Saturday, November 11, 2017 by Rhonda Johansson
Lemon myrtle (Backhousia citriodora) is a sweet-smelling plant that grows along the Australian coastal regions such as Queensland and New South Wales. The deliciously-scented flower (which reminds most people of citrus fruits or a lemon tree) was a jealously guarded secret of the indigenous tribes in the region, which would explain why it has only been recently that we have heard of this plant. Wellness experts, however, are often left agog at the wondrous properties of lemon myrtle, from it being used to treat gastric problems to soothing a variety of throat disorders.
That being said, its applications, either as a food or essential oil, can negatively affect the body if used incorrectly or taken in excess. It is important that you understand the facts of each natural ingredient you decide to consume on a daily basis; do not simply take anything just because people say so. Do your own research and recognize that herbal supplements too have their side effects.
This entry will focus on the known side effects of lemon myrtle, particularly when it is taken as a tea.
Harmful effects that can be caused by lemon myrtle
- Alzheimer’s disease — There is a correlation (note: correlation and NOT causation) between excess intake of lemon myrtle tea and an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists are unsure why such a relationship exists but have hypothesized that the tea (when taken in excess) can cause plaque accumulation in the brain.
- Heart burn — Consuming too much lemon myrtle tea can fluctuate the natural pH levels in your body. The active ingredients found in the tea influence how your stomach and intestines function, and can cause a buildup of acid in these organs. There is also an increased likelihood of acid reflux.
- Dehydration — Lemon myrtle tea is taken as a diuretic. Taking too much of this can cause you to become dehydrated.
- Tooth erosion — Drinking too much of the tea can lead to enamel erosion in your teeth. Many people report experiencing a sharp pain in their teeth when there are sudden and sharp changes in temperature in the food they eat.
- Gestational growth — Doctors ask pregnant and lactating mothers to avoid lemon myrtle tea. Studies have shown that the high amounts of caffeine in the beverage can cause developmental abnormalities in babies.
- Pregnancy complications — Likewise, pregnant women have an increased chance of spontaneous abortion.
- Osteoporosis — A nutrient review of the tea concluded that excessive intake can lead to bone loss and eventually osteoporosis. Scientists warn that drinking too much lemon myrtle tea causes large amounts of calcium to be passed out of the body through urine.
- Digestive problems — Lemon myrtle tea can exacerbate pre-existing gastrointestinal issues such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The tea can also cause stomach ulcers, stomach aches, and diarrhea.
- Canker sores –– Doctors have found that lemon myrtle tea irritates the mucous membranes in your mouth, leading to canker sores.
- Others — There are studies which suggest that consuming too much of the tea can cause other diseases such as microcytic anemia, aplastic bone disease, encephalopathy, decreased myocardial function, and sudden death, among other things.
Nutritionists recommend consuming only one cup of lemon myrtle tea every day. In this way, you are able to reap all of its nutritional benefits without opening yourself up to disease.
Body systems harmed by lemon myrtle
As with any herbal supplement, lemon myrtle is a double-edged sword. Whatever body systems it can support are the same areas it can damage through improper use. For the most part, lemon myrtle can wreak havoc on the gut, bones, and the reproductive systems of women.
Where to learn more
Lemon myrtle is a native Australian plant that has lemon-scented flowers and is often consumed as a tea. There are many health benefits to taking the beverage but excessive consumption can cause gastrointestinal damage and even death. Pregnant women are strongly advised to avoid the drink.