What should your 2018 be? For many, weight loss is on the agenda. For others, following a healthier dietary plan is the way forward. Alas, why not do both? Better still, why not do both at the exact same time? If you are curious, the answer is Lemon Verbena.

Aside from smelling as good as it tastes, the Lemon Verbena plant and the brew are wonderfully aromatic, Lemon Verbena Tea is known for its many health-promoting properties. Yes, this certainly includes weight loss capabilities, but also goes much, much further. When consumed as part of a healthy and active lifestyle, this truly amazing beverage can likewise offer outstanding improvements to the immune system and the digestive system.

It can also calm anxiety and nerves, treat congestion, and reduce inflammation, this is just to name a few. Yet, Verbena Tea is far from a new phenomenon. In fact, it has been in existence, in one form or another, for many hundreds of years. During that time, and especially throughout the early years of the 21st Century, we now know more than ever about this remarkable herb and what it can do for us in brew-form. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s explore Lemon Verbena Tea together, and find out why its popularity is currently soaring.

Lemon Verbena Leaves
What is Lemon Verbena

Native to South America, the Lemon Verbena plant (botanically recognised as Aloysia citrodora) is an aromatic, perennial shrub renowned for its powerful scent reminiscent of lemon, however, the two are not related.

Aloysia citrodora was once known by the scientific name, Lippia citriodora, though this changed a very long time ago. Another name associated with this plant, albeit informally, is ‘Lemon Beebrush’. Why, you might ask? Because in Argentina, Chile, and Peru among other South American countries, the Lemon Verbena Plant is known to attract bees in droves.

Examining the plant’s appearance, Aloysia citrodora can grow to heights of up to three metres. Its leaves, meanwhile, can reach lengths of 8 centimetres and are somewhat coarse to touch. It is these verbena leaves that exude the potent citrusy aroma so fondly recognised; it is also these very leaves used in our popular herbal tea.

There is also Lemon Balm which is another herb we supply in tea-form, which is actually a plant belonging to the mint family (Lamiaceae). These two plants are often in fierce competition with each other when it comes to the tea market despite the fact that Lemon Balm is native to Europe, the Mediterranean Basin, Iran, and Central Asia.

The constituents that make up each plant are, however, very different, and it is important to recognise that, although Lemon Verbena and Lemon Balm have some similarities, both plants are special in their own way. there is also Lemongrass, which can also be made into a tea. Like Lemon Verbena and Lemon Balm, Lemongrass resembles the flavours and aromas of the renowned citrus fruit.

It thrives in rich soils with good drainage. It requires warm and humid climates to grow to its full potential, and it prefers sunlit areas with sheltered positioning. When it comes to tea, meanwhile, Lemon Verbena is smooth, refreshing, and slightly sweet. This is in addition to its naturally citrusy flavour, very similar to its aroma. Sipping at this delicious tea will almost certainly transport you to the beautiful mountain ranges and the vast valleys of South America, where this plant grows in great abundance. Other uses for Lemon Verbena include perfumes, air fresheners, and potpourris.

Lemon Verbena Tea

The History of Lemon Verbena

Like many herbs to originate from South America, Lemon Verbena was brought to the world’s stage a while after Spanish sails had ominously appeared on the continent’s horizon. Yet, it was, in fact a French botanist by the name of Philibert Commerson who made the initial discovery centuries later. Sometime in the 1760’s. Commerson had been part of Louis Antoine de Bougainville’s now-world-famous circumnavigation of the world when he came across the  plant.

He would later present a specimen to the Royal Botanical Gardens in Madrid, Spain, where the Spanish physicians and botanists, Casimiro Gomez Ortega and Antonio Paulau y Verdera, would rename it from Aloysia triphylla to Aloysia citrodora. This renaming was in honour of Maria Louisa, who was then the Princess of Parma and later the wife of the Spanish King Charles IV.

To this day, its sometimes informally referred to as ‘Herb Louisa. Just to add further confusion to the mix, Lemon Verbena was (and sometimes still is) also known as Lippia citriodora (as stated previously). This term is now considered archaic, though.

By the late 18th Century, attempts had been made to naturalise Aloysia citrodora in the old world, particularly Spain. Eventually, this was proven a success, and Lemon Verbena was soon cultivated for the plant’s wonderful oil with its lemony aroma. Today, its immense popularity has been maintained despite the passing centuries. In fact, it could be argued that now more than ever, Lemon Verbena Tea is one of the most sought-after herbal beverages currently available on the market. And, surprise-surprise, there is a good reason for that, too.

Verbena Tea

Lemon Verbena in Popular Culture

Many references to Lemon Verbena can be found in books, television and film. Perhaps most famous of all is a reference made in the 1936 American Civil War novel, Gone with the Wind, written by American author, Margaret Mitchell. In the book, and later the 1939 film of the same name, one of the main characters, Scarlett O’Hara, declares that her mother’s favourite plant is Lemon Verbena.

Another notable reference can be found in the American Television series, The Little House On The Prairie, where one particular character, Laura Ingles, mentions that the perfume Mrs Beetle (another character) wears is actually scented with Lemon Verbena. Incidentally, Lemon Verbena is one of the floral scents chosen for Givenchy’s ‘Very Irresistible’ perfume first launched in 2003. A new version of the scent was released in 2009.

Lemon Verbena Health Benefits

Health Benefits of Lemon Tea

You, like most of us, are probably getting tired of the same-old “fake news” stories telling us how we can “lose a stone in 7 days following these 3 amazing steps”. This is not the case with herbal tea, particularly Lemon Verbena which, according to countless credible studies, has the potential to improve your everyday way of life.

It is very important you don’t just take our word for it, however. This is why The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company have compiled a list of health benefits associated with frequent Lemon Verbena consumption, accompanied by accredited scientific studies from reputable publications such as The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

Lemon Verbena Herbal Tea
Lemon Verbena for Healthy and Active Lifestyles

“New Year, new me”; we have all been there, but it never seems to work out the way we expect it to. But, like many life changes, it is always good to start with smaller steps. Lemon Verbena Tea is  a beverage renowned for its metabolism-boosting properties, among other incredible benefits. A boosted metabolism enables the body to burn fat quicker, and far more efficiently, essentially meaning that, by rights, your New Year’s jog and all those that proceed it should be, in turn, far more successful.

Lemon Verbena Tea also only contains approximately 2 calories per serving. It is no surprise, then, that this brew is a much healthier accompaniment to your dinner than, say, your favourite soft drink jam-packed with flavour, it might even be fair to say that Lemon Verbena tastes better, too!.

Furthermore, one particularly unique quality of this herb is one that you won’t often find with many other teas is its ability to reduce muscle damage during periods of work-out. According to one study published in the 2011 issue of the European Journal of Applied Physiology, participants who worked out for 90 minutes a day and took Lemon Verbena extract were able to reduce the amount of overall muscle damage experienced, while not having any effect on their ability to build endurance and speed.

Lemon Verbena Joint Pain
Lemon Verbena and Improved Joint Function

Studies regarding Lemon Verbena and its ability to improve joint function are mostly preliminary; however; early research has indicated that there may be potentially life-changing correlations.

According to one 2011 preliminary study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 45 participants with joint problems took a dietary supplement of omega-3 fatty acids along with Lemon Verbena extract. Following a period of three to four weeks, a large percentage of participants showed a significant decrease in overall joint pain and an increase in joint mobility. While further studies are likely required before any official confirmation can be made, it is now known that the antioxidants present in Lemon Verbena played a crucial role in this astounding improvement. Meanwhile, until more is known, we recommend consulting a doctor before taking Lemon Verbena Tea for this purpose.


Making Lemon Verbena Tea

Lemon Verbena can Improved Digestive Health

While Lemon Verbena is healthy in its own right, frequently consuming this beverage can likewise maintain and potentially improve your digestive system, This is largely thanks to its soothing qualities and antispasmodic properties, which have long been utilised when treating stomach issues and indigestion. Enjoying a cup of Lemon Verbena Tea alongside your dinner may help to eliminate cramping and bloating, and is especially beneficial to those who already suffer from gastrointestinal issues.

Lemon Verbena Immune System
Lemon Verbena and Improved Immune System

Despite now being 2018, we are not yet out of winter, and so coughs and colds are still around. Drinking Lemon Verbena could be the best decision you make when it comes to combating ‘the sniffles’. This is due to the antioxidant strength of this herbal brew, which has the ability to reduce oxidative stress in the body.

According to a 2012 study published in The Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports. The research obtained from this study indicated that participants - all athletes - who took 1.8 grams of Lemon Verbena extract every day for 21 days had stronger white blood cells, a promising sign of an improved immune system. It also showed that participants had fewer markers of oxidative stress.

lemon verbena leaf
Lemon Verbena Tea and Anxiety

Long day at the office? Found yourself overwhelmed by personal stress? Maybe 2018 hasn’t yet gone according to plan, and you are now looking for the restart button? Worry not, instead brew up a cup of Lemon Verbena Tea, sit back, and relax. Numerous studies in the last few years have established that the antioxidant compounds found in this herbal tea can actually have a positive impact on the hormonal balance in the body. Science aside, Lemon Verbena is quite simply so tasty that troubles almost seem to float away with every sip.

Verbena Leaves
Lemon Verbena Tea and Bad Breath

This one almost goes without saying thanks to the wonderfully potent citrusy flavour of Lemon Verbena Tea which, perhaps most obvious of all, cleanses the palate upon consumption. If you frequently suffer from Halitosis, brewing up a cup of Lemon Verbena should do the trick. Don’t expect it to do all the hard work, though, as you will certainly need to brush your teeth as well before going out on that date!

Make a Good Start to 2018 with Lemon Verbena

We offer a number of Lemon Verbena teas, both blends and standalone teas. If 2018 has already swept you off your feet then why not start with our convenient Lemon Verbena 50 Tea Bags? Save on time and enjoy the same tastes and aromas as a loose leaf tea, but without all the hassle. If, however, you prefer to avoid tea bags, consider either our Lemon Verbena Tea or Lemon Verbena Tea Leaves Cut. The difference, you might ask? Surprisingly, many believe that the full leaf version is stronger in flavour, while our cut leaf tea is somewhat subtler.

Why not try our very own Lemon Verbena Hibiscus and Ginger Tea; the health benefits of which are threefold. You will already know what Lemon Verbena offers you, while Hibiscus can lower blood pressure (see our Hibiscus Tea article) and Ginger also has some incredible health benefits, see more here.

Whether you were ready or not, 2018 is officially here, and whatever the year ahead might bring you, The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company are here to help. So, why not start as you mean to go on?

Happy New Year from The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company team.