Lemon Balm (melissa officinalis)

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis), an aromatic, sweet herb of the Mint Family grown in the herb garden for seasoning, and also used in liqueurs and historically, as a medicine. It grows to 2 feet tall and has small 2-lipped flowers in late summer, and leaves of a decided lemon odor and flavor. Flowers and leaves are used as tea and tinctures.


Lemon Balm for tea.
Growing Lemon Balm in your garden is so rewarding.

How to Use Lemon Balm Leaves for Health-Calming Effect, Anxiety, and Sleep

Chew on lemon balm leaves or chop them up and throw a teaspoon of them into boiling water for 10 minutes to make tea.

Take lemon balm as a mild sedative. Studies with lab mice have shown lemon balm sedates the central nervous system. Consuming the leaves induces the effect, but drinking the tea gives you the added benefit of a calming lemon scent. Lemon balm also inhibits the production of bacteria and viruses, so it’s good to take for overall wellness.

Lemon Balm for Memory

The British have been using lemon balm in tea for most of Britions history. The British are tea drinkers and love their teas. Research in Britain is baring out what herbalists have known for many years, that Lemon Balm tea made from dried leaves helps memory. We use a very expensive oil made from Lemon Balm all the time.  I began using it this year for my husband as well. It has made a difference in our memory and my ability to write again.

“Now a series of experiments at Northumbria University suggests its reputation is deserved and provides the first evidence of exactly how it works. Researcher Dr. David Kennedy found that healthy young adults given capsules containing doses of the plant’s dried leaves were significantly better at standardized computer memory tests than those who took a placebo. They also scored higher in another standard test that measured calmness. They found that the higher the dose, the bigger the effect on both memory and mood. Meanwhile, Elaine Perry of the Medical Research Council’s unit at Newcastle General Hospital found lemon balm had a positive effect on pieces of brain tissue and chemical receptors in the brain affected by Alzheimer’s.

“As a sedative, the extract worked, Dr Kennedy said. “The more you took, the more it worked. But it was only the dried leaf, which is probably closest to the traditional way of taking lemon balm, that e hanced memory.”We believe that it could be used as a helpful adjunct to conventional treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.”   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-171716/Lemon-balm-help-memory.html

Health Benefits of Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm contains many health benefits and has been used for hundreds of years by people in Britain and other countries who grew extensive herbal gardens and still do. Lemon Balm is found in most stores in Spring. I have some in my garage right now and a pot of Lemon Balm in my living room in front of our sunny window.

Contains Anti-Bacterial Terpenes

Lemon Balm has been shown to be effective against Listeria monocytogenes and Staphylococcus auerus. Has been used historically as a tea drunk when coming down with a cold or flu.  Usually combined with other antibacterial herbs. Available in tincture form and as a tea.

Lemon  Balm Oil shows antibacterial and antimicrobial activity against candida which is responsible for women’s yeast infections.  Drinking it as a tea would benefit systemic yeast infections as well as an anti-candida diet.

Lemon Balm is useful to help prevent diabetes and high sugar levels.

Lemon Balm tea or dried lemon balm taken in capsules helps to reduce blood sugar according to the researchers at the Free University of Berlin who stated, “ethanolic lemon balm extract can potentially be used to prevent or concomitantly treat type 2 diabetes,” because they were so impressed by the convincing data.”  https://draxe.com/nutrition/lemon-balm/

Lemon Balm as a cream may help lessen herpes lesions and cold sores on the lips. Drinking the tea may be beneficial to prevent herpes breakouts. You can buy lemon balm as a cream or ointment for external use on blisters.

Lemon Balm has been shown to be effective in killing some kinds of cancer cells causing the death of the cancer cells, but not normal cells.

Lemon Balm tea or capsules may be helpful with PMS symptoms, headaches, stress headaches, and pain caused by teeth issues.


Add Lemon Balm to your bath water

Add a handful of lemon balm to a hot bath to help skin ailments, such as acne. Lemon balm opens the pores and aids in cleansing.

Apply directly to acne. Give yourself a lemon balm facial. Boil 1/4 cup of lemon balm in a quart of boiling water and then hold your face close to the bowl, using a towel to form a tent around the bowl and trap in steam. After 10 minutes, wash your face with warm and then cool water.

How to Grow Lemon Balm

Buy Lemon Balm plants this Spring at almost any plant nursery. It can easily be grown in big tubs to add beauty to your porch or patio. You can just let it take over a portion of your yard as well. Bees love it so plant a tub next to your vegetable garden.

Lemon balm may be considered a noxious weed or invasive plant in some areas. Lemon balm is drought tolerant and is useful in landscaping. Lemon balm attracts bees, butterflies, or birds and has fragrant blossoms. Lemon balm self-sows freely; remove flowers (deadhead) if you do not want volunteer seedlings the following season

It is moderately shade-tolerant, much more so than most herbs. In dry climates, it grows best in partial shade.

Lemon balm grows in clumps and spreads vegetatively as well as by seed. In mild temperate zones, the stems of the plant die off at the start of the winter but shoot up again in spring. It can be easily grown from stem cuttings, or from seeds. Under ideal conditions, it will seed itself prolifically and can become a nuisance in gardens.

Fertile, well-drained clay or sandy loam.

Requires consistently moist soil, do not let the soil dry out in between waterings. Water on a regular schedule, taking care to not overwater.

Possible Side Effects-

Lemon Balm could cause allergies in some people so try it out first you see how you personally respond to this healing tea. Any new herbal product including Lemon Balm could cause a headache or stomach upset.

How to Use Lemon Balm with Poultry and Fish

Use fresh lemon balm leaves in cooking. Drying or freezing lemon balm causes it to lose some flavor, so it’s best to use the herb fresh. Season green salads, poultry, and fish with lemon balm. The herb has a lemon taste with a hint of mint flavor.

Combine lemon balm with mint in cooking to enhance the flavors of both herbs. Add lemon balm to foods and beverages that use mint to give them a mild lemon flavor. Add lemon and mint to hot black tea. Lemon balm also combines well with black pepper.


Refer to Dr. Axe’s article here for dosage. He has one of the best articles published on Lemon Balm and its health benefits HERE 






How to Make Lemon Balm Tincture


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