Lemon Verbena Speeds Muscle Recovery, Relieves Fatigue
Recent studies are showing that lemon verbena herb can significantly speed up muscle recovery after strenuous exercise and relieve fatigue. This is in addition to this plant medicine having a number of other potent medicinal benefits.
Let’s take a quick look at this research, and discuss some of the incredible properties of this superior plant medicine lemon verbena (scientifically known as Aloysia triphylla or Lippia citriodora).
Lemon verbena and muscle recovery
In a 2021 study, researchers from Taiwan’s National Taiwan Sport University enlisted 60 men and women who were aged between 20 and 30 years old. They were assessed for their physical fitness. For ten days half were given 400 milligrams of a lemon verbena extact (Planox®) or a placebo.
After the ten days, the volunteers each underwent a strenuous exercise program called countermovement jumping. This consisted of 10 sets of 10 jumps with a period of four seconds in between jumps and 60 seconds rest between each set.
After this exhaustive workout, the subjects were again tested with a series of tests to test muscle fatigue, stiffness, recovery and so forth. They were tested three hours after the workout, 24 hours after and 48 hours after the workout.
After three hours, the people who took the lemon verbena for ten days had significantly faster muscle recovery compared to the placebo group. They also had less muscle pain.
After 24 hours and 48 hours, those who had received the lemon verbena had significantly better recovery and less pain from the workout. Their muscle strength recovery was also significantly better than the placebo group.
The researchers also tested the subjects DNA damage after the workout. Strenuous exercise does damage DNA, but this can be repaired during recovery for healthy persons.
The researchers found that the DNA damage was significantly less for those who received the lemon verbena extract.
The researchers concluded:
“In summary, lemon verbena extract is a safe and edible natural plant extract that can reduce muscle damage and soreness after exercise.”
Other lemon verbena research confirms results
A 2018 study from Germany showed similar results for middle-aged adults. In this study, 44 healthy men and women who were aged 22 to 50 underwent a similar protocol.
They took 400 milligrams of a lemon verbena extract (this one called Recoverben®) for ten days. Then they did a strenuous jumping workout similar to the one above. After that they were tested immediately and over the next few days for muscle recovery, pain and exhaustion.
The researchers found that the lemon verbena group had significantly less muscle strength loss, better glutathione peroxidase activity, and less pain from the workout during all of the testing points.
What is it about lemon verbena?
Lemon verbena contains compounds that reduce oxidative stress and free radicals. It contains a number of medicinal compounds, including verbascoside, neral and geranial.
The research has shown that these compounds elicit many notable effects of lemon verbena. These include it being a significant antioxidant and antibiotic. Lemon verbena also has stress-relieving properties (anxiolytic) and sedative properties. In addition to these, lemon verbena helps relieve pain and protect against cancer.
Lee MC, Hsu YJ, Ho CS, Chang CH, Liu CW, Huang CC, Chiang WD. Evaluation of the Efficacy of Supplementation with Planox® Lemon Verbena Extract in Improving Oxidative Stress and Muscle Damage: A Randomized Double-Blind Controlled Trial. Int J Med Sci. 2021 May 3;18(12):2641-2652. doi: 10.7150/ijms.60726.
Buchwald-Werner S, Naka I, Wilhelm M, Schütz E, Schoen C, Reule C. Effects of lemon verbena extract (Recoverben®) supplementation on muscle strength and recovery after exhaustive exercise: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2018 Jan 23;15:5. doi: 10.1186/s12970-018-0208-0.
Bahramsoltani R, Rostamiasrabadi P, Shahpiri Z, Marques AM, Rahimi R, Farzaei MH. Aloysia citrodora Paláu (Lemon verbena): A review of phytochemistry and pharmacology. J Ethnopharmacol. 2018 Aug 10;222:34-51. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2018.04.021.