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
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*
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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.