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Overview

Lemon Myrtle (Backhousia citriodora) is a Queensland rainforest tree growing to 8 metres in height, although if regularly pruned it can be kept to bush size and is therefore suitable for home gardens. Lemon myrtle leaves, growing to 10cm in length, are rich in lemon oil.

Citral accounts for over 90% of the plants essential oil (note: lemons have approximately 3% citral).

Lemon myrtle has an abundance of uses. Its leaves can be used fresh or dried and the oil can be extracted through distillation. Fresh or ground dried Lemon myrtle leaf has endless applications in sweet or savoury dishes and drinks.

History

Backhousia citriodora was named by Baron Ferdinand von Müller in 1853 after James Backhouse (1794-1869), an English nurseryman and keen botany collector. Backhouse was an early Quaker missionary who visited Australia in 1832-8, making observations of Australian flora and fauna as well as writing about Australian society at the time.

In 1889 Joseph H. Maiden reported the potential use of Lemon Myrtle for commercial production and Schimmel & Co analysed the species in 1888 for chemical properties identifying citral for the first time.

Benefits

The high levels of citral in the leaves is noteworthy, as citral is a component that has been found to relieve cramps, spasms, rheumatism, headaches, fevers and have an anti-cancer effect.

Studies have shown that the citral can inhibit the growth of Helicobacter pylori, the pathogen that has been found to be a cause of ulcers and other gastroduodenal diseases.

Lemon myrtle also has been found to be beneficial to muscles and connective tissue, for reducing cellulite, and to strengthen the immune system.

Nutritional Profile

Lemon Myrtle is a unique rain forest tree that contains essential oils with very high qualities. This product contains high amounts of potassium, sodium and an abundance of trace elements.

High quality lemon myrtle oil will have a higher amount of potassium in it. The higher the mineral content in a plant the more energy can be produced from it.

Disclaimer

All essential oils in their strong pure form can be poisonous or toxic, essential oils have very high medicinal qualities but should be handed according to the directions.

The information provided is for educational purposes only and must not be taken or interpreted as a suggestion or as medical advise.

If you have any medical conditions, you should consult your health care professional.

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