Lemon verbena is an herb that comes from a species of flowing plants in the verbena family and it is commonly used in cooking to provide a lemony flavor to foods such as chicken, fish, and salads. Many people also prepare it in herbal teas. Some more adventurous people also use it as an herbal mouthwash.
Herbal Uses of the Verbena Plant
Verbena can be brewed into a delightful lemony herbal tea. To prepare this tea, you use only the leaves of the plant and not the flowers or stems. The leaves should be picked when they are fresh and still rigid. After picking them, they should be allowed to dry and then crushed into a semi-powdery form. Preparations from this plant can be used to create a breath freshening mouthwash. The recipe is quite simple. These ingredients are combined to make it:
3 cups of water
1oz. of fresh lemon verbena
1oz. of fresh peppermint leaves
1oz. of fresh rosemary
The plant elements of this recipe should be combined and then added to boiling water and then removed from the heat source in one or two minutes. After the herbal ingredients have steeped and the water is cooled, the plant elements should be filter out and the flavored water stored. It should be kept refrigerated for best results and some people suggest slightly warming the liquid before using it as a mouthwash. Extracts from this plant were once used as a skin cosmetic. This practice has stopped because some indications suggested that it may make skin more susceptible to damage from the sun's rays.
Culinary Uses of Verbena
The leaves of this plant can be used in cooking in either a dried or fresh form. They add a fresh lemony flavor to dishes in whatever form they are used. Some of the more common dishes made with elements of the verbena plant include lemon flavored bread pudding and sauces seasoned with elements from the plant. Lemon verbena is quite versatile, but is rarely used a medicinal herb. Its primary uses are as a flavoring additive in foods and in herbal teas.