Latin: Melissa officinalis
Parts Used: Leaves, flowers
Taste/Energetics: Sour, slightly sweet, cooling
Properties: Anxiolytic, anti-depressant, anti-spasmodic, carminative, anti-microbial, diaphoretic
Actions: This is one of the best gentle herbs for bringing calm and relaxation to someone who is overheated, irritable, hypertensive, anxious and stressed out. Lemon balm is a great soothing herb without being too tranquilizing. Lemon Balm has an affinity for the stomach and is helpful for those who have a nervous or cramping tummy. This herb grows wild as a weed quite commonly and like many aromatic herbs, it is is best used fresh as it loses its medicinal volatile oils quite quickly with time after being dried.
Dosage: As tea, 1-2 tsp to one cup of hot water infused for 10 minutes. It also makes a great sun tea. Just fill up a big quart jar with fresh lemon balm. Fill with water and let it sit in the su for a few hours. Add ice for a nice summer beverage. This is one of my favorite herbal teas for kids and the elderly due to its pleasing taste and gentle effect.
As a tincture I often like to make double or triple tinctures. That means one tinctures the plant repeatedly in the same alcohol to produce a more potent medicine. 1-2 ml as needed.
Lemon Balm monograph by Rosalee de la Foret
Lemon Balm monograph by Matthew Wood
Lemon Balm monograph by Sara Seitzman (Herb Rally)