Plant Profile: Lemon Balm

Botany:

Melissa officinalis (Laminaceae) “Arizona Herbal medicine” “Durango Herbal medicine” “Albuquerque Herbal medicine” “Sedona herbal medicine” “Denver Herbal medicine” “Boulder, Colorado Herbal medicine” “Phoenix herbal medicine” “Colorado herbal medicine” “Las Vegas herbal medicine” “Prescott herbal medicine” “Flagstaff herbal medicine” “Oak Creek Canyon” “New Mexico herbal medicine” “www.theforagerspath.com" “Flagstaff essential oil” “Flagstaff essential oils” “Flagstaff aromatherapy” “Prescott essential oil” “Prescott essential oils” “Prescott aromatherapy” “Sedona essential oil” “Sedona essential oils” “Sedona aromatherapy” “Phoenix essential oil” “Phoenix essential oils” “Phoenix aromatherapy” “Las Vegas essential oil” “Las Vegas essential oils” “Las Vegas aromatherapy” distillation “essential oil distillation”

Common Names:
Lemon Balm

Southwest Habitat:

Commonly cultivated.
I have never found it growing wild. The best place to look for it outside of cultivation is near old homesteads like those in Oak Creek Canyon.

Energy & Tastes:

A delightful lemon-y taste.
The energetic view of sour varies by herbal tradition. 
Ayurveda considers this taste warming which is true for vinegar. However, many sour herbs in the Western tradition are definitely cooling. Lemon Balm is a classic mildly cooling sour.
Drying.

Ayurveda
It relaxing effect is beneficial for Vata.
Its cooling effect is beneficial for Pitta.
Its energetics are mild enough that it can be easily balanced when combined with other herbs so Kaphas can use it also.

Preferred Method of Preparation:

Its pleasant taste lends itself well to infusions and is commonly used this way. The one drawback is the dried leaves lose their aroma and flavor quickly – within a few months – even if it is dried and stored properly.
My favorite method is a fresh plant tincture.

Herbal Actions:

Mild nervine sedative
Relaxing diaphoretic
Carminative
Mild anti-spasmodic

Anti-viral – The research that supports this action comes from using the highly concentrated essential oil. Melissa produces very small quantities of essential oil so the final product is quite expensive. In practice, it is not commonly used for viral infections among community herbalists.

Therapeutic Uses:

A mild nervine sedative and good for daytime use. It takes the edge off nervous stimulation rather than being sedating.

A useful nervine for the cardiovascular system. A good secondary herb in a heart formula.

A carminative but also a nervine carminative so it is often used for nervous indigestion.

Its nervine quality also extends to the mood and mind. Melissa has an uplifting quality to it that helps to brighten melancholy and calm an overactive mind.

A pleasant tasting diaphoretic which can be a welcome change from the many bitter herbs used for this purpose. Most people, even children who are agitated with a fever, will like the taste of this herb as hot tea.

Its cooling energy makes it a great addition to summer tea blends.

Herbal Combos:
 “Arizona Herbal medicine” “Durango Herbal medicine” “Albuquerque Herbal medicine” “Sedona herbal medicine” “Denver Herbal medicine” “Boulder, Colorado Herbal medicine” “Phoenix herbal medicine” “Colorado herbal medicine” “Las Vegas herbal medicine” “Prescott herbal medicine” “Flagstaff herbal medicine” “Oak Creek Canyon” “New Mexico herbal medicine” “www.theforagerspath.com" “Flagstaff essential oil” “Flagstaff essential oils” “Flagstaff aromatherapy” “Prescott essential oil” “Prescott essential oils” “Prescott aromatherapy” “Sedona essential oil” “Sedona essential oils” “Sedona aromatherapy” “Phoenix essential oil” “Phoenix essential oils” “Phoenix aromatherapy” “Las Vegas essential oil” “Las Vegas essential oils” “Las Vegas aromatherapy” distillation “essential oil distillation”
Use with Chamomile and/or Catnip for nervous indigestion

Use with Tulsi, St John’s Wort, Rose or Lavender for uplifting a heavy mood

Use with Motherwort, Linden, Rose or Hawthorn to support heart health during stressful times

Use with Catnip and Skullcap for a daytime nervine

Use with Peppermint and Elderflower in a hot infusion for fever

Can be used with many aromatic carminatives and a good addition to digestive bitter formulas

Use with Peppermint, Fennel and/or Rose for a summer tea blend

Safety Issues & Contraindications:
Lemon Balm is considered a very safe herb.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Thank you for visiting our Flagstaff based herbal
medicine course and consulting site!

Flagstaff Herbal and Botanical Therapy
website designed by Reliable Web Designs.