Botanical name: Backhousia citriodora
Other names: Lemon scented myrtle, lemon scented ironwood, sweet verbena tree, sweet verbena myrtle
Indigenous Australians have long used lemon myrtle, both in cuisine and as a healing plant. It is endemic to subtropical rainforests of central and south-eastern Queensland, Australia.The leaves hold the secret to the tree’s charm, being full of wonderfully fragrant citral oil, smelling of a mixture of lemon and lime. Indeed these trees are the source of the strongest and purest citral oil in the world. Citral comprises 90-98% of the essential oils in lemon myrtle, as opposed to less than 10% in lemons and limes.
The beauty of Lemon Myrtle is that it has endless uses in its applications. It has been reported in the Australian Journal of Medicinal Herbalism, 1991, to be anti-fungal, anti-viral, a calmative and a sedative. It is used in cosmetics, perfumes and insect repellents. The leaves can be used for herbal infusions and for food flavourings. It is likely that its commercial use will become much greater, with the establishment of a number of plantations in southern Qld and northern NSW.
The aromatherapy industry has long recognised the value of fragrances for health maintenance and lifestyle. Lemon aromas are recognised as instilling a feeling of freshness and cleanliness. They are said to be uplifting, cheering the soul. Lemon Myrtle soaps, lotions and potions, lip-balms and body butters, shampoos and shower gels are becoming widely available not only in Australia but throughout the world.
Apart from its esteemed culinary and fragrance value lemon myrtle is both a powerful calmative when used as a tea and a powerful antimicrobial and antifungal agent.
By recognising and taking advantage of the therapeutic powers of the gifts that mother-earth has provided to us of which lemon myrtle is a most worthy and eminent member, the human race may begin to regain the vitality, vigour and resilience that is our birthright.
Preparation: Use 1-2 tsp per cup. Steep covered for 10 minutes. Drink as needed.
Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backhousia_citriodora, http://www.lemonmyrtle.com.au/about-lemon-myrtle/, http://www.abc.net.au/cgi-bin/common/printfriendly.pl?/gardening/stories/s4299.htm, http://www.lemon-myrtle.com/, http://www.naturaltherapypages.com.au/article/why_drink_lemon_myrtle_tea#ixzz38FT0T7NF
Lemon Myrtle Common Uses
Lemon Myrtle Actions
Lemon Myrtle Recipes
Lemon Myrtle Precautions
Information regarding the interaction of Lemon Myrtle with drugs, foods, or herbs is lacking. Do not use the essential oil internally – for internal use, prepare a tea.
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