The use of lemon balm goes back thousands of years to the time of the ancient Romans and Greeks. One of its first recorded uses was as a wine infused liniment. Dioscorides (a Greek physician, pharmacologist, and botanist practicing in the 1st century in Rome, who authored the herbal De Materia Medica), mentions its use in this way, and it was also employed in this same manner in Ayurvedic medicine. St. Hildegard of Bingen, an herbalist and nun born in 1098 C.E. in present day Germany said, “Lemon balm contains within it the virtues of a dozen other plants.” According to Nicholas Culpepper (a botanist, avid astrologer, physician, herbalist, and author of the Complete Herbal, written in 1653), said dried lemon balm may be made into a fine ‘electuary’ with honey. He wrote that it was ruled by the planet Jupiter and associated with the zodiac sign of Cancer, therefore having an association with the water element and thus an effect on emotions.
Lemon balm was traditionally used to uplift the spirits. As Culpepper mentioned, some of its properties were spiritual in nature. This herb was used in spells to heal broken hearts and also to attract romantic love. To find out how to use it for cooking click here.
Lemon balm is loaded with antioxidants that protect cells from free radicals.The list of powerful antioxidants includes ferulic acid, caffeic acid, and quercetin.
Lip Balm for Cold Sores
Simply infuse the lemon balm in almond oil and add some beeswax to make a lip balm. The minute you feel that little tingle announcing a cold sore is coming, start applying the balm liberally. You can buy my lipbalm here
Lemon balm makes an excellent sleepy-time remedy:
- Add 3/4 cup lemon balm leaves to a pot of water, full enough of water to cover the leaves.
- Bring to a simmer and continue heating until the water reduces by half.
- Pour the liquid and leaves into a strainer and throw away the leaves.
- Into the strained liquid, stir in a 1/4 cup of raw honey.
- Pour the mixture into a mason jar and store in your refrigerator for up to a week.
- Take a spoonful of the syrup before bed to relax and to calm yourself, but keep in mind that you should not give honey to infants under the age of one year old.
Relaxing Bath Time
Lemon balm added to your bath is superb for relaxation and smells divine. Add lemon balm leaves and fresh rose petals if you have them into a bath bag.
Then, hang the bath bag from your taps and let it steep as you run warm-to-hot water through the bag. Allow the aromas to meld and the petals and leaves to steep before slipping into your bath and breathing deeply.
Calming, Anti Viral Tea
Lemon balm has a multitude of uses like fighting colds & flus with its antiviral properties and using it for its calming effects on the nerves. The simplest way of taking it is drinking it as tea. In the summer, I use fresh leaves but I dry lots of it as well for winter drinking.