Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Herb Lemon Balm: "The Elixir of Life"

Lemon Balm has been used medicinally for centuries.  Legend says that drinking lemon balm tea daily will increase your life span. Drinking tea with lemon balm in it does calm away tension. Today, it is also used in aromatherapy to counter depression.
This is one of my lemon balm plants. I like to harvest the leaves when they are young and tender.  Larger leaves tend to be a bit harsh scented, more tough and not as flavorful as the younger leaves.  I am now in the process of harvesting and drying it for use in my herbal products. Lemon Balm likes full sun with mid day shade.  It needs to be thinned or transplanted to two feet apart. You can pick the leaves anytime but handle them gently so you don't bruise the leaves.  Their flavor is best when the flowers of the plant just begin to open.  There are many uses for this fine herb.  I like it best for aromatherapy and potpourri uses. I dry it in a food dehydrator to ensure it does not become moldy.