Lemon Verbena - Best Herb for Indigestion | Flatulence | Diarrhoea | Colic

Lemon Verbena

Aloysia triphylla (Lippia citriodora) Verbenaceae.


A native of North and South America, lemon verbena is a shrub that can grow to a height of 1. 5m. It was introduced into Europe from Chile in 1794. The dried leaves became popular in pot pourri. It has long, thin leaves that grow in groups of three (thus the Latin name triphylla) or four. Its small, whitish flowers have four petals and are followed by fleshy fruits.


Parts used

  • Leaves
  • The leaves are collected twice a year, once in July and again in October, and then spread in a thin layer to dry.
  • Once dry, the leaves give off a pleasant lemony scent if crushed. They are used to make delicious infusions or are processed to release the essential oil, which is often combined with other plants to produce a natural sedative.

Constituents

The plant contains flavonoids and a small quantity of essential oil, whose main component is citral, responsible for the plant's characteristic scent.


Medicinal uses

Although research carried out on lemon verbena has concentrated mainly on its sedative properties, no absolute conclusion has yet been reached. The opposite has, in fact, been the case, si nce a recent study showed that an infusion of the plant had no sedative and calming effects.


Lemon verbena is reputed to possess antispasmodic properties and is indicated in the treatment of indigestion, flatulence, diarrhoea and colic. The plant is also used to relieve asthma, lower fevers;it also possesses antibacterial and insecticidal properties. In 2002, a Portuguese study demonstrated the antioxidant properties of an infusion of lemon verbena.


The leaves are used in herbal medicine - like the aerial parts of peppermint and lime - as stimulants to help digestion. They can be found in pharmacies and food shops.


PREPARATION AND DOSAGE

For internal use


TO TREAT digestive problems INFUSION Put 1 sachet into a cup of boiling water. Leave to infuse for 5 minutes, then strain. Drink 2 cups a day after the main meals.


IF SYMPTOMS PERSIST CONSULT A DOCTOR


Cultivation

Plant in light. well-drained soil in a sunny location. Cuttings should be planted in summer.


CAUTIONS

  • To date, no toxicity has been associated with lemon verbena, although excessive use should be avoided, as it has been associated with hormonal changes.
  • The herb is not recommended for people with kidney disorders.
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not take lemon verbena.
  • While using lemon verbena exposure of the skin to sunlight should be kept to a minimum.


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