Whether you grow lemon verbena as a medicinal or an aromatic plant, it gets plenty of uses, from flavoring fish and fruit salads, as a replacement or in addition to lemon zest, to pleasant calming brews.

For those who love to exercise, it is particularly effective in reducing muscle and joint damage after strenuous physical activity without undoing any of its benefits. Lemon verbena is a powerful antioxidant, but be careful when you use it, because it may make you sleepy.

The plant itself is quite handsome, with long lance shaped leaves growing opposite on long sturdy stems. When bruised, the leaves release a strong citrus scent, one much appreciated by perfumers and which makes them an indulgent addition to therapeutic baths.

Though perennial, it is a tender one and will not survive outside in colder climates, but it will do fine in a pot if you want to bring it indoors for the winter. Like all sun lovers, it really doesn't appreciate the meager light filtered through glass, but it will make do.

If you want it to be a thick, lush plant that doesn't tend to get leggy you need to pinch the tops to encourage basal growth. The leaves can be harvested throughout the season, to be used fresh, dry or chopped and frozen.

The plant has long been used for skin and hair care because it tones, conditions and restores shine. Between that, the pleasant fragrance and the calming effect, it is definitely a must have for your natural beauty arsenal.

Author's Bio: 

Main Areas: Garden Writing; Sustainable Gardening; Homegrown Harvest
Published Books: “Terra Two”; “Generations”, "Letters to Lelia"
Career Focus: Author; Consummate Gardener;
Affiliation: All Year Garden; The Weekly Gardener; Francis Rosenfeld's Blog

I started blogging in 2010, to share the joy of growing all things green and the beauty of the garden through the seasons. Two garden blogs were born: allyeargarden.com and theweeklygardener.com, a periodical that followed it one year later. I wanted to assemble an informal compendium of the things I learned from my grandfather, wonderful books, educational websites, and my own experience, in the hope that other people might use it in their own gardening practice.