Verbena also known as lemon verbena or Aloysia citrodora is a kind of shrub with pointed narrow leaves with hairy surface. It commonly blooms a small white and purple flowers. The most special thing in this plant is that the leaves have a pleasant smell similar to lemon scent. This is the reason why it is called as lemon verbena.
This plant is originated from South America. But now, we can find the leaves all over the world. The leaves are lovely delicious when we drink them as tea and the other kinds of beverages. Verbena leaves are also widely used as food additive, especially for poultry and fish dishes.
Actually, the verbena leaves have been used by people from long ago. And today, the use of lemon verbena leaves is back to style as recent study found out the health benefits of verbena leaves. Well, despite the lovely scent, the leaves are beneficial.
Nutritional Information of Verbena Leaves
Lemon verbena or the verbena leaves has been prized for its culinary. However, the beneficial nutrition value makes the leaves perform the health benefits of verbena leaves we can rely on. Some of the important nutrition value contained in verbena leaves is terpenoids, volatile oils, flavonoids, and phenolic acids.
The Health Benefits of Verbena Leaves
We can also employ the variety of verbena leaves form, as it is provided in the fresh leaves, dried leaves, or the extract. The verbena leaves in a form of essential oil is reported to be enriched with ample of antioxidant. We can obtain the health benefits of verbena leaves in term of regular usage in the recommended amount.
- Lose weight
The ability of verbena leaves in losing weight is similar to Health Benefits of Drinking Green Tea on An Empty Stomach for Weight Loss. The health benefit is contributed by the antioxidants from the leaves. Therefore, consuming a cup of brewed verbena leaves will help you to succeed your weight loss diet.
- Strengthen muscle
Drinking verbena leaves tea is proven to be able in strengthening muscle. This is the most unique benefit you might never get from the other herbal tea. Drinking verbena leaves is able to protect the muscle from damage from the intense workout session. Therefore, lemon verbena beverage makes a perfect pre-workout beverage.
- Treat joint pain
A research examined 45 people with join problems revealed that a supplement involving verbena leaves and fish oil came to be more effective in relieving the pain compared to the regular placebo. In this case, fish oil with omega-3 also gives a hand to the optimal health benefits of verbena leaves by performing the Health Benefits of Fish Oil for joint pain.
- Treat sinusitis
Sinusitis or the nasal swelling is able to be treated by verbena leaves. Verbena leaves along with gentian root, elderflower, cowslip flower, and sorrel makes a good combination to relieve the inflamed sinus. The herbal medication for sinusitis involving verbena leaves is safe to be used along with the antibiotics and decongestant to treat acute sinusitis.
- Prevent cancer
A university in Jordan held a research involving 31 herbal pants including verbena leaves to find out the herbal plants with the anti-cancer properties. The research found out that verbena leaf is one of the active herbal plants which are able to inhibit the process of growing new blood vessels which support the growth of cancer.
The antioxidants are also powerful in fighting the free radicals which are still the number one contributor to the cancer.
- Good for digestion
Verbena leaves maintain the healthy digestion by preventing the candida infection in the small intestines. A research from certain university in Brazil is proven to be able in performing anti-candida or anti-fungus properties. The leaves are also powerful in fighting the destructive micro bacterial such E.Coli which targets the digestive track. This health benefit can also be performed by Health Benefits of Water and Apple Cider Vinegar.
- Treat cough
Verbena leaf is not only has the similar scent with lemon. Surprisingly, it has the almost the same benefits when it comes to the cough treatment. Well, one of the health benefits of verbena leaves is treating cough, just like the Benefits of Ginger and Honey with Lemon . Both of them have the ability to perform an expectorant property. Drinking verbena leaves as a tea is able to help eliminate the mucus in the respiratory system and relieve coughing.
- Eliminate sore throat
The ability of verbena leaves as expectorant property also enable the leaves to clear the respiratory tract and solve some problems such sore throat. It can also cool down the inflammation within the throat. Further, the leaves are also effective for bronchitis, which is caused by the inflamed bronchus.
- Treat wounds
Verbena leaves can also be directly applied to an open wound. It is because verbena leaves contain excellent anti-inflammatory property which effectively inhibit further inflammation in poorly healing wounds, abscesses, and burns. In this case, we can pick some fresh leaves, clean, crush into a paste, and directly apply the paste onto the wounds. It is also good to calm down itching.
- Eliminate lice
When we think about the medicinal treatment of head lice is only the chemical medicine, you might be mistaken. Recent study showed that essential oils are effective to eliminate head lice. One of the essential oil which is considered to be effective in eliminating lice is lemon verbena essential oil.
The other essential oil which is good to eliminate head lice can be obtained from the Benefits of Applying Egg Yolk on Hair. Otherwise, you can also be topically applied the fresh leaves paste onto the scalp to remove head lice.
- Reduce chest pain
The consumption of verbena leaves is able to relieve chest pain due to the heart problem. Sometimes, our heart is in condition when it is painful and gets some problem with fluid retention as one of the symptom of heart failure. In this case, verbena leaves are able to relieve the pain.
- Relieve stress
The flavonoid in verbena leaves is surprisingly able to affect the hormonal balance. Although the effect might be slight, it has the ability to reduce stress. Therefore, take some lemony verbena beverage may help you calm down.
The other health benefits of verbena leaves are:
- Improve immune system
- Treat anemia
- Relieve fever
- Improve sleep quality
- Treat irregular menstruation
- Increase breast milk
- Reduce gallbladder pain
- Lower urinary track disorder
Recommendation in Using Verbena Leaves
As mentioned before, we can use the verbena leaves either in culinary or medically use. For culinary intention, we can pick some young leaves and put them into stir fry or salad. We can also use the dried leaves to spice up the fish, meat and poultry dishes as it give the fresh lemony aroma to the food.
It will also help to reduce the greasy flavor from the foods. Besides, the leaves also go very well with desserts and cold beverages. On the other hand, you can also obtain the essential oil from verbena leaves. You can heat a cup of extra virgin oil in a pan and heat it until almost smoke and remove the pan.
After that, you can add a handful of crushed verbena leaves into the pan. Put a lid to the pan and rest it for about two hours until we get the extract into the oil. The next, strain the oil and we can use the oil to grill fish or meat. In this case, we are not only getting the health benefits of verbena leaves, but also the Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Precautions in Using Verbena Leaves
To get the health benefits of verbena leaves, you should consider some precautions below:
- In case of topical use, you should consider the side effects such mild dermatitis. Especially if you have such sensitive skin, you may ask your dermatology fist before use the verbena leaves for your skin problem.
- The consumption of verbena leaves should also be restricted for those with kidney diseases as the ingredients may worsen the condition.