Superfood Spotlight: Lemon Myrtle - History, Benefits, and Recipes

Superfood Spotlight: Lemon Myrtle - History, Benefits, and Recipes

They say when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. But when life gives you lemon myrtle, you can make anything you want! From essential oils to food & beverages, and even skincare products.

Lemon myrtle is a flowering tree that’s native to the rainforest areas of New South Wales and coastal Queensland. They have long and fragrant dark green leaves which you can smell from a few feet away. The plant also has creamy white blossoms with eyelash-like stems shooting out from the flowers. Take a whiff of these petals and you’ll smell a pure lemony aroma right away.

The tree is not really particular with seasons, so matured leaves are harvested all year round. The leaves are normally dried and then milled so they can be either brewed to make tea or steam distilled to extract the essential oils.

The milled leaves and flowers can also be used as an ingredient or flavour additive for different beverages and food recipes.

History of Lemon Myrtle

Lemon myrtle, or Backhousia citriodora in the scientific world, was first used by the indigenous tribes in Australia thousands of years ago. Its leaves were used as herbal medicine for various diseases or antiseptic paste to help heal wounds.

It was only until 1889 when Joseph H. Maiden wrote about the potential of lemon myrtle in the commercial production space. Decades later, beverage company Tarax first used the lemon myrtle leaves to make lemonade flavour for one of their products.

Lemon myrtle and its leaf oils were introduced to the world as an export product during the 2000 Sydney Olympics. The organizers of the Olympics thought that the event would serve as a great platform to introduce Australia’s homegrown and native products like lemon myrtle. Then it took off from there.

As the demand for this superfood grew, commercial lemon myrtle farms began to sprout not only here in Australia but also in other countries like South Africa, the United States, and in southern parts of Europe.

Health Benefits of Lemon Myrtle

Lemon myrtle leaves are the heart and soul of this superfood. They contain 90-95% citral which is the highest among all citrus herbs and fruits. Yeah, even lemon.

Citral is known for its antiviral, antibacterial and antiseptic properties and that’s why there’s no doubt that lemon myrtle is good for your body. Below are only some of the health benefits that you can get from this superfood.

1. Treats and prevents bacterial infections

Certain compounds of the lemon myrtle can kill bacteria and reduce inflammation to treat bacterial infections like a sore throat. If you find yourself having a hard time swallowing or eating, lemon myrtle can be a good remedy. You can drink lemon myrtle tea with honey to relieve you from strep throat.

2. Helps treat skin-deep wounds

As we’ve mentioned earlier, lemon myrtle was used thousands of years ago by the indigenous people to treat wounds. Up until today, you can treat simple cuts or wounds with lemon myrtle.

That’s because of the antiseptic properties of citral, which is the main compound in lemon myrtle essential oils.

3. Helps you get rid of the flu

If you’re feeling under the weather, one thing you can do is to take steam from water with a few drops of lemon myrtle essential oil. This superfood has anti-viral properties which help prevent viruses from attacking your immune system.

4. Flushes the free radicals out of your body

Lemon myrtle is rich in antioxidants. These antioxidants can get rid of the free radicals that cause damage to your cells to promote a healthier body.

5. Boosts your immune system

Since lemon myrtle contains the highest amount of citral, it’s also naturally rich in Vitamin C. 

Vitamin C, as you already know, is one of the key factors in keeping your immune system in tiptop shape. It also helps in iron absorption which the body needed to repair its tissues and muscles.

Easy and Tasty Lemon Myrtle Recipes

Lemon Myrtle Ice Tea


Lemon myrtle leaves






1. Brew the dried leaves in water for about 10 minutes.

2. Set it aside.

3. Use a strainer to separate the tea from the leaves.

4. Sweeten it with honey, to taste. If the flavour is too strong for you, you can dilute it with water.

5. Squeeze some lemon juice in it. Best served cold so drop some ice!


Lemon Myrtle Biscuits


250g raw sugar or 4 teaspoons of honey

4 eggs

500g self-raising flour

250g butter

25g ground lemon myrtle leaves


1. Mix sugar and butter in one bowl.

2. Crack the eggs into the bowl, one at a time. Mix.

3. In a separate bowl, sift the flour then throw in the lemon myrtle ground leaves.

4. Pour the flour and lemon myrtle mix onto the first bow with eggs, butter, and sugar.

5. Mix them all until you make a dough, but don’t over mix.

6. Roll the dough into a tiny ball the size of a walnut. Then arrange them on a greased baking tray.

7. Press each ball flat with a fork.

8. Into the oven they go. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

9. Let it cool.

10. Put them inside an airtight cookie jar!


Lemon Myrtle Calamari


1 tsp ground leaves of lemon myrtle

1 cup of flour

2 tbsp of cornflour

20mL macadamia nut oil

50g butter

1½ tsp saltbush

1½ tsp mountain pepper leaf

1 tsp Pepperberry sea salt

Calamari rings


1. Create your batter by mixing lemon myrtle, plain flour and cornflour altogether.

2. Roll the calamari rings into your batter.

3. Pan in. Put the nut oil and butter in. Then heat up.

4. Pepper the oil with the saltbush, pepper leaf and sea salt.

5. After 30 seconds, fry the rings until golden brown. Best served hot!


Grab Some Lemon Myrtle for Youself

If you’re looking to replenish your superfoods corner, you might want to add our Lemon Myrtle products to your stash.

Our organic Australian Lemon Myrtle Tea can make a relaxing cup of tea. You’ll like it even though you’re not a big fan of the beverage because it’s not bitter at all. Its lemony flavour can make you forget you’re drinking tea. Brew a cup either to power up your mornings or end a tiring day with a nice and warm cuppa.

We also got Lemon Myrtle Tincture which you can use to add a lemony or tangy flavour to any of your recipes. From tea to smoothies, coffee, tea blends, and more. If you prefer straight-from-the-dropper goodness, drop a few under your tongue to get the most out of the tincture.

You can get them both here at Superfoods Australia. We also offer other superfoods we’re sure you’ll like so make sure to check them out!

We can deliver them straight to you wherever you are in Australia. And we’ll do it for free for orders above $100. We accept Afterpay and ZipPay for faster and smoother transactions.