Lemon Balm (Melissa Officinalis)
Working a lot with this wondefully abundant plant right now, she is definitely one for the times.
Well known for her effects on the nervous system, digestion and antiviral properties, this is just what we need to be drinking lots of right now!
Melissa Officinalis has a long list of medicinal properties. Of note:
~ Strong anti-viral properties. Reportedly helps to treat cold sores and the herpes virus (so I add Lemon Balm to my lip balms).
~ Gentle Nervine effects, making her good for:
~ Nervous tension
~ Aids digestion & stomache upsets
~ Has anti-spasmodic & anti-inflammatory properties
~ Is used to prevent and treat alzheimer's disease
~ Sharpens and focuses mind and memory
~ Has antioxidant properties
In the Middle Ages Lemon Balm was a symbol of love and used to communicate between lovers. She was also planted at the front door step to ward off evil (that makes me happy to know, Lemon Balm has self seeded all over my property).
Lemon Balm is very easy to grow, and yes self seeds easily. I planted as a 'forest garden' groundcover and it's now in every corner of my garden.
As part of the mint family Lemon Balm is delicious in all types of drinks, hot in an infusion, cold on a hot day, in cordials and cocktails.
Roughly chop leaves and add to fresh summer salads, potato salad or in a cucumber salad.
Rub the leaves on your skin as an insect repellent.
Right now I'm tincturing Lemon Balm in alcohol, as I find having a little bottle in my bag, to take a dropperful in times of need for anxiety, is super helpful.
I keep a bottle in the van for roadtrips & holidays and use for everything from car sickness to kids that can't get to sleep in the tent because the sun stays up too late!