Lemon Balm Cut & Sifted
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- Botanical Name: Melissa officinalis
- Other Common Names: Balm, Bee balm, Melissa, Melissa balm
- Plant Part: Leaves
Lemon Balm Herb is a great herb to keep on hand due to its wide range of culinary and other uses. Prized by ancient Romans and Greeks for its perceived medicinal properties, lemon balm herb contains "the virtues of a dozen other plants," according to 12th-century herbalist St. Hildegard of Bingen. This versatile herb is commonly used today to make a relaxing tea.
Melissa officinalis is the scientific name for lemon balm herb. This aromatic herb obtained that name because Melissa comes from the Greek word for 'honeybee' and the plant is often grown to attract bees for honey production. The lemon-scented perennial has serrated heart-shaped leaves and tiny blue, yellow, or white flowers. Native to Europe and central Asia, lemon balm is now grown worldwide in moderate climates where it can get lots of sunlight.
Dried lemon balm leaves can be made into a tea, tincture, or ointment. According to WebMD, lemon balm contains chemicals that seem to have a calming effect and may combat the growth of some viruses. Lemon balm is considered safe for consumption in small amounts. Some people may experience increased appetite, nausea, or other symptoms. It is best to consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner prior to taking any herbal products. This is especially true for people who are pregnant, nursing, or taking medications.