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Lemon Balm

May 10, 2011

This morning at work I was handed a BUNCH of minty looking plant cuts from a co-workers plot in a community garden.  Turns out it’s lemon balm!  Great!  But what do I do with it?

You can:

  • Make tea from the dried leaves
  • Add to hot tea for flavor and medicinal benefits
  • Use to treat cold sores, including those from herpes:  Steep 2 to 4 teaspoonfuls of crushed leaf in 1 cup boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes. Cool. Apply tea with cotton balls to the sores throughout the day. (per the University of Maryland)
  • Add to your cooking with dishes using allspice, bay leaves, mint, pepper, rosemary and thyme (Encyclopedia of Spices), though add them at the end of cooking!
  • Add to soups, casseroles, stuffings, marinades for fish and salads.
  • Excellent when combined with chervil

Lemon balm can be used to reduce stress, anxiety and to aid in digestion issues (gas, bloating and all that fun stuff).  It is also known to promote sleep, improve appetite,and decrease pain and discomfort.  It is often combined with other relaxing herbs such as chamomile, and used in creams to treat cold sores.  Note, some sources site that pregnant and breastfeeding women  should NOT take lemon balm.  Also, if you are taking medications for anxiety, please check with your primary care provider before taking this as a supplement.

Check out the University of Maryland Medical Center’s website for more information and a list of the professional publications on lemon balm.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 20, 2011 6:10 pm

    This is awesome info. to have. . . I’ll be on the lookout for a little lemon balm plant to stick in my herb garden this year.

    • anna permalink*
      May 20, 2011 6:17 pm

      I have some plants I could spare thanks to Heidi and her awesome Bella Vista garden plot!

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