• Letitia Coker

Lovely Lemon Balm

Melissa officinalis

Do you know this amazing little plant?

It is part of the mint family, and once you plant it in your garden you always will have it, unless the kangaroos eat it, as they do in mine!!!!!

Lemon balm has been grown for more that 2,000 years as a crop. It was used to "encourage good spirits" and longevity. This was a plant that the Arabian physicians used extensively in the 10th and 11th centuries. From there it was introduced to Europe and Paracelsus a 16th century physician called it the "Elixir of Life".

Lemon balm leaves can be used in cooking and salads to add that lemony flavour to your food but it makes a great soothing cup of tea to drink regularly.

Lemon balm has a sedative and anti-depressant action, relieving stress-related headaches and digestive issues. It is known to clam anxiety, panic attacks, hyperactivity and irritability, very safe for children.

Studies have shown that large therapeutic doses can inhibit thyroid activity, so can be useful in the treatment of hyperthyroidism, in conjunction with other treatment. It can successfully treat cold sores when they first appear and it has antiviral activity with chickenpox and herpes simplex viruses rashes. The oil from lemon balm will repel insects, and crushing a leaf will bring relief from insect stings and bites.

Lemon balm is a very useful plant to have growing in your garden. It likes moist, cool areas and will reseed itself throughout your garden.

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