Verbena, The Sacred Herb

Heralding sunny days, refreshing swims and summer evenings, lemon verbena exhales its delicate lemony fragrance : the promise of an invigorating midsummer voyage.
By Linda Mestaoui

Considered as a miraculous plant in ancient times and used in magical rituals, lemon verbena was believed to heal all ills and drive away the evil eye. The Romans used it as a love potion, calling it the herb of Venus. Native to South America, lemon verbena is an aromatic plant from the Verbenaceae family. Odorless, Verbena officinalis is known for its digestive and anti-inflammatory properties. Delicately lemon flavored, scented verbena or lemon verbena exhales a stimulating perfume, and it is appreciated for its soothing and relaxing powers.

This little shrub that doesn’t like frost and that flowers there where life is good, around the Mediterranean, can reach 2 meters high in Corsica’s enchanting climate. It is particularly remarkable for its light-green foliage and its branches that terminate in pink and white flowers. The harvest takes place between July to September. As an infusion of dry leaves immersed in boiling water and left to infuse for about ten minutes, verbena reveals itself to be both calming and sleep promoting. Ideal before bed, it makes an excellent natural sleeping pill.

Taken after meals, it aids digestion. But verbena also seduces gourmets when it features in ice creams and sorbets. In summer, on sunny village squares, Provencal ice-cream makers serve it in tangy and refreshing sorbets, lifted with a few notes of fresh mint. This year, the famous ice-cream maker Berthillon has also included it on its menu.

L’Occitane en Provence also shares the properties and pleasures of verbena with you with its new range, Verbena Sorbet: Eau de Toilette, Shower Gel, Body Ice Gel, Refreshing Mist… bring you freshness and energy in the heart of summer. Whatever the package, verbena will energize and revive your senses…

Verbena Harvest
Verbena Harvest
Provence
Photography Sylvain Duffard

Latest articles

3 unusual ways to enjoy roses

3 unusual ways to enjoy roses

The queen of flowers, roses are much less well-known in cookery than in cosmetics and perfumes. As beautiful as they are delicious, roses have more than one trick up their sleeves. As proof, here are 3 recipes that go beyond the ordinary.
10 beauty questions that every woman's asking!

10 beauty questions that every woman's asking!

From beauty pros to newbies, every woman has beauty questions. Whether it's a little question or a big issue, L'Occitane takes time to answer all your questions.
3 mistakes to avoid after the beach

3 mistakes to avoid after the beach

Lazing on the beach is one of summer's sweetest pleasures. To help you benefit from the beach while you can, L'Occitane reveals the faux pas to avoid after a day at the shore. Follow our guide!