I recently found my new love and it’s in lemon myrtle. Several months ago, I bought a bottle of Australia made organic lemon myrtle body wash and I got hooked on the scent of lemon myrtle.
A few days ago, I bought a box of lemon myrtle tea and now I am totally hooked on it, so much that I have to have a cup or two of lemon myrtle tea every day!
About Lemon Myrtle
The botanical name of lemon myrtle is backhousia citriodora. Indigenous to Queensland, it is a rainforest tree that grows to heights of up to 8 metres. Young lemon myrtles, if regularly pruned, can be used as decorative bushes and are very commonly found in Brisbane suburbs and other parts of Queensland, where they are cultivated for their lovely white flowers and delicate lemon scent. They are also grown commercially for their high citral (lemon oil) content, which is extracted by a steam distillation process. The oil is used in a variety of cleaning and other products.
Lemon myrtle has a scent very, very similar to Lemongrass and its cousin, Citronella. Lemon myrtle is considered to have a ‘cleaner, sweeter and stronger’ aroma than comparable sources of citral–lemongrass.
Health Benefits of Lemon Myrtle Tea
The key ingredient in lemon myrtle is the high concentration of citral in its leaves. Citral comprises 90-98% of the essential oils in lemon myrtle, as opposed to less than 10% in lemons and limes. Some of the characteristics of citral include:
Citral is an anti-fungal agent.
Citral is non-acidic
Citral is high in anti-oxidants.
The list of reputed health benefits of lemon myrtle tea is voluminous. Just some of the disorders it is said to be able to relieve include muscle cramps and spasms, rheumatism, headaches and fevers. Scientific studies have indicated that citral can inhibit the growth of the pathogen which is one of the causes of many gastro-duodenal diseases, including ulcers. It is also said to aid in the reduction of cellulite and the anti-oxidants in citral help boost the immune system. A pleasant tasting tea, it is used alone or in combination with green tea as a caffeine free replacement for coffee and black tea.
Due to the high concentration of citral found in lemon myrtle oil, lemon myrtle has a wide variety of applications in medicine. According to the “Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine,” lemon myrtle can help treat sinus infections, bronchitis, fatigue, depression, common cold, influenza, raw throat, indigestion and irritable gastrointestinal disorders, allergies, dental infections, itching, athletes foot, acne and headaches.
The leaves and flowers of lemon myrtle are used in tea blends and beverages, biscuits, breads, confectionery, pasta, syrups, liqueurs, flavored oils, packaged fish (salmon), and dipping and simmer sauces.
The leaf paste, essential oil, and hydrosols have antibacterial and antifungal activity against Staphylococcus aureus , Escherichia coli , Pseudomonas aeruginosa , Candida albicans , methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), Aspergillus niger , Klebsiella pneumonia , and Propionibacterium acnes .
Clinical research, however, does not support the use of lemon myrtle to treat the above medical conditions. You should, therefore, speak with a medical professional before using lemon myrtle as a health supplement to treat a specific medical condition.