Heirloom Lemon Balm- Perennial
(Tip: Use a paper or plastic bag and rubber band over drying blooms to catch seeds)
Lemon Balm- Perennial
A perennial herb in the mint family. The leaves have a gentle lemon scent, related to mint. At the end of the summer, little white flowers full of nectar appear. These attract bees, hence the genus name Melissa (Greek for ‘honey bee’). The crushed leaves, when rubbed on the skin, are used as a repellant for mosquitoes. Lemon Balm is also used medicinally as an herbal tea, or in extract form. It is claimed to have antibacterial, antiviral properties (it is effective against herpes simplex), and it is also used as a mild sedative or calming agent. Its antibacterial properties have also been demonstrated scientifically. Lemon balm essential oil is very popular in aromatherapy. The essential oil is commonly co-distilled with lemon oil, citronella oil, or other oils. *Lemon balm should be avoided by those on thyroid medication as it is believed that the herb inhibits the absorption of this medicine. For drying, harvest whole stems of young shoot’s 2 in. long and air dry. Lemon balm darkens when air dried and the scent and medicinal properties of the herb are reduced slightly.
Harvesting Lemon Balm Seeds
Harvest when seeds are dried and brown.