Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Six ways to use Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm (or Melissa) is an easy to grow perennial which will attract bees to your garden. It likes to rich soil and a little shade. Lemon balm has been used in traditional medicine for more than two thousand years.

Lemon Balm Tea

Traditionally hot lemon balm tea can help to soothe an upset stomach, combat indigestion, anxiety and stress. It may also lessen some of the symptoms of coughs and colds.

To make lemon balm tea place a handful of clean, fresh leaves in a small tea pot. Pour over enough just boiled water to cover the leaves. Place the lid on the tea pot and leave to steep for at least five minutes. Strain. Sweeten with a little honey if needed.

Cold Sore Treaments

Some studies indicate that lip balm made with lemon balm infused oil may help to lessen the symptoms and reduce healing time for cold sores.

Details of how to make an infused oil are here. Simply use lemon balm leaves in place of calendula petals.

You can use this simple recipe for lip balm. In a small double boiler or microwave-proof jug slowly and gently heat 30mls of lemon balm infused oil with 7g of beeswax and 7g of cocoa butter. Once melted add 3 drops each of tea tree essential oil and peppermint essential oil. Pour into a small, clean jar and allow to cool. Makes approximately 1/4 cup of balm.

Wood Polish

Take a handful of fresh lemon balm leaves and rub over the surface of wooden furniture. The oil in the leaves nourishes the wood and leaves behind a subtle lemon fragrance.

Insect Bites

Fresh leaves can help to relieve the itching of insect bites.

Keep Moths Away

I haven't tried this yet, but bundles of lemon balm leaves placed in a wardrobe or cupboard  are supposed to keep moths away.

Lemon Balm Vinegar

Fill a large jar 3/4 full with fresh, clean lemon balm leaves. Pour in enough Apple Cider Vinegar or White Wine Vinegar to cover the leaves. Seal the jar with a non-metallic lid (the vinegar will cause a metal lid to break down and corrode over time). Store in a cool dark place for 6 to 8 weeks.

The infused vinegar can be used as a rinse for greasy hair and works well in homemade salad dressing adding a subtle lemony flavour.

CAUTION: avoid using lemon balm if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have an under-active thyroid.

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  1. Your lemon balm uses sound wonderful. I was thinking how good a salad dressing would be infused with it. Thanks for sharing your lemon balm lesson with us at the Over the Moon Link Party.

  2. Very informative post. So many uses. Thanks for linking up to Merry Monday! Sharing on Twitter! Have a great week!

  3. I grow lemon balm and you're right, it is great for insect bites. And it definitely attracts bees. Sometimes too many! Thanks so much for sharing at Inspiration Thursday!

  4. I have loads of lemon balm in my garden and never quite know what to do with it beyond throwing some in a fruit salad. Thanks!


  5. I love lemon balm! I grow it everywhere for the pretty leaves and scent. I can't wait to try some of your ideas.

  6. I love having lemon balm in my little herb garden for the fragrance. Helps things smell fresh. I notice there are less bugs around when I have it, so it's probably true that it diverts moths.

  7. I am looking forward to using Lemon Balm at home as a healing tea or for other needs. It's so multi-purpose! I am delighted that you highlighted the ways to use Lemon Balm with us at the Healthy Happy Green Natural Party! I'm Pinning and sharing this!

  8. Thanks for the great ideas and for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop.

  9. What great tips! I always see Lemon Balm at our local plant swaps. I do think I will be picking some up this year. Thanks for sharing on the Country Fair Blog Party this month!

  10. I am going to have to check out Lemon Balm now. Thanks for linking up the Country Fair Blog Party!

  11. Love this list! So many fantastic uses for lemon balm. Its great for immunity, especially during the colder winter months. I didn't know about the wood polish, though :). Thanks for sharing this on #bloggybrunch

  12. I love lemon balm! I did not know it could be used as wood polish.