This insightful tutorial about growing and using Lemon Verbena in a homesteading kitchen will take you from drinkable tea to herbal medicine tinctures.
Herbs have been used by cooks and chefs all over the world as a way to enhance the flavor of meats, soups and gravies. These herbs are made mostly from the leaves of the plants which are dried and added before, during and some after the food is prepared when it is being served.
The leaves come from Lemon Verbena Plant which are native to parts of South America and exported to Europe back sometime during the 17th century. The Lemon Verbena Plant is a type of shrub that grows upwards of 20 feet and its leaves have a glossy appearance, but are actually somewhat rough to the touch.
The leaves have a pungent odor of lemon and when it is flowering, it presents blooms of white and or purple. The plant is very sensitive to temperature and will drop its leave if it gets at or below 32°F or 0°C.
There are many different benefits that have been derived from the leaves of the Lemon Verbena Plant. Below is just small list of many benefits that can found when using the Lemon Verbena Plant in several of its forms:
● Its powerful antioxidant properties are often used for medicinal purposes
● The leaves, when dried are used as a herb for its lemon flavor
● The leaves can be used as a tea or flavoring for tea
● The essential oils derived from extracts have numerous uses
Common Uses of the Lemon Verbena Plant
The leaves of the Lemon Verbena Plant are used as an herb and when added to certain dishes it gives it a lemony flavor. As an herb, it is often used with poultry and fish. It is added to popular marinades for fresh vegetables and also homemade dressings. Lemon Verbena leaves have also been used in yogurts, puddings and other desserts. The lemon flavor of Lemon Verbena leaves have been used to garnish drinks. Lemon Verbena is also used for herbal tea and added to regular tea for its lemon flavor.
Antioxidants have been playing an increasing role in today’s health consciousness. Lemon Verbena extract contains a very potent antioxidant and can be found in many different supplements on the market. The extract from the Lemon Verbena Plant have also found their way into cosmetics and also foods. Essential oils made from Lemon Verbena are commonly used in making fragrances.
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