Published on December 27th, 2017 | by Catherine Tingey0
Why I Love Lemon Balm
Why I Love Lemon Balm
If I could only grow a single plant that would have a myriad of uses, it would be lemon balm.
The magic of this botanical treasure lies in her lemony scented green leaves with a slightly rough tooth. Originating in the Middle East where the plant has been studied extensively in conventional medicine, lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is a robust grower and can easily take over, so best to give her her own space.
If you rub the leaves together you will smell delicate citrus notes – more subtle and complex than lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit. This oil can perfume teas, calm nerves, soothe skin and so much more.
BENEFITS OF LEMON BALM
- Reduces insomnia and anxiety
- May be heart and liver protective
- May assist in diabetes management
- Anti-bacterial and anti-viral
- May be helpful with PMS and menopause
- Naturally treats oral herpes
AS A TEA (hot or cold)
Wash several stalks and removes leaves from stems. You can julienne the leaves into strips and place in a tea ball, or just pour hot water over a smattering of leaves in a tea cup. Steep for 3-5 min. If you find it too weak, try using fresh lemon balm leaves to a peppermint or green tea.
AS A POULTICE FOR CANKER SORES
Use a clean, fresh leaf as a poultice (directly applied and held onto the mouth ulcer) for immediate pain relief and healing. Rub leaf prior to release oils.
AS A SKIN SOOTHER/SALVE/BALM
A Lemon Balm balm is particularly useful to have around for any kind of sting, skin scrape or blemish. All you need is some shea butter (I like Better Shea Butter) and lemon balm infused oil.
To Make the Infused oil
Steam lemon balm and carrier oil (I like Dr. Bronners Coconut) in a double boiler gently for 2 to 3 hours.
Another option is to dehydrate the leaves on a cookie sheet until dry (time TBD). For an electric oven, use the lowest setting possible. Gas stoves just use the pilot light. Crush the leaves, then heat gently in coconut oil for several hours. Strain, melt equal parts shea butter and infused coconut oil, and pour into small container to cool.
This Lemon Balm salve can then be applied to skin abrasions, rashes and blemishes, as well as be cold sores (sores which occur on the outside of the mouth/lips caused by HSV1).
Do you have any favorite uses for Lemon Balm? If so, share below!