Any good in lemon leaves?

Boy is my little (indoor) lemon tree suddenly a happy little thing, growing like I've never seen before! I fed it a bit of wriggler castings & I think that was the magic touch.

I was pruning it of a crossed branch today, since it just can't stay, and was wondering if lemon leaves are useful in anything? Can I use them in tea or something else? Can they be put in something to make a cleaner, or should I make a room spray? Would the leaves have any sort of benefits, health or otherwise? They just smell so very good and I am hoping they aren't just going to be garbage waste.

I've put rooting hormone on a few cuttings off that branch. The powder is old, so I am not sure what will happen, but it is worth a shot.


  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,502 admin

    I've never used them before but they can be used fresh in tea. Or you can dry them and use them as a seasoning similar to bay leaves.

    This is a recipe for a probiotic lemon leaf soda.

    There are some medicinal uses, too. I'm on my way out so I will get back to you on that.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,356 admin
    edited May 2021

    Thanks! I'm so happy that I can use them! If I like whatever I try, my poor lemon tree might just get "pruned" often. 😆

    I made some tea and added honey. It's still a bit hot, but it seems to taste good so far, even though I burned my tongue a bit.

    It is a pleasant green color, which I expected.

    I have a bit of a headache today, possibly leftover from my migraine that came for a visit yesterday afternoon. I am hoping that the tea helps a bit.

    I would need a much larger tree to get enough leaves for the soda recipe!

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,356 admin
    edited May 2021

    @monica197 Try it. It was enjoyable. Just remember to leave some on the tree. 😆

  • Tave
    Tave Posts: 952 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Nice. That makes it worth growing lemon trees even if they never fruit. I remember some Thai dishes that use the leaves instead of the zest. I'll have to try that, too.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,502 admin
    edited May 2021

    OK. So I have been down the lemon leaf rabbit hole for awhile. There is a lot of confusing info out there, I think partly due to the vast number of Citrus species and all the products derived from them. But I think I have narrowed it down a bit. I hope if there is anyone who has more experience with essential oils that I do, that they will add their comments and correct me if I am wrong.

    A lot of the research on lemon leaf seems to have been done with essential oils. Confusing because some of the lower quality EO's might be labeled "Lemon" but not say what species or what plant part is being used. Petitgrain EO is made from the Bitter Orange leaf but I did find reference to a couple of Lemon Petitgrains. Lemon may be referred to as Citrus limon or its full name Citrus medica limonum, again confusing it with Citron which is Citrus medica. Citron may be one of the original ancestors of many modern Citrus fruits.

    Lemon leaf is antispasmodic and sedative so is useful for insomnia, nervousness and palpitations. I found one reference to an aqueous extract (decoction) of Lemon leaf, stating that it had good antibacterial activity against E. coli. Along with the antispasmodic properties, I would think it would be good as a decoction for relieving the spasms associated with an E. coli infection as well as assisting with controling the bacteria. But there certainly needs to be more research done into the subject.

    @LaurieLovesLearning How did you find the effects of the tea? Relaxing? Did it help with the headache? I have heard that some types of migraines can be relieved with antispasmodics.

    Other culinary uses: Best used fresh for teas. Dried leaves may be bitter. So possibly useful in a bitter recipe? Sometimes used to flavour curries. Used to wrap seafood, pork, chicken or lamb before grilling. Wrap cheeses. Add fresh leaves to infuse flavour in vinegar or olive oil. Use in recipes calling for lemongrass.

    Another use I found for the leaves. Apparently they make good base molds for making chocolate leaves for dessert decorations.

    I think I should save some of the next lemon seeds that I have and get some plants started!

    edit: Just found another reference to leaves of various Citrus species being used in Vietnamese herbal steam baths to "relieve poisonous wind".

  • Lisa K
    Lisa K Posts: 1,836 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Non-food ways to use lemon leaves could be in potpourri or putting dried branches & leaves on a fire in the fireplace.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,356 admin
    edited May 2021

    @torey The headache disappeared. Usually if I feel that same feeling, it will morph into a migraine. I hope to try this tea again in the same situation to see if it will be a repeated result. I told my tree to keep growing!

    After drinking the tea, I went outside without a thought of my hurting head. It was not something I could have done an override on beforehand.

    I've made chocolate leaves before. I used rose leaves, but lemon leaves would certainly work better, being thicker & more sturdy when you need to pull them off of the hardened chocolate.

    Your last comment is interesting, as lemongrass is highly recommended in some cultures in a bath for recovery in birthing situations.

    I also had an organic mandarin orange tree that I started from an organic seed, but for some reason, it died. :( I think that I might try this again as well.

    Thank you for all of your research. It is something that I will keep handy.