Trust your gut with Lemon Verbena
In the language of flowers, Lemon Verbena represents sensitivity. If one looks at the properties of this amazing healing plant one can see why. One of the major body systems it works with, is the digestive system and we know that our gut has an intelligence on its own. ‘Trust your gut”, is a well-known saying for a reason. Being aware of how your gut feels in unknown or familiar situations and being sensitive or aware of these gut feelings is a great tool to work with when making decisions. Looking at Lemon Verbena from this point of view one can resonate with the language of the flowers description of this wonderful plant.
Lemon Verbena originates from the South America continent. It is believed that the Incas were the first to discover its healing properties. They used it for treating colds, fever, anxiety, indigestion, spasms, and insomnia and to this day traditionally it is still being used for the same ailments.
It was first brought over to Europe from South America by the Portuguese and Spanish in the 17th century. This aromatic herb became popular with ladies of the Victorian era who sewed its leaves into the darts of their dresses, tucked them into hankies and floated them in finger bowls of water.
It is known by a few common names such as, Lemon Beebrush, Louisa, Verveine Citronnelle, Cedrón, Zitronenstrauch, Hierba luisa., or Yerba Louisa.
Like so many medicinal plants it is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, antipyretic, anti-fungal and expectorant. It is made up of a whole host of constituents. With this special combination in the makeup of this medicinal plant it is able to assist with helping with the following ailments.
- Intestinal spasms
- Colds, expectorant
Anxiety: Components in lemon verbena give an extra boost as they have a mildly calming effect on the nervous system and help relieve muscle tension. These calming and tension releasing properties aid in reducing nerves, anxiety, and stress.
- Weight loss:It reduces appetite by affecting certain hormones (ghrelin and glucagon-like peptide-1) that control appetite. In addition to the natural appetite suppressing property, which prevents overeating, lemon verbena tea also promotes the burning of fat, stimulates the breakdown of cellulite, and regulates the metabolism
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Indigestion, bloating
- Joint pain
- Strengthens muscles: The high antioxidant properties decrease damage done to the muscles during the workout, without inhibiting your body’s development of additional muscle mass and increased stamina. This makes lemon verbena the perfect pre or post-workout companion. It aids with muscle tissue repair
The essential oil of Lemon Verbena is a highly concentrated anti-oxidant, so if it is used on the skin make sure to blend with a carrier oil. It is a great oil to use in a diffuser or burner to help calm a room and assist with anxiety and insomnia. One can also use the oil in a burner or diffuser to assist with coughs and to help decongest the lungs.
The parts of the Lemon verbena plants used are the leaves, flowers and soft stems. For medicinal purposes it is most effective in a herbal tea. For any of the above mentioned ailments, take half a cup of leaves to 500ml of boiling water, let the leaves seep in the water and then sip throughout the day.
A note of caution, if you suffer from kidney disease don’t use Lemn Verbena tea as it could worsen the condition. It is not clear whether the herbal tea is harmful to pregnant woman so rather not drink it. The essential oil is suspected of creating birth defects but this needs to be confirmed. So rather not use the essential oil if you are pregnant.
It is really a lovely herb to use in the culinary world. It can be used to flavour teas, jams, stews, fish dishes, desserts, soups, and can be used in specialty cocktails
Here are some great recipes using Lemon Verbena leaves, preferably fresh.
Lemon Verbena Cream Liqueur
• 500ml of vodka
• 1 medium size lemon
• 1 cup of fresh Lemon Verbena leaves
• 1 Liter of full cream milk
• 600g of sugar
• 1 tablespoon vanilla
Put lemon peels (without white pith) and the Lemon Verbena leaves in a jar with the alcohol, leave them to soak for 7 days, shaking the jar a couple of times.
Boil milk and sugar for 25 minutes, leave to cool.
Strain the milk, add strained alcohol, vanilla and whiskey, mix well and put in a bottle.
Keep in the freezer.
Lemon Verbena Lemonade
- 1 cup of sugar
1 cup of water
2 cups of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ cup of lemon Verbena Leaves
Add the Lemon verbena leaves to the water and bring it to boiling point.
Turn off the heat and let it seep for 20 mins.
Strain the water back into a pot and add the sugar.
Heat up the water to dissolve the sugar. Turn off the heat once the sugar has dissolved.
Add the freshly squeezed Lemon juice and stir.
Add 5 cups of cold water to this syrup and some lemon verbena ice and enjoy.
Enjoy exploring and getting to know Lemon Verbena, I highly recommend it.
Keep well and keep the good vibes vibing
The Lion Heart Lady