Oil Of The Week: Lemon Verbena
Brightly scented with a citrus herbal aroma, lemon verbena is a favourite essential oil in the fragrance and beauty industries. The oil is steam distilled from the leaves of the Aloysia triphylla shrub, which is native to South America.
Well known in the fragrance and tea industries for it's invigorating scent, lemon verbena is also used as a flavouring in culinary dishes. The leaves were traditionally used to make a tea, but later the plant was brought over to Europe and cultivated for the oil, which was and still is, used in the perfume industry.
Although not part of the citrus family, lemon verbena does contain limonene and citral which gives it its lemony scent.
Lemon verbena has powerful antiseptic, antimicrobial and disinfectant properties. Diffuse it into the air to get rid of germs and to breathe in the healing vapours.
Lemon verbena can also help relieve coughing and pain from fevers and flu. Make a vapour rub with it to apply to back and chest or simply add a few drops to a burner.
In Body Products
Lemon verbena contains high amounts of antioxidant compounds, and combined with its powerful anti inflammatory abilities, this makes it an excellent addition to skin and body products, particularly those used to soothe sore muscles and fight any inflammation and puffiness.
Lemon verbena adds a refreshing scent to shampoos, soaps and cleansers and makes a great addition to sugar scrubs, toners and body mists.
Lemon verbena is a great deodorant too - try it in your DIY deo!
Its invigorating aroma makes lemon verbena a fabulous afternoon pick-me-up when energies and concentration are low. Add a few drops to a burner or diffuser to sharpen the mind.
Diffuse it to freshen and purify the air in the home or office, and to relieve stress and relax.
Lemon verbena is a powerful anti inflammatory, making it an ideal addition to massage therapy oil blends. It is great for relieving painful inflammation as well as relaxing muscles and any stress in the body.
Lemon verbena is a natural insecticide and insect repellent. Blend it with citronella to make a potent repellent for warm summer evenings.
Lemon verbena’s refreshing scent makes it a wonderful room freshener. Add it to your DIY air freshener to create an uplifting room fragrance.
Because of the chemical makeup of lemon verbena oil, it is an excellent cleaner, similar to the citrus oils. It is a handy addition to your homemade natural cleaners and smells great too!
Lemon verbena may be photosensitive so please avoid going into the sun after applying to skin.
Lemon verbena blends well with neroli, palmarosa and other citrusy scents, peppermint, spearmint and elemi.
Simple Disinfecting Soap
Great for disinfecting counters and surfaces!
¼ c castile soap
¼ c isopropyl alcohol
10 drops lemon
10 drops lemon verbena
10 drops lavender
20 drops orange
Combine everything together and add to a pump bottle. To use, pump out a small amount on a damp cloth and wipe down surfaces.
Lemon Verbena Insect Repellent
½ c witch hazel
10 drops lemon verbena
10 drops citronella
10 drops geranium
10 drops peppermint
Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake well before spritzing around for mozzies, flies and other insects.
For more insect deterrent recipes, read Natural Insect Repellents.
Muscle Rub For Pain & Inflammation
3 drops turmeric
3 drops ginger
5 drops lemon verbena
2 T grapeseed oil or other carrier oil of choice
Combine all ingredients, mix well and then massage in.