Lemon verbena is a lemon-scented herb that comes from the same family as mint. The plant is native to Europe, North Africa, and West Asia, but has been grown around the world.
Lemon verbena has traditionally been used to improve mood and cognitive function, but the potential benefits do not end there. Read on to learn more about the possible healing properties of this herb.
It can help relieve stress
Lemon verbena is thought to calm the symptoms of stress, help you relax and boost your mood.
A 2004 study found that taking a parental drug alleviated the negative mood effects of laboratory psychic stress. Participants taking lemon verbena themselves reported an increased sense of calm and decreased sense of alertness.
Although it was a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, it had a small sample of 18 people. Further research is needed to construct these findings.
It can help reduce anxiety
Lemon verbena can also be used to reduce anxiety symptoms, such as nervousness and arousal.
Research published in 2014 examines the mood and cognitive effects of food containing lemon verbena liquor. The supplement is mixed into a beverage and into yogurt along with natural or artificial sweeteners. Participants in both groups reported positive effects on various aspects of mood, including decreased levels of anxiety.
While this is promising, more research is needed to truly determine its effectiveness.
- How to use: Take 300 to 600 mg of lemon verbena three times a day.
- In acute anxiety episodes, you may take a higher dose.
It can stimulate cognitive function
The same study in 2014 also looked at the effects of the lemon verbena in improving cognitive function.
Participants were asked to perform cognitive tasks involving memory, math, and concentration. The results of these computational tasks suggest that participants who consumed lemon verbena performed better than those who did not.
Although these participants experienced an increase in alertness and performance levels, it is still possible for fatigue to set in overtime. The combination of lemon verbena with food also affects the rate of absorption, which can have an effect on its effectiveness. More research is needed.
How to use: Take 300 to 600 mg of lemon verbena three times a day.
It can help to relieve insomnia and other sleep disorders
The lemon verbena with valerian can help ease restlessness and sleep disorders such as insomnia.
Researchers in one 2006 study found that children taking the combined dose experienced a 70 to 80 percent improvement in symptoms. Both researchers and parents consider lemon verbena as a good or very good treatment. However, more research is needed to validate these findings.
How to use: Drink a cup of tea brewed with valerian and lemon verbena before bed.
It can help treat cold sores
You can even apply lemon verbena at the first sign of cold sores.
Participants in the 1999 study applied lemon verbena or placebo cream to the affected area four times daily for five days. Researchers found that participants who used lemon verbena felt fewer symptoms and healed faster than those who did not.
The researchers also suggested that the cream for the lemon verbena mix may extend the interval between cold outbreaks. Further studies are needed to expand on these findings.
How to use: Apply lemon verbena cream to the affected area several times a day. Be sure to pat the cream on the inside of your forearm before applying it to cold sore. If you do not experience any irritation or inflammation within 24 hours, it should be safe to use.
It can help relieve indigestion
If you have frequent abdominal pain and discomfort, lemon verbena can have a positive effect on digestion.
A small study from 2010 evaluated the effects of a cold dessert containing lemon verbena on functional dyspepsia. Participants ate the dessert, with or without the herb, after eating. Although both types of dessert have reduced the symptoms and their intensity, the dessert containing the lemon verbena enhances this effect. More research is needed.
How to use: Add 1 teaspoon of lemon verbena powder to ice cream or smoothie bowl and enjoy.