Melissa officinalis (also known as Lemon balm) is easy to grow herb which is known for its powerful anti-viral with relaxing properties that are very helpful in reducing stress and anxiety. Lemon balm is also very effective in calming hyperactive children. Traditionally, this perennial herbaceous plant has been used to treat colic and upset stomach. Furthermore, the leaves can be chewed to freshen the breath, and when crushed, you can rub them on the skin to ease the itching caused by a bug bite.
Very Important Note: Lemon balm may inhibit thyroid function in people who suffer from severe hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) and take thyroid medications, so it is very important to consult with a doctor before using large amounts internally. The same goes for pregnant and nursing women.
Here are 12 Amazing Uses of Lemon Balm:
1. Make a sleepy time herbal syrup– put 3/4 cup of lemon balm leaves into a small pot and pour enough water to cover the leaves. Cover the pot partially, and simmer until the liquid is reduced in half. Then, strain the liquid, and while it is still warm, add honey into the tea (stir 1/4 cup of raw honey into 1/2 cup of tea). You can make larger mixture if you want, but don’t forget to keep the ratio of about 2 parts of lemon balm tea to 1 part honey. Keep the syrup in a fridge for 7 days before using it. Consume one spoonful before sleeping every day to calm your nerves and sleep better.
2. Chop fresh leaves and sprinkle on fruit salads. You can only make a dressing by combining the leaves with honey or yogurt.
3. Make a glycerite– Fill a jar with leaves. Cover with a mixture of 3 parts vegetable glycerine to 1 part water. Fasten the jar with a lid and let it sit in a cool, dark place for 4 weeks. After that, strain the mixture in a bottle and store it in a fridge. Consume 1/2 to 1 teaspoon every day to feel calmer and more relaxed.
4. Make a relaxing, tummy soothing tea– Fill a jar with fresh leaves, pour hot water into it, and then cover the top with a saucer. Drink the tea when it is cooled enough.
5. Moisten cosmetic clay with lemon balm tea and apply the mixture on the skin to get rid of blemishes and bug bites.
6. Fill a bath bag with lemon balm leaves and rose petals and let the water run through it while the tub fills.
7. Add 2tbsp of finely chopped leaves and lemon zest (a pinch) to your scone or muffin recipe.
8. Make a tincture– Fill three-quarters of a jar with lemon balm leaves. Then fill the jar with a vodka, cover the mixture with a non-metallic lid, and store it in a cool, dark place for 6 weeks. Don’t forget to shake the mixture from time to time. After that, strain the tincture into a glass bottle and store it in a fridge (you can use it for one year). The recommended daily consumption is ¼ teaspoon. This amazing tincture is antiviral, soothes the stomach, aids digestion, and reduces the symptoms of cold.
9. Make a vinegar– Fill ¾ of a jar with fresh leaves and cover with apple cider vinegar. Put a non-metallic lid on the mixture and let it sit in a cool place for a few weeks. Then strain the mixture and use as a hair wash or add to your bath water.
10. Make candied lemon balm leaves– This is the favorite kid activity here. Watch this video to learn how to make the candied balm leaves: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3Nr4GSj6PI
11. Make Lemon Balm and Honey Butter– Mix 4 tablespoons of softened butter with finely chopped lemon balm leaves. Add honey to taste. This yummy butter is a great combination with biscuits.
12. Make an herbal water – Fill a jar with fresh leaves, thinly sliced lemon, and cold water. Place it in a fridge for several hours. This water is very refreshing on a hot summer day!