About Lemon Myrtle (Backhousia citriodora)
The name and its' history
The Lemon Scented Myrtle is a native of the coastal rainforest area between Taree in NSW and Cairns in Qld (from latitude 27deg to 17 deg 30S). In the wild, trees grow in a range of altitudes from over 50 to over 700m above sea level. The major centres of distribution are Sunshine Coast and the Mackay area with smaller centres at Miriam Vale, Townsville and Ravenshoe.
The Lemon Myrtle is a beautiful small native tree for the home garden. It grows to around 4-6m (12-20") tall and about 2m (6') wide. It is very easy to grow, and likes a position in part shade through to full sun, and a deep rich soil. It does well in most mainland areas of Australia, but needs protection from frost, especially when young.
Reasearchers at NSW Charles Sturt University found that Lemon Myrtle has very good antibacterial activity and excellent antifungal activity. In fact, studies suggest that Backhousia oil has better antibacteriial and antifungal properties than the better known tea tree (Melaleuca alternanthera)
Lemon Myrtle oil has strong germicidal powers. In standard tests, Atkinson & Brice were able to demonstrate the antibacterial properties of the Lemon Scented Myrtle (Backhousia citriodora). Tests carried out by researchers on the Germicidal powers indicate that B. citriodora oil had double the rating on Eucalyptus citrodora in controlling Salmonella typhii, the test organism.
Even though the Rideal-Walker test has now been superseded by the Sykes Kesley test, it still remains a valid test. Backhousia has a co-efficient rating of 16 where Eucalyptus citriodora only scores 8. Germicidal properties of Lemon Myrtle have also been proven to be 19.5 times the power of the disinfectant Phenol using the Rideal-Walker test.
Excellent for foodstuffs and medicinal therapeutic purposes; perfumes, food flavourings, confectionary and aromatherapy. The leaves can be used in cooking, or infused and made into a tea.
*Antisepitc, anti-viral, calmative, sedative and corrective
*Australian Medicinal Plant
- BACKHOUSIA CITRIODORA
Oil should be stored in a dark glass
container in a cool dry storage area or kept under
refrigeration. Exposure to sunlight will also lead to oil
deterioration. The oil volatises when heated and so should
not be exposed to heat. For convenience and prevention of
over use it can be added to other oils. The oil bonds well
with vitamin E or vitamin A based products.
SITE BY SMART ARTS