Verbena oil may be one of the lesser-known essential oils, but that shouldn’t detract from the wonderful qualities it brings to the formulation of modern-day aromatherapy, cosmetics and household goods. To truly understand this multifaceted oil, we must first go back to the 18th century, when it was first sighted. Read on to learn more about the history, uses and benefits of this majestic herbal ingredient…
The verbena plant (Aloysia citrodora) has its origins in the rainforests of 1700s Chile, before making its way around South America as a miracle cure for fever. Legend has it that verbena oil actually pre-dates this discovery, with the belief it was actually what the Ancient Egyptians called ‘Tears of Isis’. What we know for certain is that by the 1760s, verbena had been introduced to North Africa, Caribbean, Australia and Europe, where it was more commonly known as Devil’s Bane or Holy Herb.
Today, verbena is referred to variously as ‘lemon verbena’, ‘lemon beebrush’. It is a deciduous shrub that grows between five and 16-feet high in locations as far-flung as Morocco, Kenya, China and the Mediterranean. The oil produced by the verbena plant is typically yellow or green, and offers a fruity, citrus scent, hence its common epithet, lemon verbena.
In what is a complex and seasonally-dependent cultivation process, verbena becomes a costly product. This is because the extractions that take place during summer and autumn result in many undesirable citrals and a lower-quality of verbena oil, as opposed to spring yields, which provide a much greater percentage of desirable citrals. Post-extraction, a high-quality verbena oil will have a chemical composition combining several powerful antioxidant constituents, such as nerol, citral and verbascoside. Like other essential oils, verbena oil is extracted from the leaves of the plant by steam distillation.
Verbena oil is vibrant and multidimensional, and utilised mainly in medicinal products thanks to its restorative benefits. Here are just some of the many reasons this delightful oil may find its way into your home…
What better way to enjoy the lemon freshness of verbena than by applying it to your person? This is the thinking behind its inclusion in many homeware creations such as perfume, soap and body lotion. It also makes for a wonderful addition to candles and diffusers.
With its expectorant properties, verbena oil is often used to loosen phlegm, clear congestion and soothe the associated pain of a hacking cough. What’s more, the high citral content means it can often kill the bacteria found in mucus. Lovely!
One of the most popular uses of verbena is as an accompaniment in hot beverages. This is typically tea made from the dried leaves. The lemon freshness puts a great twist on a classic taste, while easing indigestion, cramps and general apathy.
The physical relief induced by verbena is well-established, but it has many mentally therapeutic benefits too. Verbena’s presence in body mists, massage oils, candles and diffusers can inspire and stimulate the mind, providing sweet relief from the lethargy and monotony of the daily grind.
Traditionally, verbena oil has been used to pep-up everything from fish and poultry to jams, dressings and drinks. Used like this, it will add a unique vibe to your dishes you are sure to remember!
Verbena’s naturally elevated antioxidant levels make it a fantastic element in muscle-soothing products. Many people apply the oil topically to ease the pain and tension that comes with aching muscles, to much-needed relief – whenever applying an oil topically, ensure it is diluted in a carrier oil.
And not least because of its low-calorie content! At a measly two calories per serving, lemon verbena tea works to stimulate metabolism, while other chemical compounds that make up the plant stave off the desire to snack between meals.
This plant oil is high in antiseptic content and emollient properties, making it a fantastic tonic for your skin. These dual benefits of verbena help to fight clogging within the pores as the oil penetrates deeply to soften and moisturise the skin.
It may not be known for its sensory-enhancing qualities, but verbena oil boosts libido. Used in massage oil, the sensuous action can melt away tension as the invigorating fragrance does its magic to heighten desire in the bedroom.
The presence of free radicals in the body can leave us susceptible to illness, as our cells must fight off oxidative stress. Verbena oil helps with the resistance, with its antioxidant properties, lowering stress by increasing white blood cell activity.
On top of all this, there are several other applications for which verbena oil is suited, including:
The Parks range includes lovingly crafted and sustainably sourced verbena essential oil candles, with an approximate burn time of over 50 hours, so you can enjoy the fresh scent for longer.
For a collection of candles, diffusers and home fragrances, visit the Parks homepage. Our products are carefully crafted using the highest-quality ingredients. For more information, call our helpful team today on 0208 830 6300.