About Lemon Myrtle Essential Oil
With its strong lemony aroma, this essential oil creates a cheerful and revitalising environment which can act as a natural antidepressant.
Grown and harvested all year round on a family farm in the Northern Rivers, NSW, our Lemon Myrtle Essential Oil is a pure and natural oil, steam-distilled from the leaves of Backhousia Citriodora, a flowering tree native to Australia.
History & Traditional Uses
Lemon Myrtle or Backhousia citriodora was named after James Backhouse, an English botanist who travelled to Australia in the 1830’s and it was in 1853, botanist Ferdinand von Mueller named the genus after his friend. The Lemon Myrtle Essential Oil has its beginning in Aboriginal culture being used for different healing properties. It was Joseph H. Maiden that reported on the potential use of lemon myrtle for commercial production in 1889.
The first known commercial use of lemon myrtle through consumption was around the time of World War II, when a soft drink company called Tarax used the leaves to flavour lemonade. Recently the lemon myrtle leaves are used as a dry or fresh herb in food applications or used as a flavouring agent in food or beverages. An added benefit is the anti-fungal properties, making it also act as a preservative. It wasn’t until the 1990’s that the lemon myrtle bi-products were being sold internationally on a large scale and certain aspects of production were beginning to exceed demand . It was this boom that brought it to the forefront of Australian botanical’s.
Agriculture, Harvesting & Distilling
Lemon Myrtle is usually harvested at the end of summer or beginning of spring. Harvesting is conducted in a careful manner, as they find it hard to recover from hard trimming.
Tops are taken from the Lemon Myrtle bushes usually mechanically, and leaves are placed in to bin ready for steam distillation.