Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)
A member of the mint family, lemon balm is easy to grow; makes delicious spur of the moment tea.
Lemon Balm is a “euphoric”. I’ll never forget the day I learned that Melissa, as she is fondly referred to, as a “euphoric”; she makes people happy!!!!!
Gentle, loving Lemon Balm is one of my most favourite herbs! Her list of attributes is long and “Melissa” is a powerful ally for a wide variety of issues. There are always new volunteers each spring as the ‘mother’ plants offer up an enthusiastic showing of new plants. I welcome them and transplant and share and happily make medicine all season long! I’ve given away 10+ baby plants in the last month and so this post is for everyone of course and also for those new ‘caretakers’ of missy Melissa!
Here’s a quick peek at Lemon Balm:
Family: LAMIACEAE (Mint)
Primary Properties: Antibacterial, antidepressant, antiemetic**, antispasmodic, antiviral, anxiolytic, carminative, diaphoretic, febrifuge, nervine, relaxant, tranquilizer.
Secondary Properties: Analgesic, antiallergenic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antimigraine, antioxidant, antithyrotropic, appetite stimulant, astringent, cardiac (mild), choleretic, bitter, emmenagogue, hypotensive, sedative, uterine relaxant, vulnerary.
**For clarification of any of the above terms, see “GLOSSARY” under the ‘article’ tab above.
- Nervous system conditions: A very good antidepressant and anxiolytic. Used for stress, tension, anxiety and depression. Used for emotional symptoms associated with PMS or menopause.
- Feverish conditions; for all and especially effective with children.
- Heart palpitations due to anxiety^^. Feelings of “nerved out” with stress
- Tension headaches. OK for migraines.
- Mild menstrual cramps.
- Viral infections. Very good for viral fevers – chicken pox, measles. Supporting herb with potentizing anti-virals.
- Digestive system conditions. Make tea from fresh plants when possible. Delicious!!
- Allergies; combines well with other anti-allergenic herbs to make an anti-allergy tea or formula
Contraindications: Pregnancy and severe hypothyroidism (though not usually a concern).
^^Combines well with Motherwort herb (Leonurus cardiaca) for heart palpitations.
It’s easy to grow! If you don’t have any at home, get yourself a plant and explore this lovely gentle herbal ally!
Lemon Balm Infusion or “herbal tea”
I like to use Mason jars with lids fo keep the aromatic healing steam from escaping.
Use a cup, mug or teapot.. Something with a lid is best.
This is how I make an infusion:
Place 1-2 oz of Lemon Balm leaves (fresh if possible)
into a 1 litre Mason jar. TIP: 8 – 12 leaves
Pour freshly boiled water to cover and enough to fill the jar.
Place lid on the jar and let steep for 10 -15 minutes.