Lemon myrtle tea is the worlds richest source of citral which is also the essential oil found in Lemongrass. Lemon scented myrtle also called lemon ironwood is a tropical rainforest shrub native to Australia that can grow into a full tree. It is a relative of the fragrant eucalyptus another native Australian tree. The name was given by Baron Ferdinand von Mueller a German botanist who was curator of the Melbourne Botanical Gardens in 1853; the species name includes reference to the citrus taste of the leaves. The best cultivars of Lemon Myrtle contain up to 11 times the essential oil content as Lemongrass. Current research is revealing the wonderful healing properties of Lemon Myrtle Oil reputed to have better healing properties than tea tree oil.
Lemon Myrtle was undoubtedly used by the coastal Aboriginal tribes of northern NSW where it grows naturally. They would have used it with their cooking and probably used the branches in ground ovens to add their delicious aroma to the baked foods as they did with other aromatic Herbs. Lemon Myrtle was also used as Herbal medicine with leaves wrapped over wounds to help with the healing process as the swamp tea tree was.
Citral has several medicinal uses. It is a potent antiseptic and may prove useful in treating gastro-intestinal infections including Helicobacter pylori which is responsible for many cases of gastric ulcer. It has antispasmodic properties that help alleviate intestinal spasms as may occur with intestinal infections or adverse reactions to foods. Overall it has a relaxing effect. Further one of its modern applications is for treating throat disorders either due to infection or to overuse and irritation.
The main flavour constituent of lemon scented myrtle is citral which is responsible for most of the lemon scents and flavours in nature including that found in the lemon fruit in lemon grass lemon balm and lemon verbena. Citral’s lemony taste is covered up by additional flavourings but is still present in significant amounts in other common culinary and medicinal Herb materials including ginger rhizomes and sweet basil. Lemon Myrtle Tea is a healthy and refreshing hot drink which soothes a sore dry throat. This is because of lemon myrtle has anti bacterial and anti microbial properties which fights against infections.