Lemon Verbena plant - Lippia Citriodora syn. Aloysia Triphylla (Verbenaceae)

Medicinal Use of Lemon Verbena – Lippia Citriodora syn. Aloysia Triphylla (Verbenaceae)


Deciduous shrub growing to 6½ ft (2 m). Has strongly scented lance-shaped leaves and clusters of tubular, pale green to mauve flowers.

Habitat & Cultivation

Lemon verbena is native to South America. It is cultivated in temperate climates as an aromatic, ornamental plant and for its leaves, which are used to make herbal tea. The leaves are gathered in late summer.

Parts Used



Lemon verbena contains a volatile oil (mainly consisting of citral, cineole, limonene, and geraniole), mucilage, tannins, and flavonoids.

History & Folklore

Lemon verbena was introduced to Europe in 1784. In Spain, France, and elsewhere in Europe, the infusion is a popular drink.

Medicinal Actions & Uses

An undervalued medicinal herb, lemon verbena shares qualities with lemon balm (Melissa officinalis). Both herbs contain a strong lemon-scented volatile oil that has calming and digestive properties. Lemon verbena has a gentle sedative action and a reputation for soothing abdominal discomfort. Its tonic effect on the nervous system is less pronounced than that of lemon balm, but it nonetheless helps to lift the spirits and counter depression.

Related Species

Yerba dulce (L. dulcis), native to Mexico, is used therapeutically as a demulcent and expectorant remedy. In Mexico, many other Lippia species are used for their antispasmodic, period-inducing, and stomach-soothing properties. L. adoensis is drunk as a tea in West Africa. See also lippia (Lippia alba).