Lemon balm is a vigorous plant which likes to spread itself about and can grow up to two feet high, so you do have to keep your eye on it, but the bees love it.
Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis), is a member of the mint family, and like mint, the leaves make a delicious herbal tea, which is believed to possess anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiseptic properties. It is also used to combat stress and anxiety as well as help with indigestion.
The young, sweet leaves make a tangy addition to spring salads.
As a herbal tea, it does not contain caffeine which explains why it may be beneficial for calming frazzled nerves and soothing anxiety.
Typically, lemon balm tea is made by steeping fresh plant cuttings in boiling water. The tea can be drunk hot or cold. You can also make it using dried lemon balm leaves, although the drying process may cause the leaves to lose some of their flavour.
Lemon Balm Tea Recipe
2 cups of boiling water
2 teaspoons of fresh or 1 teaspoon of dried lemon balm leaves
Honey to sweeten (optional)
Pour the boiling water over the (dried) lemon balm leaves. Infuse the mixture for up to 10 minutes and chill (if preferred).
- Avoid drinking lemon balm tea if you’re allergic to other plants of the mint family because it may increase your risk for an allergic reaction.
- If you’re undergoing a surgical procedure, do not drink lemon balm tea two weeks before it, because the tea’s sedative nature may negatively interact with the anesthesia.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult with your doctor about the safety of lemon balm tea.
- This tea can be safely consumed by children in small amounts.
If you are going to forage for lemon balm, please follow the simple guidelines:
- Always be sure you are sure of the plant before you pick it and never eat any plant you are unsure of.
- Leave plenty behind for wildlife.
- Make sure you have permission to pick
- Only pick where plants are plentiful