lemon balmLEMON BALM

Melissa officinalis

It looks like mint, but when you crush the leaves, you will be pleasantly surprised by the fresh and zesty aroma of fresh Lemons.

Use fresh leaves from your garden for the best flavour and aroma.

Add chopped fresh leaves to green salads and scatter them over fruit salads for an additional lemony kick.

A variety of sweet and savoury recipes can be enhanced by the addition of the lemony taste. Add lemon balm to herb butters, sauces and marinades.

When cooking with lemon balm, always add the fresh leaves at the end of cooking or the heat will destroy the flavour.

Lemon Balm 1

Lemon Balm 2

Lemon Balm 3

Lemon Balm

Small bright green serrated leaves and small white flowers, much loved by bees. Fresh leaves and flowers can be used in salads, stuffing or sauces for poultry or fish. Great for a lemon flavor without using lemons. Wonderful for summer teas. Medicinal.

Shrub. H:60cm W:spread. 12cm, 17cm.



In the garden

Growth Characteristics:
• Perennial, Deciduous, Frost hardy,
• Plants will die back during winter, but established plants will regenerate in spring
• Regular clipping is necessary to promote a bushy plant and control spread.

•± 60cm; Spread: ± 1m

• Full sun; Well drained, composted soil,
• Avoid a shady area as the plant will become infected with fungal diseases during the raining season.

• Pick fresh leaves throughout the year.

Companion Planting:
• Makes a good liquid manure when steeped in rainwater and allowed to decompose,
• Attracting Beneficial insects:Outstandingly attractive to BEES, so plant where bees are needed to pollinate other flowers.
• Plant it around beehives and rub on beehives before introducing a new swarm.



Culinary use

Fresh leaves give a lemon flavour to:
• Salads,
• Chicken, Fish, Game, Lamb, Poultry, Pork,
• Custards, Fruit salads, Fruit drinks, Soups, Sauces, White sauces for fish, Herb Vinegars, Mayonnaise, Sauerkraut, Jellies, Wine cups.
• Tea: Use leaves, light lemon flavour.



• For a soft lemon fragrance in Potpourri and Herb pillows.


Cosmetic use

• Use a strong infusion with bathwater, as a facial steam and as a rinse for greasy hair.


Health benefits

The London Dispensary , in 1696: "Balm, given every morning, will renew you, strengthen the brain and relieve languishing nature."

Lemon Balm may be beneficial in the following cases:

• Chronic fatigue syndrome (herpes simplex virus has been suspected of contributing to CFS) - antiviral, Melancholy,
• Tonic,
• Recently a Japanese research group isolated 6 major antioxidant compounds from Lemon Balm, one a new compound about 10 times as potent as vitamins C and E.
• Tumors, Cancer, Mouth canker sores,
• Contains Rosmarinic acid: antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties.
• Dizziness.

Nervous System
• Nervine, Neuralgia,
• Muscle relaxant: relieves tension (migraine) and stress reactions. Encourage relaxation and act as a tonic to the nervous system. Headaches,
• Throporestorative (like oats),
• Anxiety induced palpitations and insomnia, benefit ADD,
• Mild sedative, anti-depressive, Hysteria,
• Insomnia: Combine very well with Valerian.

Endocrine System • Hyperthyroidism,
• Grave's disease - inhibits the receptor binding and biological activity of imunoglobulins in the blood of patients with Grave's disease - a condition resulting in Hyperthyroidism.

• Vulnerary, insect bites, urticaria (anti-inflamatory),
• A lotion based extract for skin lesions of herpes simplex - antiviral,
• Cold sores - internal and external (5x per day),
• Shingles - external and internal (Herpes zoster).

Lymphatic System • Anti-microbial,
• Anti-viral: herpes simplex (cold sores, genital herpes), mumps,
• Anti-bacterial / viral: ear infection.

Respiratory System • Chronic bronchial catarrh,
• Diaphoretic: Feverish conditions as in influenza, flu and colds,
• Sore throat - streptococcus infection (tea / gargle),
• Antihistamine properties - allergies.

Cardiovascular System
• Mild vaso-dilation of peripheral vessels - acting to lower blood pressure, in combination with lowering stress and muscle tension.
• Heart palpitations.

• Hepatic.

Digestive system • Carminative: flatulent dyspepsia (especially when associated with anxiety or depression),
• Anti-spasmodic, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Colic,
• Nausea,
• Yeast growth.

Urinary System
• Urinary infections.

Reproductive System
• Emmenagogue, Menstrual cramps.

Musculo / Skeletal System
• Reduces muscle pain, cramps.

Preparation and dosage:
• 2-3 tsp of dried herb or 4-6 fresh leaves per cup boiling water,
• Infuse for 10 - 15 min.
• Take up to three times per day.


Insect repellant

Repellant for:
• Take a handful of chopped leaves and make an infusion in boiling water, allow to cool and soak area around plants infected with red spider mite.