Lemon balm, the wonder herb. I'd heard the name a few times before, but had never given it a second thought…until it sprang to life in my garden unexpectedly! Even then I was thinking it was just a nice smelling plant that looked a lot like mint, but that would change drastically when I started researching it.
12 Amazing Health Benefits of Lemon Balm
Lemon balm has a very long history of amazing uses, including the ability to treat the following ailments:
- Anxiety and restlessness
- Mild depression
- Cold sores, bug bites and minor cuts
- Alzheimer's symptoms
- Heart palpitations
- Menstrual cramps
- Radiation exposure protection
- Discomfort from indigestion (including gas, bloating, and spasms)
And it's even safe for use during pregnancy (in moderation, of course)!
3 Delicious Ways to Use Lemon Balm
I found that I could easily use lemon balm in my own life with its super healing, anti-viral and anti-stress properties. Here are a couple of my favorite uses:
1. Lemon Balm Tea Infusion
Drinking organic tea with lemon balm regularly (like this one) can help relieve stress, menstrual cramping, mild depression, insomnia, and headaches. But beware! Lemon balm has strong sedative properties, so too much lemon balm at once can make you sleepy. Good before bed, not so much when operating heavy machinery 🙂
2. Lemon Balm Extract
A lemon balm extract (or tincture, depending on how it's made) can be used as a dietary supplement to help with heart palpitations, radiation exposure, problems with digestion, and to lighten depression. The extract can also be added to balms or salves and topically applied to cold sores or as a first-aid remedy on bug bites and minor cuts. Fresh herbs are best when making your own extract, although dried (not powdered) lemon balm would work fine too. If you follow all preparation steps carefully, the extract should last 3-5 years!
3. Lemon Balm Simple Syrup
You're going to LOVE this one! I use it to sweeten my lemonade and iced tea, but you can also use it in club soda or a springtime cocktail.
1 cup filtered water (why filtered?)
1 cup organic cane sugar
Mix all ingredients together and bring to a boil for about a 1 minute (or until sugar is dissolved). Remove from heat, cover and let stand for about 30 minutes. Strain the leaves from the syrup, pour into a mason jar and store in the refrigerator.
How to Grow Your Own
Ready to try growing your own? It's so easy and perfect for beginners! In fact, it'll take over your garden if you're not careful. But the good news is that lemon balm also attracts bees, so it can help pollinate your other plants. You can find great tips on how to grow lemon balm at herbgardening.com.