Medication Guide App

Lemon Verbena

Scientific Name(s): Aloysia triphylla (L'Her.) Britt. Family: Verbenaceae

Common Name(s): Lemon verbena , louisa

Uses

Lemon verbena is used in teas, flavorings, fragrances, antispasmodics, carminatives, sedatives, and stomachics.

Dosing

Lemon verbena is used as a digestive aid in doses of approximately 5 g/day; however, there are no clinical studies to substantiate the safety or efficacy of this dose.

Contraindications

Contraindications have not yet been identified.

Pregnancy/Lactation

Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking.

Interactions

None well documented.

Adverse Reactions

Some individuals may experience contact hypersensitivity.

Toxicology

Research reveals little or no information regarding toxicology with the use of this product.

Botany

Lemon verbena is an aromatic plant native to Argentina and Chile. 1 It is a deciduous plant that is commonly cultivated in the tropics and Europe. It is grown commercially in France and North Africa. The plant grows to 3 meters and is characterized by the presence of fragrant, lemon-scented narrow leaves. It bears small white flowers in terminal panicles. 1 Lemon verbena was formerly described as A. citriodora (Cav.) Ort., Verbena citriodora Cav., V. triphylla , Lippia citriodora (Ort.) HBK.

History

Lemon verbena has been used as a medicinal plant for centuries, having been touted for use as an antispasmodic, antipyretic, carminative, sedative and stomachic. The leaves and flowering tops are used in teas and as beverage flavors. Its fragrance is used in perfumery. Although the plant is grown as an ornamental, it requires shelter during cold periods. 1

Chemistry

An essential oil, which is present in small quantities (0.42% to 0.65%), is extracted from the leaves by steam distillation. 2 Known as oil of verbena, it contains a variety of fragrant compounds including citral (35%), methyl heptenone, carvone, l-limonene, dipentene and geraniol. 1 , 2 Because the pure oil can be expensive, it is sometimes adulterated with distillates from other plants.

Uses and Pharmacology

Bactericidal/Acaricidal effects

The essential oil is said to be acaricidal and bactericidal.

Animal data

An alcoholic leaf extract has been reported to have antibiotic activity in vitro against Escherichia coli , Mycobacterium tuberculosis , and Staphylococcus aureus , although it had no antimalarial activity. A 2% emulsion of the oil has been reported to kill mites and aphids. 2

Clinical data

Research reveals no clinical data regarding the use of lemon verbena for bactericidal effects.

Other uses

A component of the related plant, Verbena officinalis , has been reported by Chinese investigators to have antitussive activity. 3

Dosage

Lemon verbena is used in teas, flavorings, fragrances, antispasmodics, carminatives, sedatives, and stomachics.

Pregnancy/Lactation

Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking.

Interactions

None well documented.

Adverse Reactions

Contact hypersensitivity has been associated with members of the related Verbena genus .

Toxicology

Lemon verbena generally is recognized as safe for human consumption and for use as a flavor in alcoholic beverages.

Bibliography

1. Simon JE, et al. Herbs: an indexed bibliography , 1971-1980. Hamden, CT: The Shoe String Press, 1984.
2. Duke JA. Handbook of Medicinal Herbs . Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1985.
3. Gui CH. Antitussive constituents of Verbena officinalis . Chung Yao Tung Pao . 1985;10:35.

Copyright © 2009 Wolters Kluwer Health

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