The spring showers are bringing the abundance of Lemon Balm to the Pacific Northwest! Our lemon smelling friend can take over a garden in no time.
This month we celebrate the mint family member Melissa officinalis: Lemon Balm. This bright and cheery plant soaks up the sun and gives the sweetest-lemony smell along with a rich green-yellow color. For harvesting the aerial parts, it is best to wait until late spring or early summer before the flowers set seed; this is when the essential oils are the strongest. However, lemon balm will be growing through the summer and can be used after the bloom as well.
Lemon balm is famous for it’s lemony volatile oils that make it a mild carminative and can help with an upset stomach. The flavor adds citrus tones and it’s aroma brings sunshine to your body. Lemon balm is a relaxing nervine and is often used in children’s calming tea formulas. It also has a mild affect on the upper respiratory system and is great for cold and flu symptoms. Lemon balm has antiviral properties for some virus strands. Using topically or internally it can help diminish cold sores. Lemon balm is also used to help treat hyperthyroidism.
My experience with lemon balm is a sweet one. It was the first tincture I made from harvesting the fresh leaves, and it was a plant I got to share with my whole family. It is a gentle and safe herb for most bodies and a great entry way into building deeper relationships with plants.
At The Herb Shoppe we include Lemon balm in our:
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