What Is Lemon Verbena?

What is lemon verbena? It is an herb that has many uses which can be taken internally and is healing and refreshing.

Lemon Verbena is an herb that is actually a small tree instead of a flowering plant. It has been known to grow up to 15 feet during the summer months during which time its small flowers (which are pale lavender in color) are clustered on the tips of its branches amid the leaves. The light green leaves bears oil leaving the leaf surface to be sticky to the touch. This oil also produces a lemony fragrance on its own and is also released in abundance when the leaves are stroked or brushed.

Lemon Verbena has been traced back to South America and in 1784 was introduced to England where it became quite popular in the gardens, climate permitting. This small tree can also be seen throughout the different countries in Europe.

Ancient Greek mythology states that if you want to have sweet dreams, put the dried leaves in your pillow just before you go to sleep.

The dried leaves have also been used in herbal medicine for relieving nervous disorders as well as in mixtures to help with skin problems. You can also use fresh or dried leaves to make an herbal tea. The tea has been used to treat fevers, relieve indigestion, and as a sedative. Like lemonade, it makes a refreshing tea during the hot summer months.

The fresh leaves have been used in a hot bath to relieve achy muscles. You can also purchase Lemon Verbena as an essential oil, which can also double as a perfume.

In cooking, place two to three leaves in the bottom of a buttered cake pan before you spoon the cake batter into the container. While the cake is baking, the leaves release its oil giving the cake a lemony flavor. When the cake is cooled, turn the cake upside down and take the leaves off of the bottom of the cake.

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