Lemon Verbena is a fragrant medicinal herb that has mild antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and expectorant properties.
Aloysia triphylla is native to South America and grows to 15″ height in Argentina and Chili where it is found on roadsides. The Spanish brought it to Europe where it was used in perfume.
Lemon verbena is excellent for the digestive tract as it is known to be good for relieving nausea, cramps, bloating, indigestion, heartburn, flatulence, diarrhea, stomach or gastro-intestinal spasms, and colon irritability. It is also often used as a natural slimming aid as it has been shown to burn fat, break down cellulite, and regulate the metabolism.
Lemon verbena is highly beneficial for chron’s disease, colitis, celiac disease, sciatica, nervous twitches and ticks, and any stress related disorders.
Lemon verbena also works as a natural remedy for Candida due to its powerful anti-fungal properties.
Lemon verbena is also particularly good for the nervous system and can help relax the nerves and muscles, calm the mind, alleviate depression, ease anxiety, and provide a general overall feeling of peace.
Lemon verbena is also effective at loosening up and removing mucus from the lungs and sinus passages and can aid in providing relief from the symptoms of colds, coughs, flu, asthma, and sinus and respiratory infections. It is also helpful in reducing fever in the body.
Lemon verbena is often used by women for its ability to help regulate their menstrual cycle and reduce the symptoms of PMS.
Lemon verbena infused oil makes a wonderful massage oil. It blends well with lavender and rosemary. Use it in creams and lotions.
A lemon verbena compress reduces puffiness around the eyes.
A floral vinegar softens and freshens the skin.
Lemon verbena has a bright lemony scent and is a great addition to salad dressings, smoothies, fruit salads, baked goods, and rice and vegetable dishes.
Packed with delicious citrus flavor, thinly sliced leaves add zest and aroma to fish, salads, and steamed vegetables.
Stuff a jar with lemon verbena leaves, fill it with water, and sit it in the sun to brew a refreshing tea for summer sipping.
Transform cookies or cakes into lemony treats by mixing bruised lemon verbena leaves into sugar the night before baking. Strain out leaves prior to mixing recipe.
Lemon verbena tea is a relaxing and medicinal tea that can be prepared by adding two teaspoons of dried or fresh herb to 1 cup of boiling water and allowing it to steep for at least 15 minutes or more.
Fresh lime and raw honey can be used if desired. It is so refreshing with fresh mint leaves as well!
If you love lemon flavor, make room for lemon verbena in your garden. Grown in a pot, this fragrant beauty will maintain a tidy size. In the ground, it forms a luxuriously lemony shrub.
In the garden, lemon verbena benefits from formative pruning. In spring and as needed throughout the growing season, snip branch tips and entire stems to keep the plant shaped and in bounds. Grow plants in light shade in southernmost gardens.
It likes rich, well-drained soil and to be moist, but not soggy. Full sun and a pH of 6.5 keeps it productive. Apply fish emulsion regularly as it is a heavy feeder. Pinch the tips of the stems to keep it bushy.
When bringing in for winter, cut away the thin spindly branches. Do not throw these away. They are aromatic and can be used to freshen a clothes drawer. The plant is deciduous, and it is normal for it to drop all its leaves when it goes dormant. Keep plants on the dry side and cool when dormant.
Lemon verbena is best propagated by cutting taken in summer. Keep cuttings and the plants from which they are taken in the shade and well-watered as they wilt readily.
You can harvest sprigs all summer. For your main harvest though, cut back the plant halfway in midsummer and again before taking it in.