Lemon balm seeds. Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) is a member of the mint family and is a perennial herb. It is known by many names such as Melissa, sweet balm, honey plant, balm mint, garden balm and English balm. It grows as a bushy, leafy herb with a pleasant lemon smell and small white flowers.
Fresh or dried leaves can be used to make herb teas, while leaves will give a lemony kick to salads, sauces, vinegars and fish dishes – they are best used fresh, rather than cooked. Dried leaves are added to potpourris and herb pillows.
Lemon Balm Medicinal Uses
Lemon balm has long been taken as a tea to soothe, encourage focus, and reduce stress. It has a reputation for reducing anxiety, restlessness, and insomnia, and has historically been used to treat indigestion, gas, and bloating. Lemon Balm extract is a concentrated source of potent essential oils and plant compounds that have antiviral activity, Research has shown that it has antiviral effects against avian influenza (bird flu) and enterovirus 71.
Growing Lemon Balm
- Direct sow Lemon Balm seed in early spring by broadcasting seeds on the soil surface or cover only lightly with soil, as this plant needs light to germinate.
- You can also start your seeds in containers.
- After seeds have germinated, which can take up to three weeks, transplant seedlings to their own pots when they are large enough to handle.
- It can be grown in full sun or partial shade.
- While adaptable to almost any soil and sun conditions, some shade can actually improve the flavor.
- This herb grows best in moist soil with good drainage, in sun or partial shade.
- The plant will remain green during mild winters.
- This plant responds well to cutting, growing back twice as thick.
- Whenever your plant is looking tired due to drought, hail, insects, or other stress, just cut it back and let it rejuvenate itself with fresh, new growth.
Information is for educational and informational purposes only and may not be construed as medical advice. The information is not intended to replace medical advice or treatment offered by healthcare professionals.