Lemon Balm Healing Properties
The lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is actually a member of the mint family. This is an herb that is touted for its calming effects. The lemon balm, with its delicately aromatic lemony smell and its soothing flavor, has graced some of the most fabulous fragrant teas ever made. Like other delicious mints, the lemon balm too has its lineage in the shrouds of medieval Europe.
The lemon balm has been used for ages as a nerve soothing aromatic miracle. As a matter of fact, its use in the field of calming the hot headed, stressful people dates back to even before the medieval ages in Europe! It has been drank in teas, added to wines, and used in recipes with the goal of achieving mental calm through the delicate taste and fragrant flavor.
Today, the tincture of lemon balm and its essential oil are wildly popular, and act as a relief for the modern day workers exposed to stressful jobs.
Cultivation of Lemon Balm
Lemon balm, like other members of the mint family, is a hardy plant that can handle tough conditions, such as a bit of shade and little soil nutrients. Thus, not a particular lot of care is needed to grow this useful herb. However, growing lemon balm with dedication and care is bound to give you a lot of healthy, great flavored lemon balm leaves.
- A well tilled garden bed is recommended, as with any other gardening venture. Make sure there are no stones, and the turned over soil is loose for reception of the lemon balm.
- Lemon balm prefers growing in soil that has plenty of moisture but is well drained. So remember not to pack your garden bed soil.
- The recommended pH for growing lemon balm is from 6 to 7. If the pH is higher, use an alkali such as calcium.
- Since lemon balm leaves are picked a lot, a good fertilizer will ensure optimal growth. You can use organic compost for maximum results. Simply dig a deep trench in the bed, lay down a layer of the fertilizer, and cover that up with a good few inches of soil. Then plant your lemon balm in the soil.
- Lemon grass is best grown from a cutting or sapling. Simply transfer saplings to the ready bed.
Tips on Growing Lemon Balm
Your lemon balm shrub should be regularly trimmed for best results. During periods of drought or other hard times, simply cut down the shrub to a small size. This will significantly decrease pressure on the plant, and it will grow back all healthy in more opportune times.
Dry lemon balm leaves are flavorless at worst. Young leaves have the best flavor. This makes lemon balm more or less a seasonal treat. Enjoy the great flavor in periods of new leaf growth in spring.
Protect lemon balm from frosts – Lemon balm flowers are not particularly effective, but they do spread around seeds. To prevent your lemongrass from repopulating, you should use mulch around the ground near your lemon balm plant.
Medicinal Uses of Lemon Balm
Lemon balm has reputed medicinal use since ancient times. It has often been used as a tonic for bad moods and stress. The simple, yet fragrant flavor of lemon balm is a great source of relaxation.
Stress relief is crucial for good health, and the accumulation of stress causes many health complications. The use of lemon balm is therefore quite effective towards achieving good health. Furthermore, the antioxidants in lemon grass boosts good health, and can be used to treat herpes sores and indigestion.
Bust your stress – A gentle, lukewarm tea of lemon balm, together with other soothing flavored herbs such as chamomile and vanilla, can be an effective reliever of stress problems.
Treat herpes sores – Viruses that cause cold sores have been shown to be combated by lemon balm. Although scabbing and scarring is not much helped, herpes cold sores have been shown to reduce in redness upon topical application of lemon balm cream.
Treat indigestion – In the laboratory, lemon balm has been seen to combat some indigestion causing bacteria. This means that the lemon balm, together with some other effective herbs, can be used to combat indigestion.
Treat insect bites – Take the sting away from a bee or wasp sting using an ointment cream made from lemon balm extracts.
Get rid of your headache – A soothing tea of lemon balm, with its fragrant lemon smell, can easily remove stress induced headaches.