8 Health Benefits of Lemon Verbena

Medically Reviewed on 8/10/2022
Lemon Verbena
Lemon verbena has excellent nutritional values that provide various health advantages.

Lemon verbena (Aloysia citrodora), also known as lemon beebrush and lippia citriodora, is a perennial shrub that belongs to the plant family Verbenaceae. At a quick glance, it looks like a common grass, but upon close examination, you may sense the strong fragrance of the shrub

This plant is native to South America and is cultivated in the wild in Peru and Chile. It thrives in warm regions with full sun exposure. The lemon verbena plant may grow up to nine feet tall and has white blossoms.

When the leaves of the lemon verbena plant are crushed, they emit a strong citrus aroma, making it a popular addition to herb gardens. It is distinguished by its tall, pointed leaves and rough texture.

What compounds make up the lemon verbena plant?

Leaves of lemon verbena contain volatile oil that is most composed of two compounds—geranial and neral. These compounds are responsible for the lemon scent that produces calming and mood-enhancing effects on the central nervous system.

Other compounds found in different parts of the plant include:

  • Citral
  • Cineole
  • Limonene
  • Mucilage
  • Tannins
  • Flavonoids

8 health benefits of lemon verbena

Lemon verbena has excellent nutritional values that provide various health advantages. Terpenoids, volatile oils, flavonoids, and phenolic acids are some of the major nutrients found in verbena leaves.

Eight health benefits of lemon verbena include:

  1. Reduces inflammation:
    • Lemon verbena possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities that help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress
    • Free radicals in the body cause cell damage and increase the risk of diseases. 
    • In a study, 30 participants with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis were administered lemon verbena extract for 28 days. 
    • C-reactive protein, an inflammatory measure, was found to be significantly reduced. 
    • Another study reported that taking lemon verbena supplements protected cells from oxidative stress and decreased exercise-induced muscle damage in healthy men.
  2. Aids in detoxification and boosts immunity:
    • Detoxification is a continuous and necessary process for eliminating free radicals and remaining healthy, and it may be aided by drinking lemon verbena tea.
    • Lemon verbena is high in phenolic compounds, which are potent antioxidants that defend against free radicals, reducing oxidative stress, keeping the body healthy, and strengthening the immune system.
    • Lemon verbena tea has antioxidant activity equivalent to green tea but without bitterness. 
    • It exhibits free-radical-scavenging characteristics similar to some of the most well-known neuroprotective herbs, including Ginkgo biloba, ginseng, and curcuma.
  3. Improves joint function:
    • Early study suggests a link between lemon verbena herbal tea and better joint function. 
    • It included 45 individuals, all of whom had joint difficulties and were taking an omega-3 fatty acid supplement alongside lemon verbena extract.
    • After three weeks, a large number of individuals had less overall joint discomfort and more joint mobility. 
    • This percentage has climbed even more after four weeks. 
    • This is due to the antioxidants in tea, which neutralize free radicals in the body.
  4. Aids with weight loss:
    • A recent study reported that combining lemon verbena and hibiscus might help with weight reduction. 
    • A unique supplement containing a 500-mg extract of both herbs was administered to 54 women who were overweight. After one month, results indicated that this dramatically enhanced satiety and fullness and decreased appetite and food consumption compared with the placebo. 
    • The ladies lost weight and had reduced blood pressure and lower fat levels.
  5. Helps with insomnia:
    • Hastatoside and verbenalin are volatile oils known as monoterpenoids in lemon verbena. 
    • They can help with insomnia by stimulating the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) system in the brain. GABA is a brain neurotransmitter that inhibits nerve signal transmission, assisting in the relaxation of the mind and neurological system in preparation for sleep.
  6. Improves anxiety and stress levels:
    • Lemon verbena has a direct influence on hormone levels in the body, reducing problems such as anxiety.
    • Chronic stress can be effectively treated with tea produced from the leaves of this plant.
    • Lemon verbena may improve your sleep.
    • According to a preliminary study, lemon verbena may be therapeutic for people with sleep problems such as insomnia.
    • For centuries, the herb has been used to alleviate sleeplessness and cause sleepiness.
  7. Fights staph infections:
  8. Aids in digestion:


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How is lemon verbena used?

Spanish explorers introduced the lemon verbena plant to Europe in 1784. The citrus aroma of lemon verbena oil was popular in the European fragrance business, where it was used in soaps, air fresheners, and perfumes. Aside from infusions, lemon verbena leaves may be used to flavor food and beverages

Various uses of lemon verbena may include:

  • Lemon verbena, which has bright, invigorating, and relaxing characteristics, may be used as an air freshener.
  • Its essential oil may be diffused using a diffuser. It can be applied to the skin after being combined with a carrier oil. However, before applying it to the skin, do a patch test.
  • Tea may be made from the lemon verbena plant.
  • The plant (both fresh and dried) may be used in sweets, soups, jams, and drinks.
  • Pregnant and nursing women should avoid lemon verbena. According to research, lemon verbena oil may increase the risk of birth abnormalities.
  • If you are taking any herbal supplement or prescription medicine and want to consume lemon verbena, you should visit a doctor to address safety concerns.
  • Lemon verbena is a plant that has a variety of possible health advantages.
  • It lowers oxidative stress, enhances sleep, and has anti-obesity properties. Human research is minimal, and additional studies are required to evaluate its effect on human health.

Culinary use

Verbena leaves can be used in both culinary and medicinal applications. Young leaves can be used in stir fry or salad. You may use the dried leaves to season fish, pork, and poultry dishes because they impart a fresh lemony fragrance to the cuisine.

Moreover, they assist in reducing the fatty flavor of the dishes. Furthermore, the leaves pair well with sweets and cold beverages.

How to make lemon verbena tea

A hot infusion of leaves to produce tea is a nice after-dinner or nighttime drink because its relaxing, calming effect supports successful digestion and improves sleep quality, whereas a chilled infusion is a superb cooling drink in hot weather. According to scientific evidence, lemon verbena contains antioxidant, anxiolytic, neuroprotective, anticancer, analgesic, antibacterial, and sedative properties.

Make your own lemon verbena tea by:

  1. Infusing one teaspoon of dried or two teaspoons of fresh leaves in hot water.
  2. Allow it to steep for up to 15 minutes.
  3. If required, add a spoonful of honey to sweeten.

Are there any downsides of lemon verbena extracts?

To gain the health advantages of verbena leaves, take the following precautions:

  • Consider the negative effects of topical usages, such as mild dermatitis. If you have particularly sensitive skin, see your dermatologist before using verbena leaves to treat your skin condition.
  • People with renal illness should avoid verbena leaves because the components may aggravate the condition.

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Medically Reviewed on 8/10/2022
Image Source: iStock image

Lemon Verbena - Uses, Side Effects, and More: https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-632/lemon-verbena

Sample records for lemon verbena aloysia: https://www.science.gov/topicpages/l/lemon+verbena+aloysia