“Do you want to try lemon myrtle leaves?” P asked. “I ordered some and have more than I need. I’ll send them over to you.”
The leaves arrived through the mail and I crushed them to release the citral oils. Then I googled to find out more.
The web lauded the lemon myrtle as both a culinary and medicinal herb.
As if that was not enough, the lemon myrtle is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and therapeutic to boot. The refreshing and lemony tea soothes sore dry throats and fights against infections.
It was sometime (and a few emails) before I got one, all thanks to a lovely aunt who heard my plaintive cries.
I treated it like a prized trophy and was content just to gaze at the herb. One of my friends thought I was insane. “You haven’t used the leaves? What on earth are you keeping them for?” I could visualize him shaking his head in despair as his words appeared fast and furious on chat.
It was a year later that I finally harvested the light green leaves. I had caught a flu bug and had a scratchy throat. When I ran out of the prescribed antiseptic mouth gargle and lozenges, I brewed some fresh lemon myrtle tea. Ahhh, lovely. Why didn’t I think of it earlier?
Come to think of it, I should brew more tomorrow …
Lemon myrtle tea: Steep a sprig of fresh lemon myrtle leaves in a mug of boiling water. After half an hour, add a teaspoon of honey. Beautiful!
Care and propagation: well drained soil, partial to full sun; water moderately; propagate using cuttings or seeds (neither is easy, with seeds having less than 5% success rate)