Lemon myrtle, Backhousia citriodora, the queen of the bushfood industry. This edible bushfood trees grows in the subtropical rainforest areas of SE Qld and northern NSW.
Lemon myrtle can sometimes be confused with “lemon ironbark” which is Eucalyptus staigeriana.
Known for it’s very strong lemon/lime flavour and aroma, the leaves of the Lemon myrtle tree are used in the culinary industry, for perfume, insect repellant and as a bush medicine by the Aboriginal people.
Much research has been done on the health benefits of lemon myrtle and many other edible bushfoods.
Leaves are cultivated in Australia for flavour and as an essential oil which has high antimicrobial properties, but toxic to human cells, it must be diluted to approx 1% for any application that is absorbed through the skin, depending on skin types.
In 2003 a study investigated the effectiveness of lemon myrtle against bacteria and fungi, the positive conclusions were that it did show potential as an antiseptic and a surface disinfectant. The oil is used widely in cleaning products, soaps, skin lotions and shampoos.
Lemon myrtle candles are often burnt for their beautiful aroma.
Lemon myrtle is a wonderful plant for your garden and the kitchen pantry. OutbackChef has been selling lemon myrtle for culinary use since 2005, during that time it has grown in popularity, probably one of the best known native bushfoods.
Try adding a little to your salad dressing. Wrap a fish in foil,add a little lemon myrtle, some native pepperberry with a touch of salt. It is a strong pungent herb, so go easy with it, too much can dominate other flavours. Great in stir-frys or one of my favourites, a combo of lemon myrtle, dried apricots with coconut in a muffin mix.
Learn more about lemon myrtle.
Used for centuries by the Aboriginal people as a flavour for food, an insect repellant and as bush medicine . Knowledge on how to use this herb has been passed down generation to generation
If you don’t want to keep paying heaps of money for synthetic fragrance enhancers to put into your washing try about a spoonful of lemon myrtle, either dried or fresh, just put it into a pocket or a sock that is being washed. I learn’t this great idea from Blake, chef, at Brambuk Bushfoods Cafe, where he not only uses a lot of native food in his cooking he also uses it in the washing machine.
Why not try one of OutbackChef’s bushfood teas with Lemon Myrtle?
Try this delicious Lemon Myrtle ice-cream recipe