The tea herb named after a Spanish queen

It is a fact that most Maghrebians love tea. It is a a staple drink served at every occasion. The sweet and flavorful drink is often prepared with Mint. However, there is another herb that Moroccans and Algerians love with tea. The herb is known locally as “Ma Louisa” which goes worldwide by the name of Lemon Verbana.

History of Lemon Verbena

Lemon Verbena plant is an aromatic shrub native to South America. The shrub reaches up to 3 m high before harvest, and despite its name, it is not a related to the lemon tree. The word “Lemon” in Lemon Verbena is used because of the potent aroma its leaves exude with citrusy flavor.

Lemon verbena has been cultivated in Europe for centuries. It was first brought over by the Portuguese and Spanish in the 17th century from South America. In Spain, its name was known as “Aloysia citrodora” to honour Maria Luisa, the Princess of Parma and later the wife of Spanish King Charles IV. Today, some indeed recognize Lemon Verbena by another nickname: Herb Louisa.

Dried lemon verbana or malouisa
Dried Lemon Verbana or Malouisa as sold in Morocco.

Lemon Verbena Health Benefits

Many academic studies have been undertaken to evaluate lemon verbena. These show that it possesses several beneficial properties, including antioxidant, anti-anxiety, and anti-inflammatory effects.

The studies also validate the majority of traditional therapeutic and health-boosting claims. However, more work still remains to understand the potential effects of the various biological components.

Here are 9 health benefits proclaimed by experts:

  • Detox & Immunity Boost.
  • ‎A Popular Natural Slimming Aid.
  • Reduces Stress.
  • Sleep Aid.
  • Promotes Digestion.
  • Anti-inflammatory.
  • Prevents Muscle Damage During Exercise.
  • Combats Fever.
  • Relieves Congestion.

Drinking lemon verbena tea as part of a balanced diet can be beneficial. Its protective components can help relieve adverse health symptoms, boost the immune system, and improve the overall wellbeing. As with consuming anything, moderation is the key; and when in doubt, always consult a dietary or medical professional.