What Is Lemon Balm Used For?

by Dixie
(Sweet Home, AL)

I'm growing lemon balm in my new herb garden. It doesn't look like much. What do I do with it?


Plant Guides Answer

Lemon balm is not a showy plant. It doesn't get very big or make colorful flowers. But what this aromatic herb lacks in looks, it makes up for in fragrance.

The lemony scented and flavored leaves are used to flavor ice cream and teas and to scent soap.

Melissa officinalis is a member of the mint family. It is antibacterial, antimicrobial and antispasmodic which makes it a good digestive herb. You can steep a couple of leaves in hot water with or without other herbs to make an after dinner tea or to sooth a tummy ache.

Its antiviral properties would make it a good tea to drink when suffering from a cold.

Being a sedative herb, lemon balm is a good herb to use at bedtime.

It can be used to ease menstrual cramps and to bring on delayed menses. It stimulates milk flow in lactating mothers.

If you wish to use lemon balm in the kitchen, it blends well with basil, parsley and rosemary.

Used together, these herbs make a delicious herb butter.

Other similarly flavored herbs include lemon thyme and lemon verbena though the flavor of these is not as strong as that of lemon balm.

Growing Lemon Balm

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