Lemon Balm (Melissa)

Lemon Balm is a calming herb. Reduces stress~ It is in the mint family & grows amazingly fast. The aroma is so wonderful which helps with the calming effect.

Make tea using a large handful of leaves, stuff them into a quart jar & pour boiled water over the leaves filling the jar. Leave to steep about 8 minutes. Do not exceed as it tends to turn bitter.  Pour into your picture, add sweetener & stir, then fill picture with water to dilute. Chill & serve over ice. Or enjoy it hot.

The picture shows the fresh washed herb in the colander, the spent leaves in the jar & the tea in the pitcher before sweetening & diluting. The bag shows the leaves in an air tight bag ready for the freezer. I had to gather all my Lemon Balm to avoid the possible frost, so I grabbed it all & preserved it!

Ways to use Lemon Balm~ flavor butter, sugar, ice cream, great with fish.

How to preserve: Dried in a dehydrator, or on trays in a hot car out of sunlight (remove before sun goes down), for long term storage over winter. Fresh leaves are the best for tea. Tincture fresh leaves for highest quality tincture. For an easy essential oil, take fresh leaves, place in clear jar with oil of choice (coconut, jojoba, almond), cover fresh leaves with oil. Place lid on jar, tighten and put in a window or outside in the sunshine for 6 weeks, shake daily. Strain and you have essential oil for many uses. Use with salves, lotions, etc.

Avoid lemon balm if you are on thyroid medicine…not sure why but if you are on the medicine I am sure you know why. It says it is an inhibitor of the medicine so you don’t want to do that. It is a very safe herb otherwise.