Scientific name: Aloysia Citradora
Aloysia citrodora, known as lemon verbena, citron, cedrón or verbena, is a plant in the Verbenaceae family native to South America. It is cultivated as an ornamental plant and for its medicinal properties.
The leaves of the lemon verbena are rich in an essential oil, whose main component is citral, responsible for its aroma, and which also contains limonene, linalol, cineol, terpineol, and caryophyllene, a sesquiterpene aldehyde that is attributed to euppetic and spasmolytic action.
Aloysia citrodora extracts are rich in phenylpropanoids, especially verbascoside, which have biological activity as antioxidants.
Its infusion (made with between 5 and 20 grams per liter) is used as a digestive, carminative and antispasmodic, in cases of dyspepsia or stomach pain. It is also consumed as a sedative and muscle relaxant. It has a significant amount of melatonin, a substance that is used as a natural relaxant and that greatly favors night sleep.
The items used in infusion are collected twice a year, in late spring and early fall. Young leaves and flowering tops are used.
In Argentina it is an official medicinal plant, it has a monograph in the Argentine National Pharmacopoeia, VI edition.
Supplementation with Aloysia citrodora extract protects neutrophils from oxidative damage, decreasing markers of muscle damage caused by physical exercise.
The extract of this PLX plant shows antioxidant properties that can play an important role in protecting against oxidative stress caused by intense physical exercise.
The dried and chopped leaves are used in marinades, dressings and sauces to give a touch of citrus aroma. An aromatic sorbet and a digestive and refreshing infusion are also made with it. In Paraguay and Northeast Argentina it is used in tereré and mate, while in the rest of Argentina and Uruguay it is one of the herbs with which mate can be flavored. In turn, it is used as an infusion by itself.