Lemon Verbena: Health Benefits, Side Effects
When it comes to Herbal Tea, thoughts often drift to Peppermint and Camomile. However, there is a newcomer expected to give these brews a run for their money: Lemon Verbena Tea. Why? First, it tastes great. Second, because of Lemon Verbena benefits.
It is a Tea known to calm anxiety, treat congestion, reduce inflammation and improve weight management. Indeed, The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company has already noted an increase in interest in this delectable infusion.
In this article, we will answer some of your questions, including:
- What is Lemon Verbena?
- What is Lemon Verbena Tea Good For?
- Does Lemon Verbena Tea Have Caffeine?
- Is Lemon Verbena Good For The Skin?
- Is Lemon Verbena Safe During Pregnancy?
- Where To Buy Lemon Verbena Tea?
Have we not answered your particular question? Ask us! We’d love to hear from you. But right now, let’s explore the ‘what’s’, the ‘whys’ and the ‘hows’ of Lemon Verbena benefits.
What is Lemon Verbena?
The Aloysia citrodora plant, also known as Lemon Verbena, is an aromatic, perennial shrub native to South America. It famously exudes a potent aroma reminiscent of lemon.
However, this plant and the renowned citrus fruit are not, in fact, related. Lemon Verbena also goes by the nickname, Lemon Beebush. This refers to its immense popularity among bees across Argentina, Chile, Peru, and other South American countries.
Lemon Verbena thrives in fertile soils with good drainage. It requires warm and humid climates to grow to its full potential, preferring sunlit areas with sheltered positioning. With these measures in place, it can grow to heights of up to three metres.
Its coarse leaves, meanwhile, reach lengths of 8 centimetres. It’s these leaves from where its lemony aroma derives. It's also these leaves used in the making of Lemon Verbena Tea.
When brewed, it boasts smooth, refreshing, sweet and citrusy flavours with herbaceous undertones. Arguably best of all, with every sip also comes Lemon Verbena benefits. What more could you want from your morning cuppa’?
History of Lemon Verbena
It’s possible that the indigenous peoples of South America first consumed this herb for Lemon Verbena benefits. However, knowledge only spread decades after the Spanish colonisation of the continent.
A French botanist named Philibert Commerson made the initial ‘discovery’ during the 1760s. He had reached the shores of South America as part of Louis Antoine de Bougainville’s circumnavigation of the world.
Commerson, after naming it “Aloysia triphylla”, presented specimens of the plant to the Royal Botanical Gardens in Madrid, Spain. There, two Spanish physicians and botanists, Casimiro Gomez Ortega and Antonio Paulau y Verdera, renamed it “Aloysia citrodora”.
This name change was in honour of Maria Louisa, the Princess of Parma and later the wife of Spanish King Charles IV. To this day, Lemon Verbena sometimes goes by the nickname “Herb Louisa”.
By the late 18th Century, the Spanish began cultivating ‘Herb Louisa’ in their homeland. Today, people around the world also use it for perfumes, air fresheners, potpourris and, of course, Lemon Verbena Tea. Here at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company, we prefer the latter!
Lemon Verbena Tea Caffeine
Does Lemon Verbena Tea Have Caffeine? The answer is No. Like most Herbal Teas, excluding Yerba Mate Tea, Lemon Verbena is 100% void of this stimulating chemical compound.
It’s also worth noting that the term “Tea” is ambiguous at best. This is because Lemon Verbena doesn’t come from the Tea Plant Camellia sinensis. In other words, it isn’t a “Tea” in the conventional sense, but, technically speaking, a “Tisane”. Nevertheless, the name has stuck, and indeed the global Tea industry continues to cherish this beverage.
Some interpret its lack of caffeine as a Lemon Verbena Tea benefit. How? Caffeine overconsumption can lead to jitteriness and sleeplessness. It can also make people irritable and dependent.
A caffeine-free beverage such as Lemon Verbena Tea, on the other hand, avoids these risks. This makes it an excellent alternative for those looking to cut down on their caffeine intake. Those who are caffeine sensitive and/or pregnant likewise choose this Tea for this reason.
For starters, it’s worth noting the beneficial chemical constituents contained within it. Indeed, this beverage boasts a wealth of vitamins, minerals and other antioxidants capable of improving life in small yet significant ways.
Below is a table showcasing just a few:
Lemon Verbena Nutritional Benefits
While all of the above compounds exhibit beneficial qualities, it’s essential to recognise that some exist in only trace amounts in Lemon Verbena.
Nevertheless, when combined, they can support health and wellbeing in a plethora of ways. It’s time, now, to dive deep into the details.
8 Amazing Lemon Verbena Tea Benefits
No doubt, like most of us, you are tired of hearing and reading fake news. The internet is teeming with the stuff. It almost seems inescapable. So how do you know that we aren’t part of the problem?
Because we come armed with evidence. When it comes to Lemon Verbena benefits, in particular, we reference the latest scientific research.
No longer are its medicinal qualities a myth of herbalists. Now, they are a fact of scientists. But what is Lemon Verbena Tea good for, exactly?
1. Can Help with Weight Loss
Are you looking to lose a few extra pounds? Lemon Verbena health benefits are an excellent accompaniment to an already healthy and active lifestyle. First, it contains no more than two calories per serving.
This is significantly lower than, say, an average-sized fizzy soft drink. In our opinion, it also tastes much better than a can of sugar-filled cola, so it’s a win-win!
Furthermore, preliminary research suggests that it can boost the metabolism of fat cells. This process essentially converts the fuel in your food into energy, which powers nearly everything we do.
This, in turn, enables the body to burn fat quicker and more efficiently. Ultimately, this means that periods of moderate exercise produce better results.
But that’s not all it can do when it comes to fitting into your favourite pair of jeans again. It can also reduce muscle damage during workout periods.
How? A 2011 study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology has the answers. The study saw participants who worked out for 90 minutes daily consume Lemon Verbena extract. The results noted a reduction in the amount of overall muscle damage experienced.
2. Ability to Improved Joint Function
Preliminary research suggests correlations between Lemon Verbena and improved joint function. This is according to a study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.
It saw 45 participants with joint problems take a dietary supplement of omega-3 fatty acids alongside Lemon Verbena extract.
After three weeks, a significant percentage of participants showed a decrease in overall joint pain and an increase in joint mobility. By four weeks, this percentage increased even further. It’s possible that the reason for this is its ability to combat oxidative stress.
The antioxidants in this Tea neutralise free radicals in the body, which are the product of natural, though harmful, human oxidation. By slowing down oxidation, and in turn, oxidative stress, this beverage reduces the risks of developing numerous chronic conditions.
However, the word “preliminary” is an essential factor to consider. Until we know more, The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company urge a medical consultation before drinking Lemon Verbena Tea for improved joint function. Nevertheless, we support ongoing research.
3. Can Help Support Your Immune System
The warmer months are just around the corner (we hope!). And yet, sometimes, it feels like there’s no escaping the ‘sniffles’. Having a cold when the sun shines bright and everyone is out in the garden relaxing is beyond frustrating. It almost feels like an oxymoron: a cold in the summer?!
This beverage, thanks in part to its antioxidants, not only supports but also boosts the immune system. This, in turn, can keep colds and even the flu at bay, helping you to get back out into the sunshine.
The evidence comes from a 2012 study published in The Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science. This research saw participants, all of whom were athletes, take 1.8 grams of Lemon Verbena extract daily for 21 days.
At the end of the study, most participants had stronger white blood cells, a promising sign of Lemon Verbena can improved the immune system. It also showed that the athletes had fewer markers for oxidative stress.
4. Give you Healthier Looking Skin
There are many ways that Lemon Verbena Tea benefits can keep your skin looking and feeling healthy. First, its antioxidants, as already mentioned, combat free radicals in the body.
This can not only improve cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of developing type-2 diabetes, but also supports skin health.
Furthermore, it contains a variety of vitamins and minerals that also work well against blemishes and skin-related conditions. Verbascoside, for example, has anti-inflammatory properties.
These properties combat inflammation by increasing the production of tyrosine phosphatase. A combination of verbascoside and another Lemon Verbena constituent, luteolin 7-diglucuronide, also protects the skin against UV rays and wilting.
5. Promote Better Digestion (IBS)
Across many cultures, this beverage has long had a close association with improved digestion. This is in part due to its antispasmodic properties, which calm the gastrointestinal tract. In doing this, it can reduce symptoms such as indigestion, cramping and bloating.
Some suggest that it might also ease irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a condition that affects the large intestine. Side effects to IBS include abdominal pain, gas, diarrhoea or constipation (or both).
All of which may (emphasis on “may”) be combated with Lemon Verbena benefits. This, of course, makes it an excellent choice before, during and after a large, fatty meal.
6. Helps Combats Insomnia
Insomnia is a relatively common sleeping disorder, one that roughly 30% of the general population experience at some time or another. A further 10% of people also experience symptoms of daytime functional impairment consistent with the diagnosis of insomnia.
But how, exactly, can Lemon Verbena benefits help? And is there any evidence?
One study involving 100 participants with insomnia saw them take a syrup with Lemon Verbena one hour before going to bed. The results clearly established that all volunteers had significantly improved sleep quality, although it remains unknown as to why.
Some researchers believe that this herb interacts with melatonin, a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. However, these are only preliminary findings.
7. Can Help with Anxiety
Almost all of us have experienced anxiety during our lives. It is a condition characterised as an often incessant feeling of worry, fear or nervousness. A variety of triggers can cause it, including stressful events, life changes, and being in danger.
Although Lemon Verbena benefits can’t eliminate anxiety entirely, it can at least help, like other Teas for Anxiety. This is likely because of its abundance in verbascoside, a chemical compound known to have a calming effect on the nervous system. Studies, however, remain inconclusive.
Nevertheless, what we do know, without doubt, is that this Tea can help you to relax in a somewhat more straightforward manner. After all, chronic stress and anxiety disrupt our sleep and blood sugar levels, which leads to increased hunger and comfort eating. Ironically, this then leads to even higher levels of stress and even more disrupted blood sugar levels.
Such a cruel circle not only causes unhealthy levels of body fat, but also increases the risk of developing type-2 diabetes. Stopping stress and anxiety at the source is the potential answer. And what could achieve this better than putting on the kettle and try our Lemon Verbena Tea Bags.
8. Proven to Help with Inflammation
Most famously, Turmeric Root Tea is the beverage of choice to help combat a variety of inflammatory conditions, including arthritis and skin disorders. Lemon Verbena, however, also offers support. This is because, according to one clinical trial, it likewise has anti-inflammatory properties.
The study in question saw 30 patients with multiple sclerosis (a condition often made worse by inflammation) take Lemon Verbena supplementation. Ultimately, its findings showed that inflammation marker levels decreased following the consumption of this herb.
The reason behind this seems to be, once again, its prevalence in verbascoside, which fights inflammation by increasing the production of tyrosine phosphatase.
Yet it’s essential to note that other research projects resulted in Lemon Verbena having no such effects. As such, until we know more. The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company urges caution. First and foremost, we care about the welfare of our customers.
Potential Side Effects of Lemon Verbena
There are few concerns when it comes to Lemon Verbena. However, that doesn’t mean it’s void of side effects depending on your circumstances.
Using it topically, for example, might lead to skin irritation (dermatitis) in some people. Furthermore, there is the possibility of having an allergic reaction. Those with kidney disorders, meanwhile, should avoid this beverage as it could increase symptoms.
If you experience any of the above, it’s paramount that you talk to a doctor, nurse or another health professional. This is because, while rare, these side effects can be dangerous if left unchecked.
The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company will always advocate medical advice over any reported health benefits of Lemon Verbena Tea.
Lemon Verbena in Pregnancy
Is Lemon Verbena safe during pregnancy? For the most, yes. However, it’s also essential to recognise the precautions in place. There is a lack of research surrounding most Herbal Teas and pregnancy.
This is excluding Raspberry Leaf Tea During Pregnancy, which has its own, well-documented pregnancy benefits. Lemon Verbena Tea, meanwhile, has scarce evidence either for or against its consumption while pregnant. For this reason, it’s difficult to know one way or another at this time.
Should you have any concerns, be sure to listen to the advice of your midwife or another medical professional.
However, there is another side to this coin. According to NHS Choices, pregnant women should not exceed 200 mg of caffeine daily. Yet one doesn’t have to worry about any caffeine at all when it comes to this Tea.
Lemon Verbena is a Herbal Tea with a multitude of noteworthy qualities. Apart from tasting great, it can serve as an accompaniment to a healthy and active lifestyle.
Indeed, scientific evidence currently available clearly showcases its potential. As a result, whatever your reason for choosing it, you’ve undoubtedly decided exceptionally well.
The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company stock a variety of beverages to include this much-loved herb. Among them are Lemon Verbena Tea Bags and Loose Tea, as well as blends such as Lemon Verbena, Hibiscus and Ginger Tea.
Perhaps best of all, we pack almost all of our Teas, Tisanes and Coffees fresh to order. This ensures not only quality but also consistency.