Lemon verbena has a bright, slightly sweet, herbaceous flavour with a distinct hint of lemon. Despite its strong lemon scent, this citrusy herb has a far less aggressive lemon flavor than lemon balm, lemon thyme, lemon mint, and lemongrass.
This lemon-scented herb has a number of culinary uses ranging from rich roasts to sweet citrusy desserts and jams. Lemon verbena can be used to make flavourful olive oil-based salad dressings, subtle lemon ice cream, and lemon verbena jelly, as well as season poultry dishes, salsa verde, and soups. It can be used in place of lemon zest or dried lemon as a more subtle addition to dishes, or infused into pantry ingredients like sugar and vinegar.
In Europe and other global destinations, tea lovers combine lemon verbena leaves with hot water to create a popular herbal tea known as Louisa in England, “te de cedron” in Mexican kitchens, and Luiza in Greek households. This kind of tea is also popular among French, Spanish, and Italian drinkers. Lemon verbena can also be used to make a flavorful iced tea or lemonade made with fresh lemon juice, lemon verbena, simple syrup, and mint leaves.
Lemon verbena tea made with fresh lemon verbena leaves and boiling water is commonly used to relieve the symptoms of colds including chills, fever, and congestion. Lemon verbena essential oil is also used topically to relieve muscle pain.