Yes, Lemon Balm (melissa officinalis) really is tasty anxiety relief. Unlike so many herbs that are um, strong tasting, Lemon Balm not only tastes good but smells great too. It belongs to the mint family, and like mint, it grows easily and can take over your garden. This is why I have mine in a container. Lemon Balm’s botanical name, Melissa, is derived from the Greek word for honeybee. This is because bees love Lemon Balm, and beekeepers would rub it on hives to attract and keep them there.
Relax and smell the Lemon Balm
Lemon balm doesn’t only attract bees it attracts me when I go to my garden too. I snip off a leaf, rub it a little to release the oils in the plant, and inhale the delicious aroma. It smells lemony, with a hint of mint, and never fails to give me a lift- aromatherapy at it’s best.
It doesn’t just smell good, though
Lemon Balm also helps to reduce anxiety and depression. It’s believed that Lemon Balm makes the neurotransmitter GABA more readily accessible in the brain. GABA reduces activity in the central nervous system, providing a calming effect. Lemon Balm also boosts your mood, but experts aren’t sure how or why. I don’t know about you, but I don’t need to know why Lemon Balm works to benefit from it. It’s safe, tasty, and another multi-tasking herb.
Elixir of youth
The Swiss physician Paracelsus believed that Lemon Balm was an elixir of youth. He wasn’t alone in that belief. That’s why Lemon Balm was included in many tonics during medieval times. These tonics were known as “elixirs of youth” and were believed to help a person live longer.
Helps belly troubles
Whenever someone in my family complains of belly trouble, I quickly brew a cup of Lemon Balm tea. It helps the digestive process and helps to expel gas. Since many people have belly trouble when suffering from anxiety, Lemon Balm offers a 2 in 1 solution. It calms you down and takes care of the belly issues.
But wait that’s not all
Lemon Balm is also a diaphoretic. That means it makes you sweat. This is why it’s also good for fevers, flu, and colds. Lemon Balm is anti-bacterial and anti-viral. For this reason, it can help with mumps, cold sores, and minor wounds. The Nerdy Farm Wife has a post with some uses for Lemon Balm. She has good recipes for everything from Lemon balm cough syrup to a cold sore balm and even candied Lemon Balm leaves.
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How to use Lemon Balm
As I said earlier, I grow Lemon Balm in a container. I harvest and dry the leaves throughout the summer, so I always have it on hand. I don’t think I have ever had to purchase a Lemon Balm tincture. I could make a Lemon Balm tincture if I wanted to, but I usually add it to other herbs that are good for anxiety and make a tincture like that.
Lemon Balm is also one of the herbs I actually like to drink as a tea. It smells wonderful and tastes great. You can also add it to iced tea and regular black or green tea if you wish. Here are a few good Lemon Balm teas if you aren’t lucky enough to have your own plant to harvest.
For some reason, Gaia, my favorite brand for capsules, does not have a Lemon Balm only supplement. Other companies do and here are a few of them. They all seem pretty good but I would check out the reviews to make sure.
Experience it for yourself
Lemon Balm is not usually one of the first herbs recommended for anxiety and that’s a shame. I believe that because it doesn’t have a strong and bitter taste, many people think it’s not effective. This is a misconception. Lemon Balm does work for anxiety and the side effects of anxiety.
Don’t take my word for it go ahead and try some for yourself. You may end up making Lemon Balm a must have herb in your house.
The 17th century gardener John Evelyn said “Balm is sovereign for the brain, strengthening the memory, and powerfully chasing melancholy”.
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