Lemon Balm Love

Posted on May 21, 2013. Filed under: Food Made Simple, Health, Plants | Tags: , , , , , , |

Plants - Lemon Balm 1          Plants - Lemon Balm 2

I bought a small lemon balm plant at a herb sale a few years ago and now I have little clumps of it all over the place.  It is no surprise to find out it is in the mint family!!  It is easy to pull out, but I decided to finally find out a little about it and how I might use it instead of treating it like a weed.

Well, I realized that this is the plant that gives us very expensive Melissa essential oil!  Pure lemon balm essential oil is valued for its properties in aromatherapy where it is considered to be uplifting and calming, and in skincare as an anti-inflammatory and an anti-viral.  Each plant produces only a little oil so the producers need mounds of the stuff to get a small bottle of oil accounting for the expense.  Making tea out of the leaves is supposed to help with sleep, anxiety, cold/flu, coldsores, bug bites and more!  See WebMD for a good list.

 The best part is the leaves are nice and lemony so why not make a fresh leaf infusion?  I ripped off a handful when I was outside this morning, came inside to rinse the leaves, then I crushed them with my hands and put into my water cup.  I filled with water and now I’m enjoying this lemony water.  It’s refreshing and actually easier than juicing a lemon.

I’m going to try chopping some of the leaves for my salad later and also drying some for hot tea in winter.  It will go nicely with my chocolate mint tea.  Now that’s lavish living at it’s best:  fancy water infusion with live herbs for FREE!!

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