Lemon balm or melissa officinalis is a perennial herbaceous plant with the scent of lemongrass that offers many health benefits and virtues.
It forms sucker tufts 40 to 70 cm high.
Lemon balm: for the record
Lemon balm belongs to the Lamiaceae (Labiaceae) family and is native to the Mediterranean.
Naturally honey-bearing, lemon balm is an antispasmodic plant very widely known, especially by Arab doctors who have used it a lot.
In the 17th century, doctors used it a lot to fight nervous breakdown. Lemon balm is also the basis of "Carmelite water", "drinking gold" in the 17th century of Brother Ange ...
Cardinal Richelieu even made him his best ally against migraines.
Lemon balm and its health benefits
> Do you suffer from painful digestion, digestive disorders with palpitations, dizziness or syncope? You will undoubtedly see the benefits of lemon balm.
> We also know that lemon balm flowers encourage hepatic secretion increasing bile flow: no wonder it has virtues against nervous disorders, often linked to hepatobiliary failure.
> Another benefit of lemon balm: it calms nervous attacks and is very effective against small nervous accidents that precede or accompany menstrual functions ... For you ladies! Lemon balm is recommended against anxiety, nervousness and mild depression, but also in cases of sleep disorders.
> Lemon balm is antiviral, certainly thanks to the phenol acids it contains. As an ointment and extract, lemon balm fights herpes well and reduces the frequency of rashes. Against chickenpox and shingles, it has also been proven.
> Another virtue of lemon balm: it balances the functioning of the thyroid.
Did you know ?
> Internal use:
Lemon balm infusion : 25 to 50 g of leaves and flowering tops per liter of water. Leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Drink 3 or 4 cups a day. Facilitates digestion, calms nervousness, promotes sleep.
Dehydrated lemon balm loses all of its aroma, so it is best to use it fresh. You can very easily grow a plant in your garden or on your balcony.
To be prepared for certain eventualities, it may be helpful to have the remedy ready in your pharmacy, in the form of wine or lemon balm water.
Lemon balm wine : macerate 50 g of fresh plant for 48 hours in 1 l of white wine. If necessary, take 2 tablespoons.
Family lemon balm water : let 50 g of fresh lemon balm macerate for two weeks in 1 l of white brandy with 5 g ofcinnamon, 15 g of fresh lemon zest, 10 g of angelica, 15 g of cilantro, 10 g of cloves and 15 g of nutmeg. Squeeze, filter. Keep this wine in bottle and take a teaspoon if you feel unwell.
Growing lemon balm for its benefits
To thrive, lemon balm needs sunny or semi-shaded exposure.
Lemon balm grows in any type of soil, even poor or stony.
Do you like varieties with colorful foliage? They tend to suffer from the sun, it is better to cultivate them as ground cover at the foot of large shrubs.
Lemon balm in a jar?
Lemon balm in a pot will grow successfully. If you choose this option, prefer colorful varieties!
Beware of little animals!
Nothing serious to report, enemies and diseases will not affect lemon balm.
Species and varieties of lemon balm
"Aurea" : with golden yellow leaves then green.
"All Gold" : with yellow leaves.
"Lemonade" : delicious scent of lemongrass
"Lemonella" : Even more lemony!
"Quedlinburger Niederliegende": ideal for essential oils
Lemon balm in cooking for its benefits
Lemon balm is a wonderful fragrance for creams, fruit salads, lemonades, teas and sauces. Did you know that it is part of the composition of the Chartreuse and the Bénédictine?
Gourmet ideas based on lemon balm:
- Young lemon balm sprouts added to salads give them a remarkable lemongrass scent.
- Have you ever tried cooking fish or vegetables on a bed of lemon balm? They take all its flavor!
- Lemon balm delicately aromatizes desserts and pleasantly scents drinks.
Some synonyms of "lemon balm" to shine in society ...
It is also nicknamed "lemon balm", "lemongrass", "bee pepper", "tea from France", or even "lemon grass".
The synonym "lemongrass" is used incorrectly since the real plant of this name is a large tropical grass (Cymbopogon citratus) used in Asian cuisine and which has sharp, elongated leaves, extremely fragrant.
"Lemon balm" is reminiscent of honey and its flowers, rich in nectar, are melliferous par excellence. The first name Mélissa (botanical name of the plant) means "bee" in Greek.