Bush Tukka coming soon ... Lemon Myrtle

Undoubtedly the most popular of Australia’s native herbs, Lemon Myrtle’s fresh tangy leaves may be used in teas, syrups, glazes, cakes, biscuits, dressings, sauces, ice creams, dips and meat dishes. Essential oil distilled from the leaves has a refreshing lemony scent, and has been found to have anti-fungal and antibacterial properties.



THE ABORIGINAL PEOPLE HAVE USED THE LEAVES OF THE LEMON MYRTLE TREE FOR CENTURIES AS A BUSH MEDICINE, THEY ALSO REALIZED THAT THE LEAVES GAVE THEIR FOOD A UNIQUE FLAVOUR. 

The Australian herb, Lemon Myrtle, has been used for coughs, colds, stomach upsets and in some cases applied topically for skin problems. The leaves of the Lemon Myrtle tree would be soaked in water and then put over a fire, the vapour from the leaves would then be inhaled.

History of Lemon Myrtle

The botanical name of the lemon myrtle plant is Backhousia citriodora. It got its name from Ferdinand von Mueller, who named the genus after James Backhouse, a Quaker missionary and botanist. Mueller was a botanist and physician from Germany who moved to Australia in 1847. In 1889, a German company with the name Schimmel & Co. identified the compound responsible for lemon myrtle’s flavor and aroma: citral. 

Lemon myrtle was distilled commercially in the small Queensland town of Eumundi in the early 20th century and would be used to flavor soft drinks during World War 2. Its use in beverages was the first time the plant was used commercially. In the late 1980s, its usefulness as a culinary herb was discovered. It grew in popularity throughout the 1990s, so much so that large lemon myrtle farms were developed to meet the demand.

Lemon Myrtle flavour

The flavor of lemon myrtle bears a substantial similarity to lemongrass and citrus fruits. It has the taste and aroma of lemon and lime without their acidity. It has been described as having a more intense lemon note than the lemon fruit.