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Live Naturally with Herbs: Lemon Verbena

Friday, July 03, 2009 by: Katherine East
Tags: herbs, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) Lemon verbena (Aloysia triphylla - previously Lippia citriodora) is a richly scented herb and has a long history as a sacred and medicinal plant. Garlands and wreaths of it were commonplace at festive ceremonies as well as its use in teas and drinks for festive occasions and for bridal posies and festive parades. Considered to be a calming and gentle medicine, its history is lost in the mists of time. But every village square and place of worship had lemon verbena planted around it and hedges of it protected graveyards, inns and places of family gathering.

Originating in Argentina and Chile, Lemon Verbena was introduced to the rest of the world in the late 1700`s. Its refreshing lemon fragrance made it an instant favorite especially in the perfume industry and it was one of the ingredients in a popular cologne made in France around the 1850`s. Its use in the perfume trade declined due to the expensive oil extraction process, but as a garden plant, in pot pourri, as an air freshener and a soothing tea, Lemon verbena remains a valuable herb in the world today.

Lemon Verbena Uses - Therapeutic Properties and Health Benefits

  • Lemon verbena makes an excellent tea - place four leaves in a cup of boiling water, let it stand for five minutes, stir, strain, add a slice of lemon and a touch of honey and sip slowly to ease tension, anxiety, stress and indigestion and to reduce fever. Its calming, soothing properties seem to ease a feverish cold, relax muscles, ease asthma, colic, flatulence and diarrhea.

  • A sprig of Lemon verbena can be added to a teapot of Ceylon tea or rooibos tea, served sweetened with a little honey and without milk. This is considered to be an excellent digestive tonic, that will calm nervousness and shakiness.

  • The strong citrus scent of Lemon verbena is an excellent insect repellent. In years gone by, bunches of Lemon verbena were hung over stable doors and it was rubbed onto door frames and thrown onto stable floors where horses would trample it, keeping the flies away.

  • Lemon verbena leaves tucked behind books or placed on shelves keep fish-moths away. Place a sprig in your vacuum cleaner bag to help freshen the air in your home.

  • Tie a bunch of fresh Lemon verbena sprigs over the hot water tap and make a fabulous scented bath. This helps tired muscles relax; aching shoulders release their tension and even the nasal passages are opened by the strong refreshing scent.

Recipe for Natural Lemon Verbena Air Freshener

This is an excellent recipe for refreshing and scenting a room. It is wonderful for getting rid of unpleasant odors such as pet smells, stale air and smoke from a room.

4 - 6 cups of dried lemon verbena leaves
1 cup clove and cinnamon pieces mixed
1 cup thinly sliced and dried lemon rind
1 cup dried coriander seed
4 teaspoons clove oil
4 teaspoons lemon oil

Mix the cloves, cinnamon, lemon peel and coriander seed well. Add the clove and lemon oils. Spoon into a large screw-top jar and shake well. Seal for two or three days, giving it a daily shake so that the oil soaks into the spices and peel. Then in a large bowl mix the lemon verbena leaves into the spicy mixture and add more clove and lemon oil if necessary. Return to the jar, seal it tightly and shake. Leave it to stand for three or four days, giving it a daily shake. Now fill small bowls with the fragrant mixture and place them in the room. At night return the contents to the big jar or the bowl and seal to keep it dust free. When the scent starts to fade revive it with more clove and lemon oil. The secret is to keep the jar well sealed when not in use.

A cautionary note: Prolonged internal use of Lemon verbena or large internal doses may cause gastric irritation.

Information Resources:
Illustrated Book Of Herbs - New Holland Publishers LTD

About the author

Katherine Oosthuis is completing a Diploma in Nutritional Therapy. She researches and writes for a health and nutrition website Detox For Life . Her passion is to make research available to those who are looking to improve their well-being and revolutionise their health through better nutrition and alternative medicines.

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