Lemon VerbenaWikipedia: Aloysia_citrodora
Updated: Aug. 26, 2013
About Lemon Verbena
A lemon verbena plant in bloom. Photo by H. Zell, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
Lemon verbena is the most well-known of the verbenas, a family which includes a number of plants which mimic the aromas of various other plants, such as pineapple verbena (Nashia inaguensis), or Bushy Lippia (Lippia alba), a verbena native to Texas with many of the same chemical components of lemon verbena. Other verbenas are also used in herbal teas.
Lemon verbena is frequently consumed as a tea on its own, and also blended as an ingredient in other teas, sometimes together with lemon balm and/or lemongrass. Although its aroma is in many respects similar to lemon balm and lemongrass, it nevertheless has its own distinct qualities. Lemon verbena, and other verbenas, in addition to their uses in tea, are also used to flavor a liqueur called verveine; because of this, teas sometimes reference the presence of verbena with the name "verveine".
Whole-leaf lemon verbena after steeping in a gaiwan, and the infusion it produces
Health benefits & chemical constituentsLemon verbena is commonly used in Brazilian herbal medicine. It has been found to inhibit the growth of Candida albicans, a type of yeast that can sometimes cause infections in humans.[1,2] It also was found to inhibit the growth of several potentially harmful species of bacteria.
One study found the three main chemical constituents to be geranial, nerol, and limonene. These chemicals occur in lemongrass, lemon balm, and in lemons, although in very different proportions, which explains the similar but distinct aromas. The chemical citral, present in all three plants, has shown some promise for its potential to kill cancer cells.
1. Anti-Candida activity of Brazilian medicinal plants, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Vol. 97, No. 2, pp.305-311, Feb. 28, 2005.
2. Composition and antimicrobial activity of essential oils from aromatic plants used in Brazil, Brazilian Journal of Microbiology, Vol.35, No.4, Oct./Dec. 2004.
3. Allison Kaplan Sommer, Fresh lemon grass fields in Israel become mecca for cancer patients, Israel 21c, Apr. 02, 2006.
Best Lemon Verbena
The notion of the "best" Lemon Verbena is subjective, because different people have different tastes. We present the most often-rated and highest-rated teas in this category, and allow you to draw your own conclusions.