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Lemon Verbena
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Verbenaceae
Genus: Aloysia
Species: A. citrodora
Binomial name
Aloysia citrodora
Paláu

Lemon verbena (or Lemon beebrush, Aloysia triphylla[1]) is a deciduous perennial shrub native to Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, and Peru. This plant was brought to Europe by the Spanish in the 17th century.

Contents

Growth

It grows to a height of 3 to 7 metres and exudes a powerful lemony scent. It prefers full sun, a lot of water, and a light loam soil. It is sensitive to cold, losing leaves at temperatures below 0°C although the wood is hardy to -10°C. Lemon verbena, if covered with some straw, cut down and kept free from very moist conditions, will also withstand up to a -15°C frost and will make new leaves in spring. The light green leaves are lancet-shaped, and its tiny flowers bloom lavender or white in August or September.

Uses

Lemon verbena leaves are used to add a lemony flavor to fish and poultry dishes, vegetable marinades, salad dressings, jams, puddings, and beverages. It also is used to make herbal teas and can be used to make a sorbet. In addition, it has anti-Candida albicans activity.[2]

Chemical constitutents

The major isolates in lemon verbena oil are citral (30-35%), nerol and geraniol.[3]

Synonyms

Synonyms for Lemon Verbena are Verbena triphylla L'Hér., Verbena citriodora Cav., Lippia triphylla, Lippia citriodora, and Aloysia citriodora (Cav.) Ort. Also referred to as "Hierba Luisa" in Spain, and "Louisa" or "Louiza" in Algeria and Morocco.

References

  1. ^ Armada, J. & A. Barra. 1992. On Aloysia Palau (Verbenaceae). Taxon 41:88–90.
  2. ^ "Anti-Candida activity of Brazilian medicinal plants" (abstract), TEIXEIRA DUARTE Marta Cristina et al., Journal of ethnopharmacology, 2005, vol. 97, no2, pp. 305-311
  3. ^ Lawless, J., The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, ISBN 1-85230-661-0
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