10 Lemon Verbena Oil Benefits You Probably Never Knew

Lemon verbena is a perennial shrub with an incredible and intense lemon aroma. The herb was popular in the Victorian era where women used its leaves in pot porri, baking, teas, floated them in finger bowls, and even tucked inside their hankies. As years passed, this herb lost its popularity too. Not many know that Lemon verbena oil benefits are abundant. (1)

Traditionally, it has been used to treat fever, cold, asthma, flatulence, diarrhea, and an upset stomach. It is a well-known stomachic, sedative, antispasmodic, and antipyretic.

But this isn’t it. There is much more that lemon verbena essential oil can offer, Let’s understand this herb in detail. 

What is Lemon Verbena Oil?

what is lemon verbena essential oil

Lemon verbena essential oil extracted from the leaves of Aloysia citriodora plant through the process of steam distillation. The composition and yield of the essential oil varies based on the climatic conditions as well as regions these plants grow.

Lemon verbena oil is well known for its strong citrusy flavor and aroma from Victorian times. It also has various medicinal uses, which have made the oil popular. (2)

Scientific Name of Lemon Verbena Oil

The botanical name of lemon verbena is Aloysia citriodora.

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History of Lemon Verbena Oil

Lemon verbena is a medicinal plant with aromatic leaves. The plant also has other names such as:

  • Aloysia triphylla
  • Kuntze
  • Lippia citriodoraKunth
  • Verbena grass Louise
  • Lemongrass
  • Arabic tea
  • triphylla

The extracted essential oil is rich in citral, an important compound for the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.

The plant belongs to the family Lemon Verbenaceae and is native to South America, Chile, Argentina, and Peru.

Fact: Spaniards introduced Lemon verbena plant to Europe in the 17th century, and it gained popularity due to its incredible and refreshing fragrance. By the 18th century, people started growing in North America and in the Mediterranean region.

The plant grows to a height of 5 to 6 feet but can go as tall as 16 feet. The plant has thin stems, long pale leaves, and white flowers (with a tint of purple).

The fresh, as well as dried leaves of the plant, adds a lemony flavor to the dishes. Thus, people started cultivating the plant for culinary purposes.

Fact: Lemon verbena is twice as strong as other lemon shrubs in taste. Therefore, adding half the amount is enough.

In Asian recipes, Lemon verbena leaves replace lemongrass. You can add it to any recipe, which needs a citrusy flavor like fruit salads or chicken stuffing. It goes well with confectionaries, iced tea, cakes, fruit puddings, and homemade ice creams.

Color, Consistency, and Smell of Lemon Verbena Oil

  • The color of Lemon verbena oil is yellowish-green.
  • The consistency of Lemon verbena oil is thick.
  • The smell of Lemon verbena oil is strong, fresh, sweet, and lemony.

Properties of Lemon verbena oil  

The medicinal properties of lemon verbena include:

  • Digestive - Fights digestive problems
  • Antibacterial - Treats bacterial infections
  • Insecticidal - Kills insects
  • Anti-obesity – Helps in weight management
  • Anxiolytic - Relieves excessive worry
  • Soporific - Promotes or induces healthy sleep
  • Stomachic - Eases stomach ache or discomfort in the tummy
  • Aromatic – Has a pleasant aroma. Great for aromatherapy
  • Astringent - Shrinks pores and prevents oily skin
  • Antipyretic - Reduces fever
  • Antispasmodic - Relieves muscle spasms or cramps
  • Anti-parasitic - Fights parasites, disease-causing organisms
  • Antiviral – Effective against virus
  • Anti-inflammatory - Prevents swelling, pain, redness, loss of function, and high temperature
  • Antioxidant - Prevents the diseases caused by oxidation
  • Expectorant - Helps clear sputum
  • Immunostimulant - Builds immunity
  • Antidepressant - De-stresses and boosts positive attitude
  • Anti-arthritic – Prevents as well as improves joint pains
  • Antihemorrhagic - Fights hemorrhoids (swollen, painful veins around the anus)

Chemical Compounds in Lemon Verbena Oil  

The primary compounds found in lemon verbena are:

  • Citral
  • Linalool
  • Dipentene
  • Nerol
  • Nerolidol
  • Spathulenol
  • Caryophyllene oxide
  • Alphacadinol
  • Myrcene
  • Geraniol
  • Borneol
  • Sabinene
  • 6 methyl-5heptene-2one
  • D-limonene
  • 1,8-cineole
  • Trans-beta ocimene
  • Verbascoside
  • Alpha terpineol
  • Neral
  • Geranial
  • Geranial acetate
  • Caryophyllene
  • D-germacrene
  • Alpha-curcumene
  • Bicyclogermacrene

uses of lemon verbena oil

Health Benefits of Lemon Verbena Oil

Though lemon verbena oil benefits are abundant, the most noteworthy ones that have been proved by different studies in recent years include:

  • Fights anxiety
  • Gets rid of parasites
  • Prevents bacterial infections
  • Heals candida infections
  • Induces sleep and overcomes insomnia
  • Helps overcome anorexia
  • Treats dyspepsia
  • Prevents asthma attacks
  • Effective against tumor cells
  • Eases depression

1. Fights anxiety

A study published in the American Journal of Nursing Science states that Lemon verbena essential oil does a great deed in fighting and overcoming anxiety. No wonder it is getting quite popular in aromatherapy.

Anxiety is an excessive state of worry where you tend to over-worry about things consistently. It interferes with your day to day life and affects your performance. (3)

Just diffuse a few drops of it in a diffuser and relax. This helps in easing anxiety issues.

2. Gets rid of parasites

At a dose of 250 mg per kg, lemon verbena oil reduced parasitemia or parasite infection at a rate of 85.4%, states a paper published in the year 2012. (4, 5)

A parasite is an organism, which feeds on a human or animal host. It takes all the nourishment from the host and turn out to be dangerous or even fatal.

3. Prevents bacterial infections

Verbena essential oil fights helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that causes stomach and intestine diseases in humans.  

You can get rid of H.pylori via antibiotics, but antibiotics can cause resistance.

Antibiotic resistance is a phenomenon where the infection-causing organisms do not respond to antibiotics. So, though you take antibiotics, it doesn’t act on you.

At a concentration of 0.1% v/v and a pH of 4 to 5, lemon verbena oil is proven effective. Clarithromycin is the antibiotic in lemon verbena, which fights helicobacter pylori effectively.

Usually, 10 sequential passages, these bacteria tend to develop resistance. But the good news is that if failed to develop resistance with lemon verbena essential oil. (6)

4. Heals candida infections

One of the health benefits of lemon verbena oil is that it cures candida infections. Thanks to the presence of 1,8-cineole, geranial, germacrene-D, limonene, linalool, and menthol in the oil. (7, 8)

*Candida is a yeast, which causes fungal infections such as thrush.

*Thrush is a disease where there are white, raised patches in mouth or throat. They may bleed slightly or can be painful.

5. Induces sleep and overcomes insomnia

Insomnia is a state of constant loss of sleep. If you have insomnia, either you sleep less, or you lack the quality sleep. Even after sleeping for 7 to 9 hours a day at a stretch, if you feel you haven’t rested well, you have insomnia.

Your doctor will track your sleep history for about 3 months. If you experience lack of sleep for at least 3 days in a week, for about 3 months, your doctor will diagnose it as insomnia. Taking too long to fall asleep, waking up too many times at night, taking longer to fall back to sleep, and lacking the restful sleep are the symptoms of insomnia.

Lemon verbena is admired for its soporific properties. This property works as a relaxant and helps in promoting healthy sleep.

However, diffusing a few drops of lemon oil can help you have a peaceful sleep. It is one of the best remedies to overcome insomnia. (7)

6. Helps overcome anorexia

Anorexia is a condition where there is a loss of appetite. An individual affected by anorexia feels extremely hungry and yet he or she refuses to eat due to the misconception of feeling overweight. So, it is more of a psychological or mental problem, which gradually affects the physical body.

Anorexics avoid eating and tend to workout excessively. They are usually good performers, but anorexia will make them lose excess weight, so much that it starts affecting their health severely.

Fact: Though they are not overweight, they tend to imagine that they are overweight. Thus, they avoid eating altogether and over workout. It is common in models, or sports personnel where looks and weight matter a lot. If not tackled on time, it can turn fatal as anorexia can cause fractures, loss of memory, and altered heart functions.

However, Aloysia citriodora oil can help you relax, distress, and think positive. (8) This is mainly due to its antidepressant and anxiolytic properties.

7. Treats dyspepsia

Dyspepsia is a condition where an individual experiences pain in the upper abdomen, hyperacidity, bloating (excess gas), and there is vomiting sensation.

In historical times, people consumed herbal tea made from lemon verbena leaves to keep their stomach healthy.

When its compounds were studied, it was found that besides treating an upset stomach, it also helped ease dyspepsia and inflammation in the colon. This is mainly due to the presence of polyphenols like flavone diglucuronides & phenylpropanoid glycosides (particularly - verbascoside) in significant amounts. (9)

Lemon verbena essential oil help you lessen the symptoms of dyspepsia and improve the condition. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory and immunity boosting properties.

8. Prevents asthma attacks

Asthma is a condition where there is inflammation in the airways. There is excess mucus in the pathways, making it highly difficult for the affected person to breathe.

However, lemon verbena oil prevents asthma attacks. This is due to its anti-inflammatory, expectorant, and spasmolytic properties. (10, 11)

9. Effective against tumor cells

Your body is made up of units called cells. Every cell lives for a certain number of days, performs designated functions, and dies. Then, new cells come in their place.

But, sometimes cells behave abnormally and keep multiplying but do not die, forming a lump called tumor. The tumors can be benign or malignant. Malignant tumors are ones that spread from one part of your body to another and are deadly. This is called cancer.

Lemon verbena essential oil eliminates such abnormal tumor cells.

Lemon verbena oil fights tumor cells, especially P815, MCF7, and VERO cell lines. The oil is more effective on P815 and has a moderate effect on MCF7, and VERO cell lines, states research published in 2017. (12)

10. Eases depression

Depression is a state where you feel sad most of the times. The things that used to give you pleasure earlier are no longer enjoyable. When the state of constant sadness prevails for a considerably longer time, for more than a few weeks you call it depression. It needs treatment as it can give a suicidal tendency too.

Verbena essential oil helps you fight depression. It helps you to have an excellent start for a good day. Thanks to its antidepressant and aromatic properties. It uplifts your mood and helps you to have a clear mind.

What Blends with Lemon Verbena Oil?

Lemon verbena oil blends the best with:

How To Use Lemon Verbena Oil?

using lemon verbena oil

Like any other essential oil, even lemon verbena essential oil is potent is in its concentrated form. Hence, it should be diluted using a suitable carrier oil before using it on your skin.

For aromatherapy, lemon verbena oil:

  • Eases digestive problems
  • Reduces skin problems such as acne
  • Boosts your mood
  • If you are working at night, aromatherapy helps you focus, absorb, and retain information. But, make sure you do not use the ultrasonic instruments for aromatherapy, as the oil may spoil the unit.

Fact: Acne is a chronic or long-standing bacterial infection, which is visible mostly on your face, neck, and back. Excess oil is accumulated at the bottom of your hair follicles, and bacteria settle there, giving rise to infections. They manifest in the form of pimples, whiteheads, blackheads, or cysts, which are all different forms of acne.

While pimples are red, swollen, and painful, whiteheads are white. When excess oil is collected facing inwards, they form whiteheads, whereas when they face outwards the oil reacts with the environment, turning them black – thus, blackheads.

Due to the astringent action of lemon verbena essential oil prevents acne.

For eczema, apply the diluted oil over the concerned area. It can double up the moisturization when you add it to your moisturizer.

A tea made of lemon verbena oil helps you to:

  • Fight anxiety. The oil balances your hormones and calms your nerves.
  • Fight cold
  • Prevents stomach pain, pain in the intestine, excess gas, as well as vomiting sensation.

If you have an upset stomach, have a tea made from lemon verbena leaves. You can also have the tea after meals if you experience stomach upset regularly.

Dilute the oil with a suitable carrier oil to:

  • Massage over your chest when you have a cold. The oil is an expectorant too. When you have a severe cold, you might also have congestion/ blocked chest and nose making it difficult for you to breathe. The oil relieves congestion and helps you spit out sputum.
  • For hemorrhoids mix lemon verbena oil with coconut oil and apply over hemorrhoids several times a day.
  • Use it to relieve inflammation of joints and muscles.
  • Add the oil to your bathwater to soothe your muscles. If you work out every day, your muscles might be sore regularly which is due to the build-up of lactic acid. Preventing muscle soreness and helping the muscles recover is one of the health benefits of lemon verbena oil.
  • Add a few drops of lemon verbena oil to your skin care routine to prevent acne. You can also apply the diluted oil over the area of concern. Also, the oil brightens your complexion.
  • Use it in a compress to reduce the puffiness around your eyes.
  • You can add it to your unscented homemade soap to boost antibacterial properties.

Talk to your doctor before you start using the oil, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, a senior citizen, suffering from any diseases, are under medications.

  • Do a patch test. Dilute the oil with a suitable carrier oil and apply a little portion of oil with the tip of a cotton swab and apply over the inside of your forearm. Observe for 15 minutes. If you don’t see any allergy signs such as swelling, irritation, or redness after using the oil, then it is safe for
  • Lemon verbena oil is photoxic in nature. So, after using the oil, do not go in Sun, as your skin might get sensitive to light.

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Side Effects 0f Lemon Verbena Oil

  • If you use lemon verbena oil for a long time, it can cause stomach irritations.
  • In high doses, lemon verbena oil can give you nausea or vomiting sensation.
  • Diffusing it in excess and inhaling its aroma for a long time can cause headaches.
  • Do not use the oil if you are pregnant, expecting, or breastfeeding.
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