Lemon myrtle has been used across several dishes in several cuisines for its distinct aroma and flavor. Native to Australia, lemon myrtle benefits your health by reducing acne and pimples, boosting your immune system, and fighting infectious diseases. In this article, we take a look at the several benefits of lemon myrtle and a few recipes you can try at home.
In This Article
Lemon Myrtle – A Brief
Lemon myrtle, (Backhousia citriodora) is basically a flowering plant, native to Australia. This lemon myrtle tree grows up to a height of 60 feet. Other common names are sweet verbena tree, sweet verbena myrtle, lemon scented verbena, and lemon scented backhousia (1).
As the names say, it is heavily aromatic and has a characteristic taste. It contains about 90-98% of citral. It also contains minerals like calcium, zinc and magnesium in good amounts., as well as vitamins A and E.
Lemon myrtle is used in food to enhance flavour and aroma. It is used in making dips, sauces, salads, curries and cooking chicken, fish, prawns, etc. It is also used in confectionaries for making breads, cakes, desserts, etc.
Apart from food it is used in skin care products like lotions, lip balms, etc. It is also used in hair care products like shampoos and conditioners. It is widely used as beverages like tea due to its therapeutic values.
Benefits of Lemon Myrtle
1. Sinus Infection
If you are having sinusitis problem, then Lemon myrtle oil can be of great help. This is because lemon myrtle has anti-inflammatory properties that help in reducing the inflammation of the nasal passage while its anti- infection property combats infection that causes sinus problem.
Lemon myrtle essential oil has been found effective in the treatment of bronchitis. Since bronchitis is the inflammation of the mucous membrane in the bronchial passage, the use of lemon myrtle oil can reduce the inflammation as well as fight the infection, which is the cause of bronchitis.
3. Indigestion And Irritable Gastrointestinal Disorders
Lemon myrtle has been found helpful in treating indigestion and gastrointestinal disorders like bloating, etc. Certain properties of lemon myrtle help in stimulating the digestion process. You can consume lemon myrtle in oil form, grounded form, as a spice or tea.
Lemon myrtle juice helps promote digestion and relieve stomach cramps. It contains pectin, which aids in the breakdown of food into smaller particles that can easily pass through the digestive system. Pectin also promotes healthy intestinal flora.
4. Molluscum Contagious
Molluscum contagious is a viral infection of the skin that causes red colored bumps or lesions on the skin. Studies have shown that Lemon Myrtle is a natural way of treating molluscum contagious. The anti-viral property of lemon myrtle makes it a remedy to treat molluscum contagious.
5. Sore Throat
A sore throat can be very painful and hard to bear. The antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of lemon myrtle help in treating sore throat by killing bacteria and reducing inflammation. You can take lemon myrtle essential oil with honey for relief from sore throat.
Acne is a big problem, especially for girls. Lemon myrtle is a wonderful natural remedy for acne problem. It is helpful in treating oily skin that is one of the main causes of acne. Use of lemon myrtle essential oil can help you in getting rid of acne. You can add its oil in your lotion also.
Lemon myrtle can be your stress reliever. It provides a calming effect by inducing better sleep, promoting relaxation, filling you with positive feelings, etc. You can massage your foot with lemon myrtle oil. It can be added in aromatic lamps as its aroma soothes the mind and uplifts the mood.
8. Oral Health
Lemon myrtle can be helpful in treating oral health issues like ulcers, irritation, tooth problems, etc. The use of this herb cleanses the mouth thus providing protection from various infection causing bacteria and viruses. You can add lemon myrtle powder in your toothpaste for regular use. It can also be used in tea.
9. Boosts Immune System
A healthy immune system means fewer health issues because of a stronger immune system that is vital to combat diseases. Consumption of lemon myrtle strengthens your immune system, thus providing you protection against several health issues. You can use lemon myrtle in the form of tea, powder or oil for benefitting your immune system.
Lemon myrtle has antioxidant properties that eliminate free radicals from your system. Free radicals are linked to cell and DNA damage and may cause diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, tumors, heart diseases, etc.
11. Fights Bad Odor
The refreshing aroma of lemon myrtle helps you in getting rid of bad body odor and bad breath. Its anti-microbial property prevents body odor by killing odor causing microbes. You can add lemon myrtle oil to your bathtub or apply a few drops of it to your body. To get rid of bad breath, you can add a few drops of lemon myrtle oil to water and gargle it.
If you are troubled by headache, lemon myrtle can help in providing relief. The soothing aroma of lemon myrtle causes headache. You can inhale steam by adding lemon myrtle for a headache remedy. Another way of treating headache is to massage your temples with lemon myrtle essential oil.
13. Athlete’s Foot
Athlete’s foot is a fungal skin infection, which causes scaly, red itchiness in the foot sole and between toes. The anti-fungal property of lemon myrtle fights this infection by killing such fungus.
Lemon myrtle helps in combating asthma. Asthma is a lung disease in which the air passage swells and narrows causing difficulty in breathing. Steaming with lemon myrtle in water can be helpful in easing asthma problems.
15. Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid Arthritis is one of the common bone joint problems faced by people. It is an inflammatory disorder that results in painfully swelled joints. The anti-inflammatory property of lemon myrtle helps in reducing inflammation and gives relief. In case of rheumatoid arthritis, you can massage your joints with lemon myrtle essential oil for relief.
Cramp can be defined as an involuntary muscle contraction which causes pain. Lemon Myrtle helps in reducing the muscle cramps and menstrual cramps. The chemicals found in it help the muscles to relax, thus reducing the cramp to a significant extent.
17. Insect Bites
Lemon myrtle oil can be used to treat insect bites. Its application soothes the affected area and also reduces inflammation. Lemon myrtle can also be added to any lotion to prevent insect bites as it acts as an insect repellant because of its strong aroma.
18. Better Sleep
Lemon myrtle is particularly beneficial for those who cannot sleep peacefully. The relaxing effect of this herb can calm your mind and promote peaceful sleeping. For this purpose you can bath by adding lemon myrtle oil in a bathtub before going to sleep or drink lemon myrtle tea before bed.
19. Influenza/ Flu
The anti-viral property of lemon myrtle helps in treating influenza as well. Taking steam with few drops of lemon myrtle oil or leaves may help you in fighting influenza.
20. Elimination Of Accumulated Mucus And Phlegm
Sometimes our body starts producing excess mucus and phlegm due to cold, flu or infection. This phlegm accumulates in the lungs and respiratory passage causing difficulty in breathing. Steaming with a few drops of lemon myrtle oil in water can be helpful in this regard by eliminating excess accumulated phlegm and mucus.
Recipes With Lemon Myrtle
As stated above, lemon myrtle not only provides an array of health benefits but also imparts a distinct taste and aroma to your dishes. Given below are a few lemon myrtle recipes that you can try.
1. Lemon Myrtle Cheesecake:
This yummy cheesecake combines the flavor of lemon myrtle and the crunchiness of nuts. It can be used as a dessert.
Ingredients For Base:
- 1 Tablespoon Wattle seed
- 1 cup plain flour
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup macadamia nuts
- 120 ml Macadamia Oil
Ingredients For Filling:
- 2 Tablespoons Lemon Myrtle
- 500 gm cream cheese
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs.
- Blend all the above-given base ingredients and bake them in a preheated oven at 180 degrees.
- After baking, let this crust rest until it cools down at room temperature.
- Now blend all the filling ingredients until the batter gets fluffy and smooth.
- Pour this batter into the crust and bake again for 20 minutes.
2. Lemon Myrtle And Macadamia Biscuits Recipe:
Biscuits are light and easy snacks to have in between meals. And when they are prepared from lemon myrtle you get a bonus of health benefits. You can prepare these biscuits trying this simple recipe given below.
- 200 g margarine
- 100 g white sugar
- 225 g macadamias, whole or chopped
- 225 g self-raised flour
- 1 tsp ground lemon myrtle
- Blend margarine and butter.
- Add macadamias and mix until they distribute evenly in the mixture.
- Add ground lemon myrtle and flour to make the resulting mixture crumbled, sticky and easily mouldable.
- Make flat balls using this mixture and bake them for 15-20 minutes until you get golden brown colored biscuits.
3. Crispy Prawns With Lemon Myrtle:
If you thought lemon myrtle can only be used in desserts, you can have a look at this recipe of prawns cooked in a lemon myrtle powder!
- One tablespoon Lemon Myrtle Ground
- One teaspoon Paprika Smoked, Sweet
- Chilli Powder, optional
- 1/2 cup cooking oil
- Two fresh chillies, finely chopped
- Lime wedges for serving
- Toss or marinate the prawns with a mixture of rice flour, lemon myrtle powder, paprika, chilli powder and salt.
- Heat oil in a frying pan and cook the prawns until they become crispy.
- Drain on an oil absorbent paper and serve hot with lemon wedges.
4. Lemon Myrtle Iced Tea:
This aromatic tea is a tasty and healthy alternative to your regular tea. Given below is the recipe.
- Lemon myrtle leaves
- Water for boiling
- Sugar or honey
- Boil lemon myrtle leaves in water for 10 minutes.
- Let the boiled water rest until the leaves get infused.
- Strain the water and add sugar or honey for sweetening.
- Dilute with water if necessary, add few drops of lemon juice and served chilled by adding ice to it.
5. Lemon Myrtle Chicken:
If you are a chicken lover, you can try out this exotic dish using lemon myrtle for your meals.
- 6 large cloves garlic
- 6 sprigs fresh lemon myrtle
- 6 chicken thigh chops
- 60 ml olive oil
- 60 ml chicken stock
- 1 lime/lemon
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Grind lemon myrtle sprigs and garlic cloves in olive oil.
- Marinate the chicken pieces with this ground paste for at least 10 minutes.
- Heat some oil in a pan and fry the chicken until it turns golden brown in colour.
- Add chicken stock and lime or lemon. Cook for 20 minutes and serve hot.
6. Lemon Myrtle Shortbread:
This crispy bread will definitely please your taste buds. Given below is the recipe for lemon myrtle shortbread.
- 2 cups plain flour
- 2 tablespoons rice flour
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon Ground Lemon Myrtle (or 2 tsp if you prefer stronger flavour)
- 220 g unsalted butter softened
- Sieve all the ingredients except butter.
- Mix them well.
- Then add butter and make small balls.
- Now roll these balls flat (1cm).
- You can give the desired shape to these by using a cutter.
- After this, put them on a baking tray or use baking paper or grease tray.
- Bake them at 60°C for 25- 30 minutes.
- Serve them when they cool down.
7. Spicy Lemon Yogurt Dip:
Here is the recipe for a yummy spicy lemon yogurt dip which you can have with breads, fish, prawns etc.
- 400 g Greek yogurt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp crushed lemon myrtle
- Grilled strips pitta bread, to serve
- Take yogurt in a bowl and blend well.
- Add black pepper powder, lemon myrtle and mix well.
- Serve the dip with grilled bread strips.
Lemon myrtle adds a dash of enticing aroma and flavor to many savory dishes. It is loaded with beneficial nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. This rich nutritional profile helps promote overall health. Lemon myrtle benefits are many. It eases gastrointestinal issues, helps relieve depression, and helps you sleep. It boosts immunity and oral health. Lemon myrtle may also help ease respiratory issues such as bronchitis and flu and clear up the respiratory tract. However, overuse may have unpleasant side effects. If you experience any adverse effects, limit its use and seek medical advice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does lemon myrtle have healing properties?
Yes. Lemon myrtle has antibacterial, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties that help heal many health issues.
Is lemon myrtle poisonous?
No. Lemon myrtle is safe to consume and is packed with many beneficial properties.
Is lemon myrtle a superfood?
While the nutritional profile of lemon myrtle is impressive, it is not considered a superfood.