There are superfoods, and then there is lemon myrtle.
It’s remarkable that even though the indigenous Australian aborigines have used lemon myrtle for millennia, it seems tailor-made for our lives in the 21st century. Boosting our immune system, dealing with insomnia and clearing up problem skin are just the tip of a very large iceberg when it comes to its health and well-being benefits.
What is Lemon Myrtle?
Lemon myrtle is a native Australian tree that grows to between 6 and 8 metres tall. It is native to the tropical and sub-tropical rainforests of central and south-eastern Queensland, and northern New South Wales. In summer, the tree is adorned with beautiful creamy-white flowers. Its slender, glossy leaves give off a strong lemon fragrance when they are crushed.
The main active ingredient in lemon myrtle is citral, which is what gives it (and lemons) a pleasant lemony fragrance. However, while lemons contain about 3-5% citral, lemon myrtle contains 98%.
Citral has been proven to raise metabolic rate and reduce weight.
Keeping us influenza-free and healthy
Apart from the vitamins, minerals and powerful antioxidants abundant in lemon myrtle, it has enough antimicrobial, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties to make a trip to the pharmacy redundant. The Australian Aborigines used lemon myrtle tea for centuries to relieve the symptoms of colds, such as coughing, sore throats and sinusitis.
In addition to killing off bacteria and viruses, the more than ten different antioxidants it contains roam the body, destroying the free radicals that damage tissue cells and cause the inflammation that creates illness. Even better, these antioxidants also help repair damaged cells and protect the healthy ones, keeping us healthy if not happy.
Getting some sleep
Another significant benefit of lemon myrtle tea is its ability to send us into a deep, peaceful sleep. If you have tried chamomile and it didn’t work, then try lemon myrtle tea, whose lemony aroma will relax you before you take your first sip. Researchers have found that lemon myrtle reduces the time taken to fall asleep, increases the amount of time sleeping, and improves sleep quality. And there is none of that grogginess the following morning that is associated with some prescribed medications.
First of all, lemon myrtle tea helps keep your skin healthy just by increasing hydration and improving your sleep. But this hard-working herb doesn’t stop there. It can reduce the amount of oil the skin produces, thereby helping to keep the pores from becoming clogged. The antibacterial properties also work to kill the bacteria that can cause pimples and acne.
Lemon myrtle can also be used topically as an antibacterial facial cleanse. Simply mix some lemon myrtle tea with sea salt and use it as a facial scrub.
A superfood has more than half a dozen health benefits, and so does lemon myrtle. Other proven health benefits include improved digestion, improved bone, teeth and eye health, increased heart health, as well as anti-cancer properties (especially liver, bladder, colon and stomach cancers). It is somewhat effective against arthritis pain, mild depression, and menstrual cramps.
While the term “superfood” is only about 100 years old, the foods it refers to have been around for thousands of years, and have been used in traditional medicine and cooking for just as long. These are no fads. They have the proof of continued use and, in many cases, evidence from modern, scientific investigation.
And if you enjoy a lemony fragrance and flavour, then you need look no further than Aussie lemon myrtle. It’s the delicious way to good health.
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