Brewing Lemon Verbena Tea

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Lemon Verbena is a herbaceous perennial shrub indigenous to South America. It grows well in most regions of North America either in the yard in warmer climes, or indoors elsewhere. It has a number of uses, not the least of which is to make a tasty tea with medicinal qualities.

Folk Lore assigns a number of healing and therapeutic properties which include alleviating digestive track spasms and cramps, lowering fevers, alleviating stress and tension, a cure for acne, cysts and boils when used topically, to help depression, anxiety, exhaustion and insomnia and weight loss.

Medicinal Properties of Lemon Verbana

Compounds and flavanoids found in Lemon Verbena and its essential oils include . Geraniol limonene, terpineol, myrcenene, apigenin, and luteolin.

Geraniol aka geranyl is a fragrant compound found in lemon verbana , as well as other plants, such as Lemon Grass, carrot, coriander, lavender, lemon, lime, nutmeg, orange, rose, blueberry and blackberry. When oxidized, geraniol becomes geranial or citral. It is an alcohol. It has been proven to suppress pancreatic tumor growth [1] It is a powerful natural antioxidant and has been suggested to help prevent cancer. Presently it is used primarily in perfumes and flavorings.

Limonene - another helpful compound found in Lemon Verbana also has cancer preventative properties[2]. "it has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, offers assistance for a variety of metabolic and health problems, has anti-cancer properties, and even helps with weight management." [3]

Terpineol, generally found in evergreens and pine is also present in Lemon Verbana it has antibacterial and antiviral attributes and is an immune system booster.

Myrcenene, also found in lemon grass, cannabis, parsley and hops. It has an has an analgesic effect, meaning it is a pain reliever and mat be responsible for some of the medicinal effects ascribed to lemon grass, cannabis and lemon verbena. It is also demonstrated to be a sedative,it has put laboratory mice to sleep. [4]

Apigenin is a phytochemical found in many plants and their fruits. it has the potential to reduce the cancer risks as it may have anti-tumor activity. It has anti-inflammatory properties making it useful against allergies.

Luteolin enhances cognitive abilities and mental acuity. Microglia within our brains and spinal cords act as an immune system for our cranium, as we age, they have somewhat of a negative auto-immune effect and actually facilitate cognitive aging and neurodegeneration, this process is inhibited by leutolin. [5]

Lemon Verbana Tea Recipes

To brew simple hot Lemon Verbena tea simply crumble up 1/4 cup of fresh leaves to every cup of Hot water. Pour the hot water over the leaves and allow it to steep for about 10 minutes. I like to add some dried hibiscus which adds a touch of cranberry-like tartness to the lemony flavor, they meld together well. You can also try various types of mint if your not overly fond of tart tea.

Sun Tea is also very simple, crumble or cut up fresh leaves at a ratio of about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of leaves per every cup of water. Pack them in a pitcher with a lid or a jar and sit it in the hot sun for several hours. If you are using dried leaves, they aren't as potent as the fresh so you'll need to bump up the leaf to water ratio, it's not an exact science just use your judgement.

Infusion process which works well with fresh, as well as dried herbs. Bring water to a boil, add 1 teaspoon of you dried ingredient per cup- - seep it in the water to allow the flavor to permeate the liquid. If you're getting into herbal teas you might want to consider getting a mesh ballMesh Balls for Brewing Tea, basically a metal tea bag.

Another method of making an infusion is to add a cup of dried herbs to a quart jar. Pour boiling water over the herbs to the top of the jar. You should also place a metal spoon or utensil in the jar when you are pouring the hot water if you are using glass. The metal will absorb the sudden heat and prevent the glass from shattering. Remove the metal utensil and cover the jar tightly with a lid. Let the herbs steep up to 10 hours and then strain.

The following are a few suggestions for Lemon Verbena Tea that I have tried and believe you may enjoy.

There are several warnings and cautions associated with Lemon Verbena.

Lemon verbena is safe for most people when consumed in moderate amounts It also perfectly safe when taken in reasonable appropriate amounts as a medicine. It does at times cause skin irritation (dermatitis) in susceptible people.

Not enough is known about the use of lemon verbena during pregnancy and breast-feeding to advise for or against to be on the safe side and avoid use.

Large amounts of lemon verbena can irritate the kidneys and antagonize kidney disease. Avoid using large amounts if you have kidney problems.

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References / Footnotes

1. Health benefits of Geraniol

2. Anti-cancer effects of D-limonene

3. D-Limonene: Help for Digestion, Metabolism, Detoxification, Anxiety & Breast Cancer Prevention

4. Central effects of citral, myrcene and limonene, constituents of essential oil chemotypes from Lippia alba

5. Luteolin Inhibits Microglia and Alters Hippocampal-Dependent Spatial Working Memory in Aged Mice