Plant for calming teas, for attracting bees and repelling unwanted insects, and for the therapeutic aromas!
Hardy from Zones 4-9. Up to 2 feet and spreads as a ground cover.
Lemon Balm tea with a little honey is really relaxing in summer heat, and with very good reason. Folk medicine and modern research attest to the perennial plant’s ability to soothe the central nervous system. Its essential oils, citral and citronella, treat nervous nervousness, assist digestion, ease headaches and fevers, and help with sleep. We like having Lemon Balm right on the edges of paths so we can cut it easily, or just bend down and smell it! The leaves smell like Pledge, or rather Pledge smells like Lemon Balm. That fragrance is often used in aromatherapy, and the flavor is good in salads or cooking. We cut it to use fresh in tea or dry it for winter use. Cut it back after flowering and the leaves will grow back vigorously. You can also use the leaves externally on cold sores and insect bites, or even just rub the leaves on your skin to ward off bugs.
Melissa is the Greek name for honey bee. This Mint family member has been grown for over 2,000 years to attract bees for honey and for its medicine. Medieval herbalists praised it as the “elixir of life.” Lemon Balm hails from the Mediterranean, Iran, and Central Asia, introduced to Europe through Spain sometime in the 7th century. It adapts well to a wide range of places, from dry to moist soils and from sun to some shade.
We propagate our Lemon Balm from root divisions in our forest gardens and herb beds.