Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Lemon Balm

I've always wanted to grow lemon balm in my garden and had a hard time find a plant at the nursery, so I started the lemon balm plants by seed inside one winter.    The seeds took a while to germinate and one little plant survived.   I planted it in the raised beds, but it didn't do very well (perhaps too much shade from our old large tree).    After the tree was taken down, I moved the plant to another location with full sun and has now flourished and spreading like crazy.  It's even popping up little plants everywhere in my garden and lawn where the seeds flew.  

I love the smell of the lemon balm plant and have learned there are many things you can do with this herb.  There are so many uses for this plant - from medicinal purposes, cooking, crafts, cosmetics and teas.  There are many websites listing the uses of this plant.    I've listed just a couple of useful links on this herb below.

The Homestead Garden  -  listing everything you wanted to know about Lemon Balm
The Homespun Seasonal Living Blog -  Listing 10 ways to use Lemon Balm
The Herb Society - An extensive guide, including recipes
Healing From the Home Remedies blog - listing uses and recipes.

Some Facts I have learned :
-  Lemon balm is high in flavonoids, which can have an antioxidant effect
-  Lemon balm also contains tannins, which are astringent and contribute to lemon balm’s antiviral effects.
-  Lemon balm had historic use as an attractor of honeybees
- It has many medicinal purposes too - treats digestive issues, fevers, insomnia, colds and flu, anxiety to name a few.

This year I am going to dry as much as I can and use for tea during the winter months.

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