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Herb of the week

By Lynn Kirkland

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Herb of the Week for 24th August by Lynn Kirkland

Calming Lemon Balm

Melissa officinalis is the botanical name of this lemon scented member of the mint family.
Lemon balm does not disappear completely during its dormant phase and already the new growth is appearing inviting you to make it into a refreshing cup of tea. It is a balm to mind, body and spirit. When taken as a tea it it helps bring about a more positive feeling.
Of course you can use lemon balm tea bags however if you have the herb growing why not make it with fresh leaves.
Pick about three to five leaves per cup and pour a cup of boiling water over and cover the cup or pot they are in. Leave to infuse for five to ten minutes and add honey if you want to sweeten the tea. This delicious tea will make you feel refreshed and if drunk at night will encourage a deep and relaxing sleep.

Apiarists used to plant lemon balm around the hives and rubbed the inside of the hives with crushed leaves. This was to encourage the bees to return to the hive. In fact the Greek word for bee is Melissa so this seems to be the reason for the botanical name for lemon balm.
When you see officinalis as part of a herb name it means that it has been recognised as having medicinal properties.
It is a prolific grower however if it is getting out of hand in a small area it does pull out easily. We love its generous growth habit and make a tincture of lemon balm when it is at its most perfect. This is added with two other relaxing herb tinctures, lavender and hops to a bath blend we make. We add beautiful relaxing essential oils to make a blend which ensures total relaxation and encourages a deep and blissful sleep.


Thanks lynn another great read.

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