Botanical Name: Melissa officinalis
- English: Lemon Balm, Melissa, Balm Lemon
- Also, known as: Alahana, Appiastro, Badarendjabouya, Badranjbuyeh, Balm, Balm mint, Bee balm, Blue balm, Citrounelo, Common balm, Mallisa, Melissa, Melisse, Melissenblätter, Cure-all, Dropsy plant, Erva-cidreira-miuda-de-folha, Billilotan, Sitroenkruid, Citronnelle, Folia citronellae, Franjmeshk, Garden-balm, Herzkraut, Hhashyshat ennahhl, Touroudjan, Turungan, Zitronenkraut, Honey plant, Lemon balm, Limiera, Limouna, Limounneta, Melissenkraut, Melisso, Melliss, Ponciarada, Pouncinado, Sidrunmeliss, Sweet balm, Toronjil, Toronjil-cidrado, Cedronella, Citromfülevél, Citronelle, Citrounado, Citrounela, Zitronenmelisse, Zitronen-melisse, Erba cedrata, Badaranj, Baadranjboyaa, Mélisse, melissa, cedronella, Mountain Balm, Sweet Mary, and Toronjil.
Habitat: Western Asia and the eastern Mediterranean
Harvested: Wild or cultivated
Parts Used: Herb
Melissa officinalis, is an odorous perennial shrub, grow up to 3 feet tall. The plant dies down in winter, but the roots are perennial. The genus name for lemon balm is Melissa, which comes from Greek meaning “honey bee” or simply “honey.” Lemon balm is a favorite plant of bees. Not only does it produce lots of nectar, but it has also been used by beekeepers to prevent bees from swarming. Several square stems,10-25 inches long, lemon scented on bruising. Stems obtusely quadrangular, furrowed pubescent. Lemon scented leaves 2-10 cm long and about 4 cm wide, broadly ovate to obovate-oval or heart shaped, base cuneate truncate or cordate at the base, densely pilose on both surfaces, petiole 0.5-3 cm long. White or yellow-tinted, small, two-lipped flowers form small bunches in leaf axils in summer through early fall. Corolla white or pinkish; infundibuliform tube 8-10 mm long; stamens inserted deep in the tube; bracteoles oval-oblong, about 1.5 cm long, pubescent; calyx 5-8 mm long, pubescent outside, pubescent inside with very short hairs, densely pilose in the middle.
It was a common herb in the eighteenth century, as Spirit of Melissa, a tonic made from lemon balm, was often kept in the house. The plant is also known as balm or balm mint but should not be confused with bee balm. The aromatic leaves with their distinctive lemon aroma are used as ingredient of green salads, fruit salads, desserts, ice cream. The tea of lemon balm, the essential oil, and the extract are used in traditional and alternative medicine, including aromatherapy. Melissa was mentioned by Theophrastus, the father of botany, and Arab and Persian physicians. Lemon balm is used alone or as part of various multi-herb combination products.
How to use:
There are different ways to use powdered herb.
Food Preparation: You can add powdered herbs to any super food, herbal smoothie, sauces, spreads and even cookies. Also for children, you can mix powdered herbs with honey or glycerin to make a paste. The thicker the paste, the more potent and herbal in taste. The sweet taste of honey and glycerin will help the medicine go down. This method is also known as "Electuaries".
Capsules: Encapsulating your own powdered herb at home, give you assurance that the contents of the capsules are pure herb and no filler or any other products. These capsules can be taken with liquid.
Poultice: Poultice can be made with an herbal powder and liquid (mostly water) to form a paste which is then applied to the skin. This method is very helpful for skin conditions.
Herbal shot: Powdered herb can be mixed with water, fruit juice or other liquid to make herbal shot.
You should consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using any herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
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This information has not been evaluated by Health Canada.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.