Lemon Balm

hollakesJanuary 15, 2006

Can someone tell me what to use this for I have it growing and now it is seeding if it's of some use I'll save the seeds

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Lemon Balm has SO many uses! You may not need to save the seeds - some people find it self-seeds, and it can easily become a weed when it does. It's related to Mint, you see, so it has an ambition to take over the world!

Lemon Balm:
Use fresh leaves in salads and as a garnish for fish and other dishes. When candied, the leaves make attractive cake decorations. Chopped leaves can be added to egg, fish and chicken dishes and sprinkled over fresh vegetables. Goes well with corn, broccoli, asparagus, lamb, shellfish, ground black pepper, olives and beans. Add the leaves to cooked dishes in the last few minutes. They can also be added to summer drinks and fruit salads, soups, sauces, and ice cream, and make a good substitute for lemon peel in recipes. An ingredient of Benedictine and Chartreuse. The flower tips and young leaves are floated in wine or fruit cups as a flavouring and garnish. Substitute for lemon rind in jam making, and add to marmalades. Makes a delicious tea, alone or added to ordinary tea.

It helps relieve anxiety attacks, palpitations with nausea, mild insomnia and phobias, and when used as a sedative it is good for children. It combines well with peppermint to stimulate circulation, and can also be used for colds and flu and is most effective in the early stages of a cold. The tea is used to treat headaches and tiredness, mild depression, laryngitis, colic and dizziness, and is reputed to enhance the memory. It calms a nervous stomach, controls high blood pressure, relieves menstrual cramps, promotes menstruation and treats insomnia. Fresh juice is used to treat goitre and Grave's Disease. It is especially suitable for children, and makes a good substitute for chamomile. A crushed fresh leaf applied to insect bites eases discomfort. As a poultice it treats sores and tumours. In ointment, it is good for cold sores.

Attracts bees to the garden. Potpourri. An infusion of leaves makes a refreshing skin toner and can be used in rinse water for clothes. A stronger infusion makes a good rinse for oily hair. Use as a facial steam for dry skin and to treat acne. Use in furniture polishes, or just rub a handful of crushed leaves on wooden furniture for a beautiful shine. Rub on a fresh leaf to soothe insect bites. Use in sleep pillows, and add to soaps. Used to bathe discharging eyes in puppies. Used to bring down retained afterbirth in farm animals. Also used for farm animals for eye ailments, nervous and brain disorders, heart abnormalities, uterine disorders, to increase milk yield and to prevent miscarriage.

Warning: Avoid medicinal doses when pregnant or if suffering from night sweats. People with either Grave's disease or thyroid-related illness should not use this herb except under medical supervision. Prolonged contact with balm plants or leaves may cause contact dermatitis (itching, stinging, burning, reddened or blistered skin) or it may sensitize you to other allergens.

Just a few recipes to get you...

    Bookmark   January 15, 2006 at 5:08PM
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Good grief, you'd have to be happy with that answer Bev!!

    Bookmark   January 17, 2006 at 11:56PM
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Well thank-you for all that great info I shall get rid of it I fall under the thyroid category but I'm sure the information will help other members

    Bookmark   January 18, 2006 at 7:12AM
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sallyforth_vic(VIC Aust)

My herbs are all in pots while waiting (patiently) for an in-ground herb garden to move into. The lemon balm does indeed want to take over the world. Small lemon balm plants have sprouted in other pots that are over a metre away! I transplanted a few of them (to move into the vege garden to attract bees), but it was not easy. They send out very long roots, and were tough to pull up. They transplanted into other pots well though - extremely good survivors they are (they have to be if they're going to take over the world). And the battle continues to keep them out of my other herb pots...

    Bookmark   April 19, 2006 at 6:21PM
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betty_the_villages(Central Florida)

Does anyone know if i is safe to juice lemons with the peel on and make lemonade to drink? Will it do any harm to your body?

    Bookmark   November 1, 2006 at 5:28PM
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My lemon balm is definately taking over the world... good luck to it, lol. But luv the scent it has especially when I touch it.. I use it around my garden to attract beneficial insects and for the aroma, I also use it my cups of tea... great relaxant. I didnt know it also had a dark side so thank you daisyduckworth for that information....

Koolies :-)

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 10:07PM
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"Does anyone know if i is safe to juice lemons with the peel on and make lemonade to drink? Will it do any harm to your body?"

Most commercial citrus have insecticides applied which are hazardous.

When people make candied peel, they usually boil it and discard the water three times for oranges; I imagine lemons might need the same treatment. (You can even use the cooled water as an insecticide.)

I don't know if lemon peel itself is poisonous, but they do get a degreaser and cleanser from orange peel.

They do take bits of peel scrapings for taste, though from lemons...it's probably a matter of quantity. I would be inclined to go easy, myself.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 2:31AM
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The biggest medical issue with lemon peel is that mould can grow on it which can contribute to liver damage. You can't always see the mould; so when using the peel use fresh young unblemished lemons and give them a really good scrub with a brush.
I get a reaction from too much seville orange peel - the pungent oils seem to give me a skin irritation if I have eaten a lot of seville marmalade- so maybe too much citrus oil is not a good thing. On the other hand the pith of grapefruit is supposed to contain an anticancer compound and I wonder if there is something intrinsically helpful about some citrus rind. I guess they originally decided on a long boil for citrus peel to remove bitterness; but the bitterness may have some use for the body and when I did a wikipedia search they said the long boiling is no longer considered necessary by candied peel manufacturers.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 8:23AM
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My Girlfriend & I just started growing some herbs in pots on our balcony as we live in a unit. One of the hebs is Lemon Balm. I have read that it can be used in Herbal Teas etc. Would anyone have any herbal tea recipes for Lemon Balm & Other Commonly grown herbs.


    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 12:55AM
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I'm drinking some right now, actually! For lemon balm, what I usually do is pick a sizable sprig of it, along with some mint leaves and just pour hot water and a little honey over it. I usually bruise the leaves a little with a spoon in my cup, and let it sit for a few minutes and then enjoy. I love having this at work -- it relaxes me (which must make my co-workers happy...).

Hope that helps!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 10:19AM
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I make a tea using a few sprigs of brahmi herb(memory herb) a few leaves of gotu kola(arthritis herb) a few leaves of lemon balm and a teaspoon of the highest level Manuka honey I can find to sweeten it, I sometimes add skullcap as well since it's beneficial for the nervous system. the Manuka honey contains anti-inflammatory and anti-septic qualities. enjoy :)

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 5:45PM
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jill2761(Southeast Texas)

I also have lemon balm in my garden. In looking up the uses, I found the WebMD site which gives a good overview as well as uses and possible side-effects and interactions. The article includes lemon balm as used in teas, extracts, oils, creams, fresh leaves, etc.

Stop using lemon balm two weeks prior to surgery as it might cause too much drowsiness if combined with medications used during and after surgery.

Caution should be used if taking with medications that also cause sleepiness, such as clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), phenobarbital (Donnatal), zolpidem (Ambien) and others. The combination might cause too much sleepiness.

I don't have any health conditions or take any medications that would contraindicate its usage, but I will, as in all herbals, use it in moderation. The scent in my garden is wonderfully fragrant. I enjoy it added to tea, but I actually prefer regular mint. Do be careful to plant it only where you really, really want it, as it will spread. It also grows taller and bushier than my regular mint.

Jill in Texas

Here is a link that might be useful: WebMD Lemon Balm uses, side effects, interactions

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 1:14PM
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