Lemon Balm

Latin:  Melissa officinalis

Family:  Lamiaceae

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.

Contraindications:    None.

Further Reading:

Lemon Balm  by Jon Keyes

Lemon Balm monograph  by Rosalee de la Foret

Lemon Balm monograph  by Matthew Wood

Lemon Balm monograph   by Sara Seitzman  (Herb Rally)