Lemon balm herb has medicinal, culinary and cosmetic uses

lemon balm herbLemon Balm

Lemon balm herb (Melissa officinalis) has a lemony flavor and blends well with many other herbs. It will make even the most bitter medicinal tea palatable.  It is native to the Mediterranean and it is now cultivated in North America.

It was used medicinally by the Greeks some 2,000 years ago in the middles ages. It was used to soothe tension and to dress wounds.  The common names are Lemon balm, Garden palm, Bee balm, Dropsy plant, Sweet balm, Balm mint and Balm. 

The medicinal properties are emmenagogue, febrifuge, anodyne, diaphoretic, digestive, stomachic, sedative, aromatic, tonic, vermifuge, antiviral, antibacterial and antispasmodic.

This plant is a perennial herb in the mint family. It is a refreshing herb that is very easy to grow. It can be easily grown from stem cuttings rooted in water, or from seeds.

Lemon balm contains powerful ingredients which are known for their nutritional properties and to promote wellness.  It is very popular for its dried leaves and essential oil, which can be purchased at herbal shops worldwide.  Its constituents are tannins, terpenes, eugenol, volatile oil, rosmarinic acid, 3-octanone, caffeic acid, thymol, citronella, polyphenols and a host of other chemicals.

Among its many uses, lemon balm is known for its magical uses. Its botanical name Melissa is taken from the Greek word for bee and that is the reason it is also referred to as the bee balm.  When it it is blossoming it can attract lots of bees.

Health benefits of lemon balm herb

Lemon balm tea: By Andrea_44 from Leamington, Ontario , Canada [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The fresh leaves can be added to salad.  Lemon balm can also be used in egg dishes and can be used to make sauces for fish, poultry and pork.

Crushed leaves can be used as repellent for mosquitoes.   Lemon balm possesses antibacterial as well as antiviral properties. It is an excellent herbal remedy for reducing stress, anxiety, insomnia and it may be used as an herbal bath.  Therefore, it works well to calm the nerves and it will help to shield the body from bacterial infection. 

It also has a long history of medicinal uses in Europe, especially as a tea which is used as a calming agent for nervous disorders, and as a sleep aid. They also used it to treat cold sores which occurred from herpes simplex virus.  A cream, which contains lemon balm extracts may be used to treat herpes lesions and will cause the lesions to heal faster.  Lemon balm cream can also prevent frequent outbreaks of herpes.  This medicinal herb is also used to promote digestion, ease gas, alleviate bloating, headache and chronic fatigue syndrome. 

Lemon balm can be used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension).  Do you trouble with sinusitis? Well this herb can treat sinusitis.

Lemon balm herb is an excellent plant to have in your possession.

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