Antioxidant properties in lemon myrtle

One of the many wonderful things about Australia is the diverse plant life, with so many healthy foods naturally growing in our own backyard. Many of these Australian Native Botanicals have the amazing health benefit of being antioxidant. While this word is used a lot in media, not everybody knows what this actually means.

Antioxidants are compounds in our diet that help to reduce oxidative stress in the body.

Oxidative stress occurs when there are too many negatively charged oxygen molecules in your cells. This is believed to contribute to the “ageing process” as well as to diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, autoimmune and cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and several others. Ensuring that you are receiving plenty of antioxidants in your diet is the best way to reduce oxidative stress in order to prevent or delay the onset of such diseases.

Australia is lucky to be home to many antioxidant-rich foods, such as berries, fruits, herbs, and spices. While blueberries have classically been known to be antioxidant, many Australian botanicals have far higher levels of antioxidants. A study by the Australian government of several Australian botanicals found that the Australian fruits Kakadu Plum and Quandong were the most antioxidant fruits, at 4-6 times more antioxidant than blueberries. Additionally, Tasmannia pepper leaf, anise myrtle, and lemon myrtle had the highest antioxidant capacities of all herbs and spices evaluated, at 4-7 times more antioxidant than blueberries!

Lemon myrtle’s different forms, from dried leaves to essential oils, have different antioxidant levels. One research team found that lemon myrtle tea extracts had the third-highest polyphenol antioxidant content of all 44 herbal tea extracts they studied. A lemon myrtle tea infusion contains more total antioxidants than many other herbal teas, and has similar antioxidant properties to black tea, but lower levels than green tea (131 mg GAE/g vs 170 mg GAE/g respectively). However, lemon myrtle tea is an excellent caffeine-free alternative to black and green tea, while still providing the antioxidant benefits of either. Lemon myrtle essential oil also contains antioxidant monoterpenes (one of which is citral) and polyphenols.

Researchers have identified a number of antioxidant polyphenol compounds in lemon myrtle dry ground tea leaves and extracts. These compounds contribute to its significant antioxidant and free radical scavenging ability.

Some of the polyphenol antioxidants in lemon myrlte include:

Catechin Chlorogenic acid Epicatechin  Ellagic acid
Gallic acid  Rhamnoside Hesperitin pentoside Hesperitin hexoside
Kaempferol Myricetin Naringenim Quercetin
Yanilic acid


Lemon myrtle is a potent source of antioxidants. If you’re looking for an antioxidant-rich ingredient to add to your product line, lemon myrtle should be at the top of your list. With its high levels of polyphenols this herb can give your products a serious health boost.

So why not make lemon myrtle the secret ingredient in your next new product?

Contact us today to learn more about how our team can help you harness the power of this amazing herb.


 References Cited:

Chan EWC et al Antioxidant properties of tropical and temperate herbal teas. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 2010;23:185–189


Konczak, I., Zabaras, D., Dunstan, et al. (2009, September). Health Benefits of Australian Native Foods: An evaluation of health-enhancing compounds. Australian Government Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation.


RIRDC Nirmal N and Sultanbawa Y. Biochemical composition and sensory evaluation of Lemon myrtle and Anise myrtle tea infusion. May 2016. RIRDC– Research Project No. PRJ 009594 Lemon and Anise Myrtle: Functional Ingredients for Cross-Industry Applications.


Romero Rocamora C, Ramasamy K, Meng Lim S, et al. HPTLC based approach for bioassay-guided evaluation of antidiabetic and neuroprotective effects of eight essential oils of the Lamiaceae family plants. J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2020 Jan 30;178:112909. doi: 10.1016/j.jpba.2019.112909.


Sommano S et al. Screening for Antioxidant Activity, Phenolic Content, and Flavonoids from Australian Native Food Plants. International Journal of Food Properties. 2013;16(6): 1394-1406. DOI: 10.1080/10942912.2011.580485