Lemon Balm - Melissa officinalis
Lemon Balm, Melissa officinalis, is a beautifully lush lemon scented herb. It's pretty easy to grow in the garden and great to have on hand. It's the leaves that we use, either fresh or dried is fine.
I love Lemon Balm as it is great to use in nervous conditions that cause anxiety or depression especially associated with sleep disorders - even in kids with over active minds. It helps relax the nervous system, easing nervous headaches and tension that come with insomnia, restlessness or excitability.
Lemon Balm worked wonders for me when taking my children on a flight overseas, I made up a diluted tincture and added a few drops to their water bottles. Their restlessness with the long flight turned into sleep for my youngest and my eldest was able to sit quiet and happy entertaining her self with colouring in for majority of the flight!
It also has great use within the digestive tract, if you suffer from dyspepsia (reflux), heartburn or indigestion especially if it is due to anxiety or nausea due to nerves. You can even use Lemon Balm for morning sickness or headaches in pregnancy.
Externally you can make up a balm or a salve from a tincture of Lemon Balm and use it for its wonderful antimicrobial properties on any skin conditions like cuts, bites or herpes.
Use Lemon Balm at Home
- You can make a tea with either fresh leaves or dried, put the leaves in a teapot or saucepan and fill with boiled water, allow to steep until cool enough to drink, just sweeten with honey if needed.
- Get yourself some cosmetic Bentonite clay and moisten it with the tea, you can dab this on any skin blemishes or bites.
- Add lemon balm leaves to your bath and soak in its calming goodness, add rose petals to increase the luxury - what a beautiful Self-Love ritual this is! If you don't want to make a mess of your bath you can place the mixture within a muslin sheet tied up or clean thin sock and use it as a scrub or just let the tap run the water through it.
- Make a herbal water, adding leave to your ice cold water jug in the fridge and serve up as a refreshing drink.
- Sprinkle leaves on a salad or even mix them through a muffin or scone recipe.
Dosage, if taking the tea for medicinal purposes add 2 tsp of herb to one cup of tea and take 2 times daily.
Traditionally Lemon Balm was used on Scorpion stings and bites from mad dogs, it was a remedy of longevity, strengthening memory and concentration as well as lifting melancholy and sadness. Women bathed in it to bring on menstruation. It was used to clean sores and boils.
Safety - Lemon Balm is a fairly safe herb to use, its fine for use on children within therapeutic doses but please use in caution if taking any hyperthyroid medications as Lemon Balm may interact with Thyroid hormone activity.