If you’re a fan of citrus flavors, lemon verbena is sure to delight you. This woody shrub is characterized by its narrow, glossy green leaves and strong, sweet, and lemony flavor. It can be added to various dishes, including beverages, salads, sauces, soups, and fish and meat dishes, and it can even be used as a substitute for lemon in recipes. Beyond its delicious taste, lemon verbena also provides numerous health benefits.
- Supports Muscle Repair: Lemon verbena contains antioxidants that may protect against oxidative damage to neutrophils, a type of white blood cell that helps boost immune function. In a study of healthy male volunteers who followed a running protocol for 3 weeks, a lemon verbena extract was found to relieve muscle soreness caused by running exercise, while not affecting the body’s ability to adapt to workouts and get stronger.
- Eases Joint Pain: As people age, taking care of joint health becomes more important. A study found that consuming a supplement with lemon verbena and omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish oil) may reduce pain and stiffness, as well as improve physical function in people with joint pain and discomfort.
- Fights Staph Infections: Staph infections can be serious and are becoming more difficult to treat due to the rise of antibiotic resistance. Some laboratory studies have found that an ethanolic extract of lemon verbena can prevent the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, the bacterium responsible for staph infections.
- Prevents Multiple Sclerosis: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition caused by inflammation that can lead to vision loss, pain, fatigue, and impaired coordination. One study found that supplementing with lemon verbena reduced inflammation, as indicated by a decrease in C-reactive protein concentrations, in people with secondary progressive MS.
- Helps Prevent Obesity: Obesity can lead to complications like diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. Recent research has found that lemon verbena may help prevent obesity. One study found that lemon verbena extract prevented the accumulation of triglycerides, lowered inflammation, and fought oxidative stress in animals. Another study found that a supplement containing lemon verbena helped reduce weight and body fat in overweight women.
Lemon verbena is not only known for its unique and refreshing lemon flavor, but it also offers numerous health benefits. Some other benefits of lemon verbena include:
- Aids digestion: Lemon verbena has been known to soothe digestive discomfort and relieve indigestion.
- Reduces inflammation: Its anti-inflammatory properties make it a popular ingredient in traditional medicine for treating arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.
- Supports immune system: Lemon verbena contains antioxidants and vitamins that help boost the immune system and protect against harmful diseases.
- Promotes healthy skin: The vitamin C in lemon verbena helps to promote healthy skin and can even help reduce the appearance of dark spots and blemishes.
- Relaxes the mind and body: Lemon verbena has a calming and soothing effect, making it a popular ingredient in aromatherapy and bath products.
Lemon verbena is a versatile herb that can be used in a variety of dishes and drinks, as well as in personal care products. Its health benefits make it a great addition to any wellness routine.