Lemon verbena


Lemon verbena

Part: leaves and flowering tops

Scientific name: Aloysia citrodora, Aloysia triphylla, Verbenaceae family, also known at common vervain

Chinese name:  Ning Meng Ma Bian Cao

Energy: Cool

Taste: Bitter, sour, aromatic

Western herbalism:  constituents include; Verbascoside, Citral, Nerol, Geraniol, Luteolin 7-diglucuronide, Limonene, Myrcenene, Eucalyptol, Isovalerianic acid (antioxidants), as well as, Apigenin, Luteolin (flavonoids).

Some actions:  anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, digestive or carminative, anti-spasmodic, laxative, relaxant, antimicrobial, sedating, tonic

  • Protective to muscle tissues
  • Good for asthma and colds
  • Febrifuge (reduces fevers)
  • Calming effect on the nervous system in times of stress or anxiety, helps with poor sleep
  • Helps with nausea, bloating and other digestive ailments

“A. triphylla presented moderate antibacterial activity against Aeromonas sp.” (Parodi, Thaylise Vey, et al. 2013)

“Lemon verbena extract showed strong antioxidant properties as measured by the ORAC assay. The nutritional supplement containing standardized lemon verbena extract (14% verbascoside, w/w) and fish oil omega-3 fatty acid reduced symptoms of pain and stiffness significantly, and improved physical function” (Caturla, Nuria, et al. 2011)

“among others, anxiety can be reduced by using neroli, lavandula, citrus reticulate, rosemarinus officinalis and lemon verbena essential oils.” (Fradelos, E., and A. Komini, 2015)

“The plants that have a substantial body of data in support of their digestion-enhancing activities mainly belong to one of three groups: bitter, aromatic and pungent plants.” (Valussi, Marco, 2012)

Traditional Chinese Medicine use: effecting Kidney, Liver, Spleen, Stomach organs

  • Releases stagnant Qi (pains in joints, injuries, female ailments i.e. menstrual cramps etc.)
  • Calm the Shen (anxiety, good for sleep)
  • Aids in digestive Qi through Spleen and Stomach (helps reduce bloating, gas, diarrhea, etc.)
  • Clears heat and helps removes toxins (Blood- and Damp-Heat)

“The spasmolytic and anti-inflammatory effects support the traditional use of Aloysia triphylla leaves in the treatment of the primary dysmenorrhea,” (Ponce-Monter, Héctor, et al. 2010)

Cautions: considered safe in food/drink amounts, essential oil can cause skin irritation, “avoid use with kidney failure” (https://www.drugs.com/npc/lemon-verbena.html , 2019)

Preparation and dosage:

Tea- infuse tsp to tbsp dried leaves in boiled water, steep for 5 mins

Traditional dosage: “45 mL extract taken 2-3 times/day” (https://www.drugs.com/npc/lemon-verbena.html , 2019)

Some texts say the leaves can be eaten, but the taste is very strong.

*Always consult a qualified health professional before using herbal medicine, especially in conjunction with pharmaceuticals in therapeutic doses above those found in food/drink amounts*


Book an appointment today with Shannon Hobson

Certified East West Herbalist

Text or call 604-993-0169, or email at natknowhow@gmail.com


Ref 1:  Parodi, Thaylise Vey, et al. “Chemical composition and antibacterial activity of Aloysia triphylla (L’Hérit) Britton extracts obtained by pressurized CO2 extraction.” Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology 56.2 (2013): 283-292.

Ref 2:  Caturla, Nuria, et al. “A randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study of the effect of a combination of lemon verbena extract and fish oil omega-3 fatty acid on joint management.” The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 17.11 (2011): 1051-1063.

Ref 3: Fradelos, E., and A. Komini. “The use of essential oils as a complementary treatment for anxiety.” J AJN 4.1 (2015): 1-5.

Bone Broth

Bare Bones Bone Broth:

Nutritional break-down and clinical evidence

Bone Broth:   bones simmered over an extended period to release beneficial minerals, proteins and fat

Going back to traditional ideals and presenting something of pure nutrition. Bone broth is not new and has been around for centuries, with evidence of use from North American native people to continued use into the 17th century and beyond (S.G. Claire, 1997).   This tasty and nutritious source of minerals and easily digestible protein can be used to help deficient individuals (i.e. sick, children or elderly) gain strength. “Malnutrition has been often suggested as contributing to both the high incidence of hip fracture in elderly people” (Tkatch, Lubos, et al. 1992).

Also, Bone Broth can potentially benefit individuals by increasing recovery time during acute illness (i.e. cold and flu) as, “removing the active chemical ingredients into the water by means of heat, time, and acid, making the nutrients immediately available to absorb” (A. Siebecker, 2004).   Bone broth can be consumed whilst on the ketogenic or paleolithic diet as an additional source of some minerals, protein and fat.

Bare Bones Bone Broth has no additives or preservatives and can be given to pets, as it contains no added sodium (does contain a small amount of apple cider vinegar to increase demineralization from bones).

“To ‘support and strengthen’ the function of connective tissue. To ‘support and protect’ the function of bone. To ‘store energy,’ the function of yellow bone marrow. To act as a ‘shock absorber and reduce friction,’ the function of cartilage. To be ‘flexible and strong,’ the function of collagen. To ‘hold it together’ and ‘keep it together,’ also the function of collagen. To ‘soup up,’ to increase the power or speed of. To ‘put stock in,’ to trust.” (Rombauer, I, et al. 1997)

Bone:   provides the structural framework of our skeletal system, it houses and protects organs, aids in the process of mineralization/demineralization/calcium cellular absorption, produces blood cells and stores energy.

Bone Marrow:   contains fat and calories, includes; protein, Vit.B12, E, A, B2, Iron, Phosphorous, Thiamine

Cartilage:   important structural component that is softer and more flexible then bone and is found primarily are joint cartilage

Collagen: structural component for ligaments and tendons, “strengthening glue” to withstand blood pressure within vessels (E. Whitney, S.R. Rolfes, T. Crowe, D. Cameron-Smith, & A. Walsh, 2014).   Found in skin, bones, dentine and cartilage, Vitamin C is a essential vitamin for the production of collagen.

“Prolonged heat exposure causes the collagen in connective tissue to turn into a gelatin that is more easily digested by humans.” (Lupo, Karen D., and Dave N. Schmitt., 1997).

Gelatin:   almost entirely protein (main amino acids outlined below), derived from cooked collagen

Glycine: essential amino acid, “has been found to exert anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, cytoprotective, platelet-stabilising and antiangiogenic effects” (McCarty, Mark F., and James J. DiNicolantonio., 2014).

Proline:   essential amino acid, “recognized that proline metabolism propels cellular signaling processes that promote cellular apoptosis or survival.” (Liang, Xinwen, et al. 2013).

Glycosaminoglycans: polysaccharides, “is now recognized that these substances play crucial roles in the maintenance and regulation of cellular function as well as intercellular support.” (Lamberg, Stanford I., and Allen C. Stoolmiller, 1974).

Hyaluronic acid:   polymer of disaccharide, “Embryonic tissues including skin and umbilical cord and space-filling tissue fluid such as vitreous humor and synovial fluid are rich in hyaluronic acid.” (Lamberg, Stanford I., and Allen C. Stoolmiller. 1974)

Chondroitin sulfate:   disaccharide, “the activation of **NF-κB is pivotal to immune homeostasis and the inflammatory response and therefore, in the pathogenesis of numerous diseases. The benefits of CS in osteoarthritis may be explained by reduction of NF-κB nuclear translocation in chondrocytes and synovial membrane.” (Vallières, M., and P. Du Souich., 2010)

**NF-kB is a protein that controls cytokine production, cytokines are proteins that signal immune responses


Calcium: essential mineral

“dietary calcium should be the primary source, and supplements reserved only for those who are unable to achieve an adequate dietary intake.” (Reid, I. R., S. M. Bristow, and M. J. Bolland., 2015)

“achieving an optimal dietary calcium intake is again a central issue when advising patients at risk of osteoporotic fractures.” (Reid, I. R., S. M. Bristow, and M. J. Bolland., 2015)

Phosphorus:  most abundant mineral in the body, “Phosphorus is an ingredient of ATP, the body’s source of energy. It is therefore a regulator of all enzymes via activation reactions.” (A. Siebecker, 2004)

Magnesium:   essential mineral

“Magnesium is an essential element that is crucial to hundreds of physiologic processes in humans (1). Not surprisingly, inadequate intake of magnesium has been linked to various adverse health outcomes, including the development of cardiovascular disease (2), hypertension (3), diabetes mellitus (4) and headaches (5). Furthermore, magnesium is important in bone growth (6) and may play a role in athletic performance (7).” (Ford, Earl S., and Ali H. Mokdad. 2003)

Sodium: this product contains no added sodium*   as, “While the body needs some sodium to function, too much may lead to high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for stroke, heart disease and kidney disease.” (Dietitians of Canada, 2019)

Potassium:   essential mineral and electrolyte

“Moderate dietary sodium restriction with dietary potassium supplementation may obviate or reduce the need for drug treatment in some patients with mild to moderate hypertension.” (Macgregor, GrahamA, et al. 1982)


Book an appointment today with Shannon Hobson

Certified East West Herbalist

Text or call 604-993-0169, or email at  natknowhow@gmail.com



  • Saint-Germain, Claire. “The production of bone broth: a study in nutritional exploitation.”  Anthropozoologica26 (1997): 153-156.
  • Tkatch, Lubos, et al. “Benefits of oral protein supplementation in elderly patients with fracture of the proximal femur.” Journal of the American College of Nutrition 11.5 (1992): 519-525.
  • Siebecker, Allison. Traditional bone broth in modern health and disease. Diss. NCNM, 2004.
  • Rombauer, I, et al., The All New Joy of Cooking, New York, NY, Simon and Schuster Inc., 1997, p.91.
  • Whitney, S.R. Rolfes, T. Crowe, D. Cameron-Smith, & A. Walsh, 2014, “Understanding Nutrition: Australian & New Zealand edition”, Cengage Learning Australia Pty Limited
  • Lupo, Karen D., and Dave N. Schmitt. “Experiments in bone boiling: nutritional returns and archaeological reflections.” Anthropozoologica 25.26 (1997): 137-144.
  • McCarty, Mark F., and James J. DiNicolantonio. “The cardiometabolic benefits of glycine: Is glycine an ‘antidote’to dietary fructose?.” (2014): e000103.
  • Liang, Xinwen, et al. “Proline mechanisms of stress survival.”  Antioxidants & redox signaling9 (2013): 998-1011.
  • Lamberg, Stanford I., and Allen C. Stoolmiller. “Glycosaminoglycans. A biochemical and clinical review.” Journal of Investigative Dermatology 63.6 (1974): 433-449.
  • Vallières, M., and P. Du Souich. “Modulation of inflammation by chondroitin sulfate.” Osteoarthritis and Cartilage 18 (2010): S1-S6.
  • Reid, I. R., S. M. Bristow, and M. J. Bolland. “Calcium supplements: benefits and risks.” Journal of internal medicine 278.4 (2015): 354-368.
  • Ford, Earl S., and Ali H. Mokdad. “Dietary magnesium intake in a national sample of US adults.” The Journal of Nutrition 133.9 (2003): 2879-2882.
  • Dietitians of Canada 2019, https://www.dietitians.ca/Your-Health/Nutrition-A-Z/Sodium.aspx
  • Macgregor, GrahamA, et al. “Moderate potassium supplementation in essential hypertension.” The Lancet 320.8298 (1982): 567-570.



Part:  aerial parts during budding (whole plant above ground), *leaves can just be used for ease of collection rather than whole plant

Scientific name:  Salvia officinalis

Energy: drying and warming

Taste:  aromatic and pungent

Western herbalism:  Lamiaceae  family (mint family), contains essential oils (main: cis-thujone at 17.4%), carminative, astringing and antibacterial (specifically towards  Strep. and  Staph.  bacterial strains)

Main uses:   helps with poor peripheral circulation, reduces perspiration (i.e. hot flashes, night sweats) due to circulation issues, can be used for gastric distress (i.e. gas and burping) and diarrhea, a mouth wash can be used for gum and throat sores/irritations

*from experience with use by others and myself, sage tea can is helpful for menstrual cramps in moderate doses ( but can increase bleeding during menses if used in excess)

2017 study on  Salvia officinalis, “ findings include anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antinociceptive, antioxidant, antimicrobial, antimutagenic, antidementia, hypoglycemic, and hypolipidemic effects,”  (Ghorbani A, and Mahdi E, 2017).

“Our review shows that S. officinalis and S. lavandulaefolia exert beneficial effects by enhancing cognitive performance both in healthy subjects and patients with dementia or cognitive impairment and is safe for this indication,”  (Miroddi M1, Navarra M, Quattropani MC, Calapai F, Gangemi S, Calapai G. 2014).

Cautions:  should not take when pregnant, as sage increases uterine circulation (emmenagogue and abortifacient actions), may also reduce lactation

Preparation and dosage:  Tea-   1 cup boiled water to 1tsp leaves, Tincture (dry leaf)- between 10 and 40 drops 1 to 4 times /day

*Always consult a qualified health professional before using herbal medicine, especially in conjunction with pharmaceuticals in therapeutic doses above those found in food amounts*


Book an appointment today with Shannon Hobson

Certified East West Herbalist

Text or call 604-993-0169, or email at  natknowhow@gmail.com


Ref 1:   (Ghorbani, Ahmad, and Mahdi Esmaeilizadeh. “Pharmacological properties of  Salvia officinalis  and its components.”  Journal of traditional and complementary medicine  vol. 7,4 433-440. 13 Jan. 2017, doi:10.1016/j.jtcme.2016.12.014)


Ref 2:   (Miroddi M1, Navarra M, Quattropani MC, Calapai F, Gangemi S, Calapai G. “Systematic review of clinical trials assessing pharmacological properties of Salvia species on memory, cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.” Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Messina, Messina, Italy, CNS Neurosci Ther. 2014 Jun;20(6):485-95. doi: 10.1111/cns.12270. Epub 2014 Apr 10.