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Lemon Verbena

SCIENTIFIC NAME(S): Aloysia triphylla (L'Her.) Britt. Formerly described as A. citriodora (Cav.) Ort., Verbena citriodora Cav., V. triphylla,Lippia citriodora (Ort.) HBK
Family: Verbenaceae

COMMON NAME(S): Lemon verbena, louisa

Lemon Verbena is an herb that is actually a small tree instead of a flowering plant. It prefers well drained soil in full sun and is semi deciduous or deciduous in frost prone areas, like most of Tasmania.

Lemon verbena is a relatively hearty herb with a very strong citrus scent. It is only one kind of a family of verbenas, all with their own unique properties. However, the lemon variety is particularly interesting, fun to use, and versatile.

History

Lemon verbena has been used medicinally for centuries, having been touted for use as an antispasmodic, antipyretic, carminative, sedative, and stomachic.The leaves and flowering tops are used in teas and as beverage flavors.The plant is grown as an ornamental and its fragrance is used in perfumery.The plant requires shelter during cold periods.

Botany :- Lemon verbena is an aromatic plant native to Argentina and Chile. It is a deciduous plant that is commonly cultivated in the tropics and Europe. It is grown commercially in France and North Africa. The plant grows to 3 m and is characterized by fragrant, lemon-scented narrow leaves. It bears small white flowers in terminal panicles.

Uses of Lemon Verbena

Lemon verbena is used in teas, flavorings, fragrances, antispasmodics, carminatives, sedatives, and stomachics.

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.

Side Effects of Lemon Verbena

Some individuals may experience contact hypersensitivity.

Toxicology

Lemon verbena generally is recognized as safe for human consumption and for use as a flavoring in alcoholic beverages. Contact hypersensitivity has been associated with members of the related Verbena genus.

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