The Lemon Myrtle Tree (Backhousia citriodora) was prized by the Australian Aborigines for its healing properties and for use in cooking. The leaves and oil have a distinct refreshing lemon scent from the citral terpenes in its essential oil.
Lemon Myrtle has been found to contain the highest citral purity of all citral containing essential oils. The tree is native to Australia and grows wild and is cultivated for its leaf for tea and cooking, and for its valuable essential oil. Lemon Myrtle has been found to contain vitamins A and E and impressive amounts of the minerals calcium, magnesium, and zinc.It is also known for its anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-oxidant properties.
Lemon Myrtle is useful for flavoring food and for making a relaxing cup of tea, add it to salads, stir fries, curries, pasta sauce, spice mixes, tea blends.
Lemon Myrtle has been found to have the following health benefits:
1. Stress and Insomnia:
Due to its relaxing properties, lemon myrtle has been found to help in cases of stress and poor sleep. A cup of lemon myrtle tea before bed and/or the use of lemon myrtle oil bath salts in the bath before bed can help improve your sleep.
2. Sinus and Bronchitis Infection:
Lemon myrtle has been found to have anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties which makes it great for helping to beat Sinus and Bronchitis infections. The anti-inflammatory properties help with the inflammation of the nasal cavity and bronchial tubes and the anti-microbial properties help clear the infection so the body can heal itself.
3. Sore Throat
The anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properites of lemon myrtle tea are great for treating a sore throat. A tincture can be made with some high proof alcohol like vodka which is then gargled at the first signs of a sore throat. The alcohol is also useful for killing any bugs hiding back there as well. The tea can also be used as a gargle after it cools.
4. Pimples and Acne:
Lemon Myrtle is useful for helping to clear annoying pimples and acne from the face and body. It helps with keeping the skin clean and reducing the amount of oil that is produced by the skin. The anti-microbial and anti-inflamitory properties are excellent for killing the bugs which are causing the pores to get infected and reducing the inflammation which they cause. A tea can be made and allowed to cool till it is luke warm, then Celtic sea salt or normal sea salt is added to the water and used as a face wash.
5. Strengthening your immune system:
Lemon Myrtle has been found to be beneficial in boosting the immune system and helping to keeping colds and flu at bay. The body is working hard to protect you from infection everyday and so the immune boosting properties of lemon myrtle are of great value in helping with this. Drink the tea during the colder months to help keep yourself free of nasty bugs.
6. Molluscum Contagiosum Virus
The anti-viral properties of Lemon Myrtle have been shown in studies to be beneficial for helping to treat the Molluscum Contagiosum Virus, a disease affecting children and immune-compromised patients. A 10% strength lemon myrtle
oil was used to treat 16 patients and nine of them showed a significant improvement compared to none in the control
group (Burke et.al. 2004).
7. Antioxidant Effects
The antioxidant properties of Lemon Myrtle are useful for scavenging free radicals in your body which prevents oxidative damage to your cells.
9. Odor Fighting Properties
The anti-microbial properties and refreshing lemon scent help get rid of bad odors on your body and in your environment. It can be used in an air freshener or the oil can be diffused or burnt to purify the air and give it a lovely lemon scent. The oil or tea can be added to sea salt and used as a gargle or body wash to help with bad breath or body odor.
10. Insect Bites
Lemon myrtle is useful both as a preventative and treatment for insect bites, the smell repels the bugs and the anti-microbial and anti-inflamitory properties help with treating bites and stings.
Burke, B. E.; Baillie, J. E. & Olson, R. D. (2004), "Essential oil of Australian lemon myrtle (Backhousia citriodora) in the treatment of molluscum contagiosum in children", Biomed Pharmacother., 58 (4): 245–247, doi:10.1016/j.biopha.2003.11.006, PMID 15183850