Hierbaluisa (Lippia triphylla)
There is a wonder herb in Mallorca that you should get to know. The plant is called Hierbaluisa in Castellano, or Marialluïsa in Catalan; you may know it already under its English name, Lemon Verbena (Lippia triphylla).
Lemon Verbena was brought to Europe by Spanish explorers in the 17th century from Argentina and Chile. There it was grown for its fabulous lemony oil that was used in perfume and beverages until cheaper Lemon Grass oil replaced it. Lippia triphylla is named after Maria Louisa the princess of Parma and wife of King Carlos IV King of Spain, and because it has whorls of three (tri) leaves (phylla).
Nowadays a largely undervalued medicinal herb, Lemon Verbena contains a strong lemon-scented essential oil that has calming and digestive qualities. The plant has a gentle sedative action and a reputation for soothing abdominal discomfort. It has a mildly tonic effect upon the nervous system and helps to lift the spirits and counter depression. The leaves and the flowering tops are antispasmodic, febrifuge, sedative and stomachic. An infusion made from the leaves has a deliciously refreshing lemon flavour and is used mainly in treating digestive disorders such as flatulence, indigestion and acidity. The herb is also useful as a stimulant for treating lethargy or depression whilst it is also used to treat feverish colds. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy in the treatment of nervous and digestive problems and also for acne, boils and cysts.
Other indications are said to be digestive disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, anxiety, sleeplessness (insomnia), asthma, cold, gas (flatulence), colic, diarrhea, indigestion, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, skin conditions, and constipation. Some caution is advisable though, since prolonged use or large internal doses supposedly can cause gastric irritation.
The plant is a wonderful addition to your garden thanks to its lovely, fresh smells.