“The Elixir of Life” – Paracelsus
This spring, lemon balm is a herb that I’m particularly enjoying having in my garden.

It is this time of year when she really becomes vibrant again, and with it being a busy time of year it is when her calming and sunny medicine is needed the most.

 

Nature’s timing is uncanny.

 

Plants and the timing of the seasons always seem to coincide with the herbs and plant medicine that we need the most.

 

When spring arrives, you’ll find herbs like chickweed, cleavers, violet and lemon balm making themselves known in the garden.

These herbs have strengths that we can use to help support our body’s nervous system and boost the lymphatic system with cleansing and detoxifying.

 

 

If you don’t have lemon balm growing in your garden, you may like to consider having one.  It’s very easy to grow.  She can actually make a little nuisance of herself if left to freely self-sow.  I don’t mind this, I enjoy having lots of balm in my garden.

 

 

With the tensions and anxieties that this year has brought, lemon balm’s virtues and therapeutic properties are just what is needed.  Popping out into the garden to pick a few leaves for a freshly brewed herbal tea can be a simple tonic to gently support the nervous system and give a little time to rest + replenish in a busy day.

Lemon Balm Notes

Botanical Name: Melissa officinalis

Energetics: cooling, drying

Herbal Actions: nervine, carminative, mood-lifting, diaphoretic, hypotensive, antiviral, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory

Parts Used: leaves (can use fresh or dried, but fresh is best)

Preparations: tea/infusion, syrup, maceration, hydrosol, tincture, glycerite. compress, essence, essential oil (note – the essential oil, Melissa, is very expensive due to the very small amount of oil that can be extracted from fresh lemon balm leaves).

 

Virtues:

  • Soothing to the nervous system: lemon balm will gently calm, encourage relaxation and strengthen the spirit.
  • Her carminative properties relieve spasms in the digestive tract, especially helpful in soothing tummy upsets that are stress related.
  • The macerated oil of lemon balm leaves and her botanical hydrosol are wonderfully soothing and calming.  Both contain valuable antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds that help calm rashes and irritated or reactive skin.
  • Due to lemon balm’s antiviral compounds, her infused oil and essential oil can also be used in balms to help prevent or lessen the duration of viral skin conditions such as shingles and cold sores.
  • Lemon balm’s leaves, when slightly crushed, will release an uplifting floral-lemony scent.  Her essential oil, known as Melissa, can be used to help restore clarity and strength.  She will gently lift heavy burdens that weigh down the mind bringing calm, serenity and lightness.

LEMON BALM TEA RITUAL

The lemony scent and deep green of the leaves will lift your mood every time you interact with it.

Tea is one of the most ancient forms of medicine and can be very comforting and pleasurable to drink.

Drinking tea infused with freshly picked lemon balm leaves is a delicious and soul soothing way to receive her medicine.

This year has taught me that taking care of ourselves is hugely important.  It can begin with small steps … the first step could be having 1 to 2 moments in your day to sit and intentionally relax while drinking a herbal tea.

 

This could become a nourishing daily ritual.

 

Even putting aside a special cup + saucer and teapot just for your herbal tea ritual.  Your gift of quiet time to yourself and a time to receive nourishing and gentle medicine from nature.

Your nervous system will breathe a sigh of relief.

Lemon Balm Tea Ritual

Lemon Balm tea for one

2 tablespoons fresh Lemon Balm (per cup)

 or

1 tablespoon Lemon Balm +

1 tablespoon other herb (see optional addition suggestions below)

 

Place herb/s in a tea pot with a strainer and fill pot with boiling water.

Steep covered for 20-30 minutes.

Find a quiet spot to sit that is away from your phone or laptop.

Take a deep breath, be aware of any tension in your body and relax.

Enjoy warm … or cold on a hot day.

OPTIONAL ADDITIONS

 

::  Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis)

Ease stomach pain, aid sleep and promote calmness

 

::  Lemon Verbena (Aloysia citriodora)

A gentle remedy for indigestion, soothes frazzled nerves and helps instil calm after a busy day

 

::  Peppermint (Mentha piperita)

Refreshing and calming.  Aids digestion and soothes the stomach.

 

::  Tulsi Basil aka Holy Basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum)

Brings comfort and helps to reduce the effects of stress naturally.

 

 

Use a tablespoon of the herb you feel drawn to and include with 1 tablespoon of lemon balm.

 

Give yourself time to sit and enjoy the taste of the tea and a moment to relax and replenish.

 

 

If you’d love to enjoy the benefits of lemon balm from other products, you can find lemon balm in the following Chickweed Apothecary Products …

::  Lavender + Lemon Balm Face Mist

Calm + Hydrate – an aromatically calming face mist that hydrates, cools and balances the skin.  Both lavender and lemon balm are known for their support in soothing and healing irritated or reactive skin.

 

::  Lemon Balm hydrosol

Soothing + Clarifying – a light uplifting lemony scent that has a soothing effect on the body and emotions.

 

 

Safety Note:

If you have an underactive thyroid, it is best to avoid consuming Lemon Balm in excess.

If you are adding other herbs in your tea, please check any safety notes first that you may need to be aware of.  Any concerns please check with a medical practitioner or qualified herbalist first.

 

 

Resources:

Mojay, Gabriel.  1997.  Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit.  Healing Arts Press, Rochester, Vermont.

Balm is sovereign for the brain, strengthening the memory and powerfully chasing away melancholy” – John Evely, 1600s well-known herbalist.