Lemon Balm Herb
Lemon Balm Herb (Melissa officinalis) is a member of the mint family which is used to help treat sleep disorders when brewed as a tea.
Lemon Balm Herb History
Lemon Balm Herb (Melissa officinalis) is member of the mint family which is used to help treat sleep disorders when brewed as a tea.
In antiquity, Lemon Balm was cultivated as a food for bees. Virgil and Pliny reported that, due to its strong aroma, leaves of Lemon Balm were rubbed on new beehives to entice the bees.
The medical use of Lemon Balm has a 2000-year-old tradition. In the 10th century, Arab physicians used the plant to fortify the heart and to treat melancholy. In the Capitularies of Charlemagne the order was given for Lemon Balm to be planted in every cloister garden.
Planting Lemon Balm
Direct sow seed in early spring by broadcasting seeds on the soil surface or cover only lightly with soil, as this plant needs light to germinate. Add compost if you wish, though this herb does not require any special soil conditions. Seeds should sprout in 5-9 days with soil temperatures ranging from 65-70°F.
You can also choose to start seedlings in flats indoors or in a greenhouse in early spring. Sprinkle seeds in trays on top of potting soil, and keep them moist until they sprout. Check this article out for more tips on how to grow Lemon Balm.
Preserving And Storing Your Lemon Balm For Later Use
Bunches of Lemon Balm stems can be hung upside down in a cool, dry place until dried. Lemon Balm can also be spread over drying racks. Be sure to turn the stems from time to time and keep the racks out of the sun. Too much sun will blacken the leaves. With lemon balm, racks are often recommended as the better method for drying. Click here to learn more about preserving and storing Lemon Balm.
Cooking With Lemon Balm Herb
Lemon Balm leaves are great for cooking. Use Lemon Balm in place of lemon peel in recipes and to flavor soups, sauces, vinegars and seafood. Or add it to your favorite sugar cookie dough for a delicious lemony tea cookie. You can also toss a few fresh leaves into a salad or a bowl of mixed fresh fruit or use it in a vinaigrette for marinades and salads. It also makes great herb butter. This recipe demonstrates how to make a delicious roasted Lemon Balm chicken.
Lemon Balm Medicinal Uses
Researchers have tested both lemon balm essential oil and extract for their effect on high blood sugar. Both produce similar results by reducing blood sugar levels and oxidative stress related to diabetes.
Lemon Balm Nutrition
Here’s some more information on the nutritional benefits of Lemon Balm.
Lemon Balm Herb Uses
Potentially, the most useful application of lemon balm in the realm of the home is that oils from the lemon plant are a natural mosquito repellant. It can be rubbed on the body as a repellent. This helps aid in comfort, but also helps to repel mosquitoes that carry infectious disease.
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