Lovely Lemon Balm
Lemon Balm ~ Melissa officinalis
A delightful member of the mint family. The fragrance of Lemon Balm is known for it's "mood lifting" properties. Just pick some and see that you will have a sunnier disposition.
We have it growing by the front door and back porch. I "dies" back in the winter and is one of the first herbs to "pop" out in the spring. Every home should have this lemony herb.
Our 14 year old son is now making Lemon Balm Water to drink. He keeps our glass pitcher full and picks fresh herbs for it every few days. It keeps in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 days. Just add water to keep it going.
Cultivation: Seeds maybe sown in the garden in early spring and germinate quickly. The roots do no seem to put out runners as do mints, but they increase into a hard-to-divide clump. Grows well in full to partial sun.
Actions: sedative, anti-depressant, digestive
stimulant, promotes sweating, relaxing restorative for nervous system, antiviral(possibly due to polyphenols and tannins); antibacterial, carminative, antispasmodic
Language of Flowers: Social intercourse;pleasant company of friends; memories; a cure;
“Don’t misuse me.”
Medicinal Uses: Lemon balm’s main action is as a tranquilizer. It calms a nervous stomach, colic, or heart spasms. The leaves are reputed to also lower blood pressure. It is very gentle,although effective, so is often suggested for children and babies. The hot tea brings on a sweat that is good for relieving colds, flus and
fevers and an antiviral agent has been found that combats mumps, cold sores and other viruses.
Other Uses: Used in potpourris. In the 16th century, it was rubbed on beehives to encourage the bees to create honey. Because it contains citronella oil it is used in insect repellants.
Culinary Uses: Fresh lemon balm imparts a subtle lemon flavor and fresh lemon fragrance, making it especially nice for fruit dishes, custards, and tea. Early fresh leaves can be chopped and added to green or fruit salads; just cut down somewhat on the vinegar or lemon juice. Cut the leaves into slivers and sprinkle on fish or chicken dishes.
Crimson Sage; http://www.crimson-sage.com
The Rosemary House, www.therosemaryhouse.com
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