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Lemon Verbena - Aloysia triphyllaThe uses of Lemon Verbena are similar to those of mint, orange flowers, or melissa, as a stomachic and antispasmodic in dyspepsia, indigestion and flatulence, stimulating skin and stomach.
Tea made of lemon verbena has been used to soothe colon and stomach spasms, lower fevers and calm itching. It has a relaxing effect, and can help ease muscle tensions. As a culinary flavoring, lemon verbena has been used as everything from ice cream flavoring to pepper substitute.
Lemon verbena leaves are used to add a lemony flavor to fish and poultry dishes, vegetable marinades, salad dressings, jams, puddings, and beverages. It also is used to make herbal teas and can be used to make a sorbet. In addition, it has anti-Candida albicans activity.
Lemon Verbena is a deciduous perennial shrub. It grows to a height of 3 to 7 metres and exudes a powerful lemony scent. It prefers full sun, a lot of water, and a light loam soil. It is sensitive to cold, losing leaves at temperatures below 0°C although the wood is hardy to -10°C. Lemon Verbena, if covered with some straw, cut down and kept free from very moist conditions, will also withstand up to a -15°C frost and will make new leaves in spring. The light green leaves are lancet-shaped, and its tiny flowers bloom lavender or white in August or September.
This deciduous shrub was introduced into England in 1784, reaching a height of 15 feet in the Isle of Wight and in sheltered localities. The leaves are very fragrant, lanceolate, arranged in threes, 3 to 4 inches long, with smooth margins, pale green in colour, having parallel veins at right-angles to the mid-rib and flat bristles along the edges. The many small flowers are pale purple, blooming during August in slim, terminal panicles. The leaves, which have been suggested to replace tea, will retain their odour for years and are used in perfumery. They should be gathered at flowering time.