Lemon balm plants is one of those herbs that smells amazing but you never know what it is for?! I am here to give you 10 great reasons to grow Lemon Balm.
10 great reasons to grow Lemon Balm
Whether you got it at a plant swap or garden centre Lemon balm is a great herb for the herb garden. Lemon balm is a medicinal plant native to the East Mediterranean region and West Asia. It’s been used since ancient times for its many therapeutic properties and contains antibacterial, antiviral, and antidepressant properties.
While it’s generally considered safe for most people, lemon balm can inhibit thyroid function. If you have severe hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) or are on thyroid medication check with a doctor before using large amounts internally. If you’re pregnant, nursing, on meds or have any other questions or concerns, do further research and talk with a qualified health professional before use.
1. Relieving stress and anxiety
Lemon Balm tea has been used for centuries to relieve stress and anxiety and recent scientific test have proved that is it does actually help. You can also rub a leaf on your wrist for a quick fix if feeling stressed.
2. It helps Aid Sleep
I was fascinated by this as I am a sufferer of insomnia. Experts say that it produces peaceful and deep sleep among those who consume it daily. They’ve also noted that women in menopause who suffer from sleep disruption have reported significantly better sleep after consuming lemon balm. The recommendation is to consume it 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime to get a good nights sleep. In Germany, lemon balm is licensed as a standard medicinal tea for sleep disorders and gastrointestinal tract disorders (Braun et al., 1997; Meyer-Buchtela, 1999; Wichtl and Bisset, 1994).
3. It is used to treat cold sores
Because lemon balm offers antiviral properties, it can even be used to heal cold sores. It actually contains a host of antiviral constituents, like rosmarinic acid, flavonoids, and phenolic acid.Lemon balm can also be used to reduce symptoms of stress related to a herpes outbreak.
4. Lemon Balm can improve digestion help digestion issues
Helping indigestion is one of Lemon Balms most common uses, and it’s been utilized for this purpose for centuries. Whether you suffer from indigestion, bloating or gas, lemon balm can help as its essential oils help soothe the gastrointestinal tract. If you have heartburn, add some dried peppermint leaves to the mix for the best results.
5. It wards off Midges and Mosquitoes
Lemon Balm has high levels of a compound called citronellal, which gives it its lemony aroma and flavour which insects find unpleasant. Traditionally used by many gardeners for centuries as a bug repellent.
6.It helps Memory and Problem-solving
Research has also observed improved problem-solving and memory in those who used lemon balm. No matter what their age, subjects have shown improvements in both recall and problem-solving skills.
Just one study included a series of experiments out of Northumbria University, which suggested that it deserves its outstanding reputation. Researchers found that young, healthy adults who took capsules that contained the dried leaves of the lemon balm plant performed significantly better at standardized computer memory tests than those who took a placebo. The researchers also noted that lemon balm had a positive effect on pieces of brain tissue and chemical receptors in the brain affected by Alzheimer’s.
7. Helps relax Sore Muscles and Aching
Sore and aching? Fill a bath bag with lemon balm leaves and rose petals. Hang from the tap and let the water run through as the bath fills. Lemon balm antispasmodic properties that help a sick stomach also help sore and tired muscles.
8. Skin care
As you know it can be used for cold sores but Lemon Balms uses in skincare go wider than that given the plant’s strong anti-inflammatory and antibacterial action. Lemon balm is classified as being calming, soothing, healing and tightening on the skin, whilst also stimulating circulation. It is thought to be great for acne and sunburned skin.
9. It is great to use in recipes
- As well as making lovely Lemon balm tea. Add finely chopped leaves and lemon zest to your favourite scone or muffin recipe.
- Add to a salad for a zesty addition.
- Mix 2 Tablespoons of chopped lemon balm with 1/4 cup of softened butter. Rub this mixture under and on top of the skin of a whole chicken prior to roasting. Toss a handful of the leaves in the cavity prior to cooking too.
- Toss a handful of the leaves in with your smoothies to impart that light lemon flavour.
- 1 cup of lemon balm leaves – 1 Cup of Water – 1 Cup of Sugar. Bring to a boil, for 1 minute until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and cover. Let stand 30 minutes. Strain the leaves from the syrup. Store the syrup in the refrigerator. Use to sweeten lemonade and iced tea.
10. Bees LOVE it
Bees love it, so you’ll attract these beneficial pollinators close to home. And we all know how important bees are in the Organic Garden.
How to grow Lemon Balm
At this time of year start with a purchased plant, or obtain a rooted piece from a friend or neighbour who has an established clump. Lemon balm can be transplanted from early spring to early summer. You also can start seeds in late winter, and set out the seedlings in spring. Lemon balm is a member of the mint family and I suggest you grow it in a container as like it family members it likes to spread.
Where to plant Lemon Balm
- Plants will thrive in any moist, well-drained soil
- It likes sun or partial shade
- Planted in a pot filled with soil-based compost – a 20cm (8in) container would be ideal.
- Move outdoors when all danger of frost has passed.
- Control lemon balm’s spread by cutting back flowering stems in late summer.
It is incredibly easy to grow just keep it watered during dry spells, it doesn’t even need fertiliser. Harvest by trimming leaves and this will keep the plant neat. If it gets too big, divide the clump in Autumn and gift to friends.
Get your Quick grow guide to Lemon Balm here –download here
I hope you enjoyed this guide to the 10 great reasons to grow Lemon Balm. It is such a lovely addition to the herb garden but one that gets overlooked. You can find more of my herb growing guides here
- Parsley in the herb garden
- Sage in the Organic Herb garden
- Growing Rosemary in the Herb garden
- Thyme in the Organic Herb Garden
- Growing Basil successfully
And to learn more about the Snapshot and Snippets Organic garden check out Organic Vegetable Gardening Posts on Snapshot and Snippets.
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