Lemon Verbena Tea (AKA Vervain)


Lemon Verbena (Vervain) is a lemon-scented herb that can add a punch of flavour to any dish or make for a delicious and healthy cup of tea. It’s thought to aid with digestion and recovery, and our 100% Organic Lemon Verbena goes great with Sideritis Scardica.

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  • Type: Loose Leaf Tea
  • Quantity: 20 grams (20 to 25 cups cups)
  • Origin: Greece
  • Organic: Yes
  • Brew Tips: Use 2 teaspoons per cup & steep for 5 to 10 minutes (adjust brewing time and quantity for stronger/weaker tea).

The lemon verbena, or “vervain”, plant is native to South America but is also grown throughout the Mediterranean. Here in the United Kingdom, it’s relatively unknown, but in Southern Europe and South America, it is used to flavour foods and beverages and to make tea.

Lemon verbena is a medicinal herb said to provide an array of health benefits, and its mild, citrusy flavour means it also works great when added to other herbs and plants. We added it to the Shelgo Tea Catnap blend (which you can find here) because it imparts a fresh, lemony taste, not unlike the taste you would get from adding a wedge of fresh lemon, and it also works in perfect synergy with the other herbs in that blend.

Read More: Benefits of Lemon Verbena Tea

The Health Benefits of Lemon Verbena

Shelgo Tea Lemon Verbena

Lemon verbena contains a high concentration of antioxidants, which are said to provide many of the health benefits. We like to take a neutral stance here on Shelgo Tea, even with herbs that we sell ourselves, but a lot of research backs up many of the claims made about lemon verbena, including:

1. It May Help You Lose Weight

Some evidence suggests that lemon verbena could be useful in the treatment of obesity. In one study, lemon verbena was able to increase fatty acid oxidation and decrease lipogenesis, suggesting that it could help to reduce body fat (1).

These effects were slight, possibly too slight to be make a difference to the average user when consumed in standard doses. But there is also evidence to suggest that lemon verbena could be used to prolong feelings of fullness in overweight men and women, essentially curbing the appetite and decreasing the number of calories consumed (2).

2. It Can Improve Cardiovascular Health

The study that suggested lemon verbena could be effective as an appetite suppressant also reported a decrease in blood pressure and heart rate in patients who had been given the herb.

Lemon verbena has actually been used as a traditional remedy for high blood pressure, stress, and anxiety for hundreds of years, and it’s something that other studies have touched upon.

3. It Can Reduce Inflammation

Lemon verbena is said to possess unique anti-inflammatory properties, ones that may offer some benefits to people suffering from joint pain and inflammatory disorders (3).

This is actually true for many herbs and it’s a topic we have touched on before, most notably when discussing the benefits of Greek mountain tea, but also in our literature on nettle tea and dandelion tea.

It all boils down to their high concentration of antioxidants, which may help with a plethora of age-related diseases and inflammatory conditions (4), including arthritis.

Organic Lemon Verbena Tea

4. It Can Help You Recover and Build Muscle

This is one of the more surprising benefits of lemon verbena, but it all relates to those anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that we discussed above.

Antioxidant compounds reduce oxidative stress, while anti-inflammatories can limit the damage caused by strenuous exercise. A 2016 study tested this theory on a group of healthy men and women (5). They gave half of the participants a lemon verbena extract for 15 days and tested several key markers before and after exercise.

They noted that the lemon verbena group suffered from less muscle damage and experienced a faster recovery. Their muscle strength remained greater during and after exercise and there were fewer complaints of muscle pain afterwards.

5. It May Help in the Fight Against Cancer

Every herb and every plant is being listed as anti-cancerous these days. But while it is important not to read too much into these claims, there could be something to them.

In the case of plants like dandelion and sideritis tea, some evidence suggests that they can have a direct impact on the growth of cancer cells, but in most cases it’s all about the antioxidant content.

A diet rich in antioxidants is thought to reduce the risk of cancer, and plants like lemon verbena contain a lot of these compounds in the form of polyphenols. These antioxidants reduce oxidative stress (6), which in turn may help to reduce the risk of many life-threatening diseases. These compounds are also the ones responsible for reducing inflammation and can be found in abundance in nature.

Drinking lemon verbena is not going to prevent cancer from ever developing, nor will it stop cancer in its tracks. Scientists have yet to discover anything—natural or otherwise—that can work as well and as consistently. But a diet rich in polyphenols may help reduce the threat.

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Read More: Questions About Lemon Verbena Tea

Does Lemon Verbena Contain Caffeine?

This plant is completely caffeine free. However, it is often used as a flavouring in caffeinated drinks and alcoholic drinks, and extracts, powders, and other preparations may be prepared using alcohols and solvents. It’s always worth checking the label and making sure you get nothing but 100% organic lemon verbena leaf, as found in CatNap and our gift packs (see here).

What Does Lemon Verbena Contain?

This fragrant herb contains a high concentration of polyphenols, also known as antioxidants. As discussed already, these compounds provide most of the health benefits of lemon verbena.

They include:

  • Citral
  • Luteolin
  • Verbascoside
  • Eucalyptol
  • Sulcatone
  • Geranial

Lemon Verbena Benefits

Other Benefits

There is a lot more anecdotal evidence out there concerning additional health benefits of lemon verbena, but very little scientific evidence backs these up. One of the most common claims is that lemon verbena can help with indigestion and other digestive issues.

Very few studies suggest lemon verbena can help with digestion, but equally few studies suggest anything to the contrary. It’s one of those things that you have to figure out yourself. It might work for you, it might not. A lot of people certainly swear by lemon verbena as a digestive aid, but plenty of other people say that it had no effect.

Drinking herbal tea after a big meal does seem to have some effect on digestion, and the addition of lemon verbena’s unique antioxidant and antimicrobial compounds may help reduce such issues further. But it’s definitely not something we can say with absolute certainty.

Side Effects

Lemon verbena is generally well tolerated and does not produce side effects when consumed in moderation. However, excessive consumption may cause nausea, and caution is also advised with:

  • Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women: Consult your doctor before drinking lemon verbena tea, as the effects on pregnant women have not been well researched. That doesn’t mean it is unsafe, but rather that we don’t know for certain that it is safe.
  • Patients with Kidney Disease: It has been known to cause increased kidney irritation in patients with an existing kidney disease and should therefore be avoided by anyone with kidney problems.
  • Allergies: If you are allergic to this herb or to any herbs in the same family then you should avoid consuming it.

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Additional information

Weight20 g
Used For

Detox, Digestion, Recovery