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Lemon Balm Mini Monograph

Grow | Harvest | Make with Lemon Balm


Melissa officinalis


Relatives in the Lamiaceae family include tulsi, rosemary, basil, oregano, lavender, peppermint, spearmint, sage, catnip, bee balm, and penny royal.


I D E N T I F I C A T I O N

Dense, 1-3 feet tall plant


Textured, serrated, oval shaped, highly aromatic, bright to deep green leaves


Small, hooded, white to yellowish flowers


Squarish stems


G R O W

Perennial in zones 4-9


Herbaceous, leaves die back each year


Moist, but well drained soil


Happy in part sun, but can handle full sun


Grow from seeds and cuttings or root division


Self seeds


Plant in containers to avoid spread though it does less so than other mints


Companion plant to deter insects


Excellent plant to attract pollinators


H A R V E S T

Midmorning


Just as flowers begin to bud


Cut to 3-6 inches from the ground to encourage a second harvest


D R Y

Cool, dark place with good airflow


Spaced evenly to avoid oxidation/browning

Garble after drying


P R O P E R T I E S

Cool | Dry | Sour | Mild Bitter

Relaxant | Aromatic

Antidepressant | Antispasmodic | Antiviral

Carminative | Diaphoretic | Nervine


M A K E

Traditionally used for...


Tea/Tincture: stress, anxiety, depression, nervous tension, sleep, SAD, ADD/ADHD, headaches, outbreak of viral sores, nervous digestion, gas, bloating, cramps, mild fever, palpitations, irregular menstruation, colic,

teething, overactive thyroid

Oil: outbreak of viral sores such as herpes, shingles and chickenpox, wounds, bites


Wash/Compress: viral sores, wounds


Flower Essence: self love, worthy of love

Culinary: desserts, cocktails


Contradictions: avoid use with an underactive thyroid.


For educational purposes only.

Not intended for medical advice.

Always consult your physician.


Purchase herbs by visiting Mountain Rose Herbs!

Lemon Balm in the garden by Flora's Feast Botanicals


Folklore & Fables of Lemon Balm


"It causeth the mind and heart to become merry and driveth away all troublesome cares and thoughts."

Culpepper


It's species name Melissa officinalis comes from"

Melisso - Greek - honey bee

Officinalis is an "official" herb of ancient apothecaries. Charlemagne ordered it to be planted in all monastery apothecary gardens.


Common names include balm (especially if you are reading older herbal books), melissa, garden balm, sweet balm, common balm, mint balm, honey leaf, bee herb.


Ruled by Jupiter and the sign Cancer, its element is water.


In floriography, or Victorian Language of Flowers, lemon balm signifies sympathy.


Symbolism includes love and prosperity.


Paracelus was said to call lemon balm the "elixir of life." Llewelyn, the Prince of Wales, was said to drink it daily and lived to 108 years old.


Discorides said lemon balm is "sweetening to the spirits." Avicenna was said that it "makes the heart merry." It was used as a strewing herb for clean and festive occasions.


The nymph Melissa shared the wisdom and honey of the bees. John Gerard, 16th century herbalist, is said to have planted lemon balm around bee hives in an effort to keep them happy. It was rubbed in empty skeps to attract bee swarms. It makes an excellent edition in a pollinator garden.

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