Lemon verbena (Aloysia citrodora) is a common herb with many popular culinary uses due to its lovely citrus smell and flavor.
Many studies have shown it to have beneficial antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiparasitic effects. It also may help combat multiple sclerosis, obesity, and muscular damage that occurs after intense exercise.
The main chemical components in lemon verbena are:
- Verbascoside and luteolin ۷-diglucuronide – chemicals that protect against UVrays and wilting.
- Citral – a chemical that gives the plant its citrus smell and taste and has some antibacterial properties.
- Eucalyptol (۱,۸-cineole) – a chemical that soothes inflammation when applied on the skin.
- Geranial – an essential oil component with antibacterial properties.
- Sulcatone (۶-methyl-5-hepten-2-one) – a chemical used for flavoring.
Mechanisms of Action
Lemon verbena slows down fat buildup and creation by increasing adiponectin, a protein that controls fat break down.
The anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects of lemon verbena are due to the interaction of verbascoside with double layered cell membranes.
Verbascoside is found to localize near the boundary between water and the phospholipid membrane and decreases the particle size inside vesicles, fluid-filled membranes that transport particles in an out of cells