I don’t know about you, but here in Georgia, Lemon Balm can overtake a garden when you don’t trim it back and soon it will be like kudzu! Nah, not THAT bad and much easier to pull out.
Lemon Balm is a delicious and wonderful medicinal herb! I like herbs like lemon balm because it takes no effort to grow it, just plant it and it will spread if you let it, like any other mint family plant. I have been harvesting it here, at a friends house and even had some given to me….it is like the yellow squash of herbs. 🙂
I have a few recipes below but this one is, “use it all, no waste” kind of recipe. Don’t throw away those stems – they make a delicious lemonade drink and it is easy peasy!
Before I get to it, let me tell you a bit about the properties of this herb.
Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) – looks like mint, is in the mint family but as soon as you crush a leaf, you get the vague scent of lemon pledge! I know…weird but then TASTE it. Sweet and lemony!
Medicinal Benefits: anti-viral – useful for herpes/shingles, anti-anxiety, calming, for mental clarity, great stomachache herb for children especially when it accompanies anxiety/nervousness, relaxation, ease pain and discomfort from indigestion (including gas and bloating, as well as colic Grave’s disease (hyperthyroidism), chronic fatigue and more.
**from Herb Wisdom
“The herb is used for nervous agitation, sleeping problems, functional gastrointestinal complaints, menstrual cramps and urinary spasms.
It is thought that the volatile oils in lemon balm contain chemicals that relax muscles, particularly in the bladder, stomach, and uterus, thereby relieving cramps, gas, and nausea.”
To make a regular tea – take 1-2 teaspoons of lemon balm to 1 cup of boiling water, steep 10-15 minutes. and now for my tea/drink –
Lemon Balm Stem Iced Tea
- 1 bunch of fresh stems, chopped up,
- 2 Tablespoons sugar, I used costa rica free flowing sugar – yum
- 1 lemon, squeezed
- ginger slices
Fill a 1 qt jar or coffee press with the stems.
Boil a quart of water. Pour over your stems and let steep 20 minutes.
Strain and put into a 2 quart container, add sugar or honey and ginger. Mix well. Add 1 more quart of water or ice. Chill and enjoy!
Lemon Balm Glycerite: Weigh 2-3 ounce of fresh lemon balm and add to a pint jar. Measure 6 ounces of vegetable glycerin and pour over lemon balm. Mixing well, cover it. Shake daily for 3 weeks and strain into an amber bottle.
Dosage is 2-3 dropperfuls for adults or less according to weight of child. I have even used this for dogs in small doses for upset stomachs.
I hope you enjoy your day today!!!