Lemon balm – gentle medicine for body and soul

Because of its lemon-like smell, the plant is usually called “lemon balm”. But other popular names such as Nerve Herbs, Frauenwohl, Herztrost point to the varied use in the past and present. As a gentle medicine for body and soul, lemon balm is easy to use for laypeople. 

Health effects of lemon balm

Lemon balm has a relaxing, calming, antibacterial and antiviral effect. Wherever rhythmic processes are disturbed, this medicinal plant is used, for example:

Recent scientific research in the UK has found that lemon balm  boosts brain  power, potentially providing support for people with dementia.

Application of lemon balm

The  melissa tea  – applied externally – can   eliminate skin impurities . A steam bath is effective against  oily skin . In addition, this medicinal plant is an effective alternative to synthetic virustatics against cold sores. This is mainly due to the tannin-like rosmarinic acid present in the plant.

The  essential oil  obtained by steam distillation is processed in a wide variety of medicinal preparations, but also in liqueur factories, perfumeries and natural cosmetics companies. If you want to use high-quality lemon balm oil of natural origin for aromatherapy  at home, you should seek advice from a pharmacy or an aromatherapist.

Lemon balm as a culinary herb

 Lemon balm is also popular in the kitchen . It can enhance the taste and appearance of desserts and drinks and is a refreshing spice for salads.

history of lemon balm

Like many other medicinal plants, lemon balm has migrated from southern regions. During ancient times, lemon balm was valued not only as a  medicinal plant  against heart diseases, animal bites and spleen diseases, but also as  bee food: 

  • Pliny (24-79) wrote 2,000 years ago: “The bees prefer no flowers to lemon balm.”
  • Charlemagne (747-814) ordered lemon balm to be grown on state farms.
  • Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) wrote: “The lemon balm is warm. A person who eats it likes to laugh because its warmth affects the  spleen  and therefore the heart is glad.” 
  • Paracelsus (1493-1541) also used the plant in the sense of the doctrine of signatures because of its heart-shaped leaves for  heart diseases  : “Of all things that the earth produces, lemon balm is the best herb for the heart.” He also used lemon balm to heal “contractures and paralyzes”, against podagra, leprosy,  asthma  and to “renew the strength of the body.”

Interesting facts about the plant

The lemon balm, which belongs to the mint family, grows up to 80 centimeters high and loves sunny, wind-protected places. The quite undemanding plant can easily be planted in your own garden. 

The medicinally active components of lemon balm are mainly found in the leaves, which are finely hairy on the upper side. Therefore, they should be harvested before the flowering period, which usually extends from July to August.


Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *