Lemon verbena extract found to reduce muscle damage after exercise

Lemon verbena can be used to relieve muscle soreness and post-workout pain, according to new research published in the Journal of the International Society of Sport Nutrition. The recent clinical trial followed 40 men and women who described themselves as “moderately active” and who had reported on the effects of lemon verbena extract in lessening the pain they felt after an exhaustive exercise test.

Nineteen men and 21 women participated in the study. All participants were non-smokers, were between the ages of 22 and 50 years old, and had a BMI between 19 and 30 kg/m2. Participants were further narrowed down to include only those who ate five or less portions of fruits and vegetables on an average day.

The randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, and parallel study concluded that participants who took 200 mg of a lemon verbena extract experienced less muscle soreness after a physical exercise. Perceived muscle soreness was measured in two ways: The first was self-reported pain experienced by participant’s sitting down and then getting up from a chair, and the other was a seven-point pain questionnaire describing various activities and how much pain was experienced by the participants in doing these 24, 48, 72, and 96 hours after the test.

Biochemical analyses were also taken to measure muscle damage and antioxidative capacity.

Researchers saw that participants felt less pain and recovered faster after a workout if they took a lemon verbena extract.

What is lemon verbena?

The herb is known for its lemony fragrance, making it one of the more popular oil bases in perfumeries around the world. The herb, native to Argentina and Chile, is also recognized to be a powerful antioxidant and is used by many holistic healers around the world to treat various conditions. Most people take dried lemon verbena leaves and boil it in water to enjoy a nice, refreshing tea.

Studies have suggested that pure lemon verbena tea can alleviate certain symptoms of joint pain, especially when combined with omega-3 fatty acid supplements. Researchers found that regularly consuming lemon verbena tea improved overall joint pain and mobility.

Another set of research concluded that lemon verbena extract could be beneficial for athletes who participate in high-aerobic activities. The herb was seen to regulate the immune system and prevent the onset of various diseases related to oxidative stress.

Other health benefits include:

  • Aiding weight loss plans — A cup of lemon verbena tea contains only two calories while being packed with various antioxidants. Herbal teas can be considered part of the daily recommended fluid intake each person is supposed to follow.
  • Improving digestion — Lemon verbena can be used to relieve various stomach and digestive issues. Traditional healers prescribe the herb as a treatment for stomach cramps and bloating. There is also evidence that suggest lemon verbena’s use in regulating the appetite and optimizing the metabolic process.
  • Reducing inflammation — While not ideal for acute symptoms of arthritis, lemon verbena can be used to reduce joint pain associated with the condition.
  • Boosting overall immunity — Lemon verbena helps increase the number of white blood cells in our body, effectively enhancing the immune system.

Read more coverage of medicinal herbs at Herbs.news.

Growing your own medicine

You can grow lemon verbena in your home. Make sure that you use very rich soil and learn how to properly drain the plant. Lemon verbena is a little sensitive so we’d recommend growing this plant only if you’re a seasoned gardener. Lemon verbena responds very quickly to stress such as sudden temperature changes, transplanting, and pest infection. Speak with your local gardening store to learn how to grow your own lemon verbena plant.

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