The True Wonders of Lemon Myrtle

Lemon Myrtle – also known as backhousia citriodora – is a simply beautiful and wonderful native Australian plant. The indigenous tribes of Queensland where the first natural strands of lemon myrtle originated, have known about its many properties for thousands of years.

Today we take a look at lemon myrtle and the many health properties it contains.

Lemon Myrtle is a member of the Myrtaceae family and is native to tropical and subtropical Northern Australia. It originated in the regions stretching from Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast through to Rockhampton in Queensland. It is a tall and overbearing tree, growing up to 15 metres in the natural context.

It has a wonderfully pungent lemon flavour and taste and is used as both a bushfood and natural herb/flavour.[1]

It is now cultivated across Australia as a bushfoods crop and there are sizeable cropping areas in Northern NSW near Byron Bay,

It is now cultivated as a viable crop and is used in deodorants, cosmetics, natural air fresheners and washing powders, disinfectants, soaps and facial creams.


The active, lemony ingredient in Lemon Myrtle is citral. But its concentration stands at about 90-97%, compared to other lemony essential oils such as citrus (3%), lemon scented ti-tree (80%), lemon grass (75%) and tropical Verbena (74%).

Effects and Benefits

The use of lemon myrtle in bushfoods cooking is already well established. But the oil also has incredible natural health properties that are effective against various bugs and microorganisms. The concentrated leaf paste that is derived from the essential oil is similarly effective.

Some of the microorganisms it can protect against include:

  • Clostridium perfringens
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Methiclin resistant Stapphylococus aureus

Other Uses

As a natural product, lemon myrtle makes an excellent gift idea as an essential oil. It can also be used as a cleanser antiseptic similar to ti-tree oil.

It is also used as a topical spray that is a natural protection against insect bites.

Its use as a quality massage oil is also well documented and its powerful aromatic qualities are enervating and uplifting.[2]

As a naturopath, I regularly suggest the use of lemon myrtle products and believe in the need to support our own Australian bush products as viable and quality crop sources that form the basis of ethical and sound natural health products that are sustainable and also environmentally friendly.

Make sure you consider the many wonderful and magical complementary medical benefits of lemon myrtle products.

Have a lovely day.