Lemon balm is a perennial herb from the mint family. The leaves, which have a mild lemon aroma, are used to make medicine. Lemon balm is used alone or as part of various multi-herb combination products.Properties:
Lemon Balm is edible and medicinal. Fresh leaves can be added to salad or used in egg dishes and can be used to make sauces for fish, poultry and pork. Dried or fresh the whole plant is used to make cool refreshing drinks or warm relaxing teas. Used in alternative medicine the leaves and young flowering shoots are antibacterial, antispasmodic, antiviral, carminative, diaphoretic, digestive, emmenagogue, febrifuge, sedative, and tonic. Balm contains a volatile oil citral and citronella which is strongly antispasmodic and aids in calming nerves, relieving menstrual cramps, insomnia, depression, hyperthyroidism, upset stomach, and colic in babies. Leaf tea is good for fevers, colds, and headache. Fresh crushed leaves are applied to wounds and insect bites. The essential oils in the fresh plant, particularly citronella make it a most effective insect repellent when crushed and rubbed on skin or clothes. Research has shown that the plant contains polyphenols, it can help significantly in the treatment of cold sores and combat the herpes simplex virus. Added to bath it relieves muscle tension and soothes irritated skin. The oil is often added to skin preparations and perfumes. TheLemon balm is used for digestive problems, including upset stomach, bloating, intestinal gas (flatulence), vomiting, and colic; for pain, including menstrual cramps, headache and toothache; and for mental disorders, including hysteria and melancholia.essential oil is used in aromatherapy and is very pleasant used in potpourris.
Many people believe lemon balm has calming effects so they take it for anxiety, sleep problems, and restlessness. Lemon balm is also used for Alzheimer's disease, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), an autoimmune disease involving the thyroid (Graves' disease), swollen airways, rapid heartbeat due to nervousness, high blood pressure, sores, tumors, and insect bites.
Lemon Balm can help significantly in the treatment of cold sores and combat the herpes simplex virus. Added to bath it relieves muscle tension and soothes irritated skin. The oil is often added to skin preparations and perfumes. The essential oil (which is quite expensive and often adulterated with lemon or lemongrass) is used in aromatherapy and is very pleasant used in potpourris.
How does it work?
Lemon balm contains chemicals that seem to have a sedative, calming effect. It might also reduce the growth of some viruses.
Breakfast tea: 2 tsp. chopped leaves added to 1 cup boiling water steep 5 to 10 min. strain add honey and, or lemon.
Cold highnooner: 2 tbsp. per cup of cold water, let stand for 6 to 8 hours. Strain, add ice peppermint sprig and sweeten to taste.
Article by Deb Jackson & Karen Bergeron