Plant Walk Series with Lisa Marie Holmes: Lemon Balm *Melissa officinalis*

Hello, and thank you for joining this week’s Plant Walk Tuesday. It is an honour to have you here. This week I am excited to introduce you to a personal favourite medicinal plant of mine - the beautiful and seductive Lemon Balm *Melissa officinalis*. 

lemon balm with lisa marie holmes

Lemon Balm originates from Southern and Central Europe but is widespread throughout the world. Lemon Balm received its common name due to its pleasant lemony aroma. In Greek, the name ‘Melissa’ means ‘honeybee’, and it just so happens that bees actually love the aromatic flowers of the Lemon Balm plant. Lemon Balm is also known as ‘the bringer of gladness’ as energetically, it is known to brightens one’s days. 

Around the world and throughout the ages, humans have harnessed the magnificence of the powerful Lemon Balm. In Ancient Rome, Lemon Balm was used to infuse wine. In Ayurveda it has been used to calm an upset stomach. Traditional Chinese Medicine has incorporated Lemon Balm for its’ cooling & drying properties. The Celtics infused Lemon Balm in their witches love spells to heal broken hearts and attract a lover. The leaves of the Lemon Balm plant are edible and this summer I added the leaves to jams & green salads to sweeten the taste. The symbolism of Lemon Balm is longevity, purification, and LOVE.

Lemon Balm is a member of the mint family. You can always tell when a plant is a member of the mint family by touching its stem - the stem is in a square shape, not cylindrical. Its broad heart shaped leaves resemble other members of the mint family. Lemon Balm has white or yellow tinted flowers that form small bunches in the summertime. Lemon Balm is a great addition to any garden as it is easy to grow and offers a lovely scent and presence. 

In Western Herbalism, Lemon Balm is known for embodying a wide range of healing effects. Some of these include (but are not all encompassing):

  • Dense nutrients making it a great addition to your diet.

  • Act as a nervine which means that Lemon Balm feeds, tones, and strengthens the nervous system. This herb is a fabulous addition to an anxiolytic blend addressing nervous system disorders such as anxiety.

  • Is a mild sedative - encourages sleep and eases tension.

  • Is a diaphoretic.

  • Is Antiviral – topical applications of Lemon Balm essential oil have antiviral properties helping with viral infections such as herpes.

  • As a carminative Lemon Balm can relieve digestive disturbance and help calm an upset tummy.

  • It has been known to Strengthen the brain’s resistance to stress & shock.

Energetically Lemon Balm has been known to uplift the spirit and calm the mind. It eases one’s mind, body, and spirit allowing you to slow down and let go of stressful/anxious thoughts. When you feel spread too thin, Lemon Balm is a wonderful ally to turn to. 

Lemon Balm gives such a wonderful taste that I enjoy drinking an infusion of it by itself. It will calm your nervous system, ease digestion, and it’s delicious!

Herbal Infusion Ingredients:

-2 TSP Lemon Balm

-Hot water

Instructions: Pour boiling water over the herb and steep for ~ 10 minutes. Strain & Enjoy! 

lemon balm with lisa marie holmes

Thank you for following along with me. Lemon Balm is an important herb for all of us to become acquainted with because it is undeniable that we can all experience stress & overload in our fast paced culture. Our nervous systems need a helping hand all too often & Lemon Balm can really work like magic. There is so much to share about Lemon Balm that unfortunately I was unable to incorporate everything in one short post.  This post is not meant to diagnose or prescribe but meant to inspire you.  I encourage you to discover and find out more about Lemon Balm. 

Sending Love and Light
Lisa Marie Holmes

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