. So make sure you use high-quality loose-leaf tea.
If you don't have loose-leaf tea leaves, place premade tea bags in your cup and add some freshly boiled water. You can add some agave nectar to your tea for a naturally sweet boost. Additionally, you can add dried or fresh leaves to dishes like soups, jams, or desserts. And you can even add lemon verbena syrup to specialty cocktails for a lemony zesty drink.
Potential Side Effects of Lemon Verbena Extract
In some cases, the lemon verbena group of products can cause allergies and adverse health symptoms. Here are some things to consider before you take any lemon verbena product like essential oil, tincture, tea, or supplement:
Some research suggests that lemon verbena essential oils could increase the risk of congenital disabilities, and pregnant women should not inhale the aromatherapy the oil produces.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid lemon verbena extract, tincture, syrups, or tea.
Talk to a healthcare professional first before taking any new supplements. This is especially important if you're taking any prescribed medications such as blood pressure, kidney or liver medications, other herbs, or pre-existing medical conditions.
The Bottom Line on Lemon Verbena Tea
A cup of boiling water and a few leaves of this dusty green plant can give you a warm and refreshing satisfying drink and a few health benefits! Whether you want to improve sleep, lose weight, reduce muscle damage or stress, lemon verbena tea may be the drink you've been looking for!