Lemon verbena (Lippia citriodora) fights fat accumulation and boosts fat metabolism - possible use against cellulite

  • Lemon verbena is a popular aromatic herb which is normally used as an anxiolytic (stress reducing) and natural sleeping aid. 
  • However, new research published recently has shown that polyphenols from lemon verbena decrease triglyceride (fat) accumulation in adipocytes (fat cells) and free radical production (antioxidant action). Most polyphenols possess anti-obesity and antioxidant actions, so the results of this study don't come as a big surpise.
  • Scientists attribute these changes to reductions in PPAR-gamma and fatty acid synthase (FAS), two proteins that boost fat accumulation. Lemon verbena was also found to boost AMPK and PPAR-alpha, two protein that boost fat oxidation (i.e. fat "burning").
  • Verbascoside, a well-known polyphenol found in verbena, was shown to be less potent than a more mixed polyphenol extract from verbena, showing that another molecule or a group of molecules are responsible for the beneficial effects and not verbascoside.
  • The scientists concluded that "the polypharmacological effects of plant-derived polyphenols from lemon verbena may have the potential for clinical applications in obesity".
  • We can safely add that similar potential exists against cellulite, by incorporating a concentrated lemon verbena extract in an anti-cellulite cream.
  • Source: Lemon verbena (Lippia citriodora) polyphenols alleviate obesity-related disturbances in hypertrophic adipocytes through AMPK-dependent mechanisms. , http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26055125