Lemon Myrtle a diverse Australian native

Lemon Myrtle a diverse Australian native

Lemon myrtle (Backhousia citriodora) is an Australian native plant known for its strong lemon fragrance and flavour. It has been used for centuries by indigenous Australian communities for both culinary and medicinal purposes. Lemon myrtle leaves contain high levels of citral, a compound responsible for its distinct lemony aroma and taste.

Here are a few intersting facts about Lemon Myrtle:

  1. Native Australian Plant: Lemon myrtle (Backhousia citriodora) is a native Australian plant that primarily grows in the subtropical rainforests of Queensland and New South Wales. It is highly valued for its culinary and medicinal uses.

  2. Strong Lemon Fragrance: Lemon myrtle is renowned for its intense lemon fragrance, which is often described as a combination of lemon, lime, and lemongrass. Its leaves emit a powerful aroma when crushed or rubbed.

  3. High Essential Oil Content: Lemon myrtle leaves contain a significant amount of essential oil, which is responsible for its potent lemon scent and flavor. The essential oil extracted from lemon myrtle is known to have antimicrobial properties.

  4. Rich in Citral: Citral, a compound found abundantly in lemon myrtle, gives the plant its distinctive lemony aroma and taste. Lemon myrtle contains higher levels of citral compared to other citrus fruits like lemons and limes.

  5. Culinary Versatility: Lemon myrtle is a versatile ingredient in the kitchen. It can be used to flavor a wide range of dishes, including seafood, poultry, desserts, sauces, marinades, and beverages. Its strong lemon flavor adds a unique twist to various recipes.

  6. Medicinal Benefits: Lemon myrtle has been traditionally used by indigenous Australians for its medicinal properties. It is believed to possess antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory qualities. It has been used to support digestion, boost the immune system, and promote relaxation.

  7. Sustainable Crop: Lemon myrtle is considered an environmentally sustainable crop. The plant is hardy, resilient, and requires minimal chemical intervention for growth. Its leaves are harvested without damaging the plant, making it a renewable resource.

  8. Native Bushfood Industry: Lemon myrtle plays a significant role in Australia's native bushfood industry. It is cultivated commercially and used in a variety of products, such as teas, herbal blends, essential oils, spices, and skincare items.

  9. Cultivation and Harvesting: Lemon myrtle can be grown in both commercial plantations and domestic gardens. It prefers well-drained soil and a sunny location. The leaves are typically harvested by hand and then dried or processed for various applications.

  10. International Recognition: Lemon myrtle's unique flavor and aroma have gained international recognition and popularity. It is increasingly used in the culinary world, both in Australia and abroad, to enhance dishes and create new flavor combinations.

Culinary Uses:

  1. Flavouring: Lemon myrtle is commonly used as a flavouring agent in various dishes, desserts, and beverages. It's intense lemon flavour makes it a popular choice to add a citrusy twist to recipes.
  2. Herbal Tea: Lemon myrtle leaves can be brewed to make a refreshing and aromatic herbal tea. It can be enjoyed on its own or blended with other herbal teas.
  3. Seasoning: The dried and ground lemon myrtle leaves can be used as a versatile seasoning for savory dishes. It adds a vibrant lemony taste to marinades, sauces, dressings, and rubs.

Medicinal Uses:

  1. Digestive Aid: Lemon myrtle has traditionally been used to aid digestion and soothe gastrointestinal discomfort. It is believed to possess anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
  2. Immune Booster: Due to its high content of antioxidants, lemon myrtle is considered beneficial for supporting the immune system and fighting off free radicals.
  3. Relaxation and Sleep: The lemony aroma of lemon myrtle is often utilized in aromatherapy for its calming and relaxing effects. It is believed to promote a sense of tranquillity and aid in better sleep.

Other Uses:

  1. Skincare: Lemon myrtle is incorporated into various skincare products like soaps, lotions, and essential oils due to its refreshing scent and potential antibacterial properties.
  2. Cleaning Products: The essential oil of lemon myrtle is used in natural cleaning products for its fresh scent and antimicrobial properties.

When using lemon myrtle, it is important to start with small amounts and gradually increase according to taste preference, as its flavour can be quite potent. It is available in various forms, including lemon myrtle dried leaves, powdered leaves, and essential oil.


Posted By Herb Wholesalers

Updated : 1st June 2023 | Words : 692 | Views : 106

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