Lemon myrtle leaves are among the traditional ingredients used in Australia and that have also become popular around the world in the form of lemon myrtle tea. Aside from the flavour, there are also a lot of health benefits that would make you want to drink lemon myrtle tea.
What is Lemon Myrtle?
The botanical name of lemon myrtle is backhousia citriodora. It is a rainforest tree that can grow up to 8 metres high and is endemic in Queensland. Other names used for lemon myrtle include sweet verbana, lemon scented verbana, and lemon scented backhousia. Young lemon myrtles are commonly found in parts of Queensland especially in Brisbane suburbs where they are used as decorative bushes. They are cultivated for the delicate lemon scent and their lovely white flowers. They are grown commercially for their high citral (lemon oil) content using a steam distillation extraction process. The oil is used in various cleaning and cooking and skin care.
Health Benefits of Lemon Myrtle Tea
There is a high concentration of citral in the leaves of lemon myrtle and comprises 90-98% of the essential oils. Some of the health benefits of citral include:
- It is an anti-fungal and antin-microbial agent.
- It is non-acidic.
- It is high in anti-oxidants
Due to its immense health benefits, lemon myrtle tea is said to be able to relieve some disorders such as spasms and muscle cramps, rheumatism, and headaches. Studies have also revealed that citral can help inhibit the growth of pathogens, organisms that causes diseases such as ulcers. It is also said to help reducing cellulite and the antioxidants found in citral can help boost the immune system. It can be used alone or can be combined with green tea as a caffeine replacement for coffee and black tea.
Herbalists and aromatherapists use lemon myrtle and its essential oil for various reasons. The fragrant aroma gives off a wonderful relaxing effect and is also said to improve your concentration as well as promote for better sleep. It can be used as inhalant for treating colds, flus, and other congestive disorders. As a topical treatment, it can be used for various skin conditions such warts and herpes complex. Although it can be applied to the skin in full strength, it is best advised to dilute it first with neural vegetable oils.