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Lemon balm is one of those herbs that once planted tends to become almost invasive in the garden. Thankfully, it’s tasty for numerous culinary purposes and full of medicinal benefits for the home apothecary as well. One of the benefits being studied by modern medical circles is that of lemon balm’s healing effects on cold sores.
If you happen to be one of the 90% of Americans suffering from Herpes Simplex 1 (otherwise known as cold sores), put all that lemon balm to good use by making some lemon balm cold sore lip balm to have ready as soon as that tell-tale tingle begins.
Studies have shown that simply placing a soaked lemon balm tea bag on a cold sore can be effective in helping the healing. However, that tea bag isn’t always convenient for our busy modern lives.
This lip balm can easily be carried in purses, kept in desk drawers, and in the medicine cabinet for a quick solution on the go or during days at the office or shuttling kids to practice.
This DIY begins with infusing oil. The measurements and method are explained in the recipe below. If you’ve never made an infused oil, I’ve tried several different methods for straining the solids out.
Honey is a natural anti-viral making it a natural part of this lip balm recipe. Lemon balm essential oil will bump up the healing properties too, but can also be quite expensive; if the budget is a concern add another essential oil for flavor and rely simply on the lemon balm infused oil for its natural and frugal healing power.
- 2 T carrier oil of choice (see notes)
- Handful freshlemon balm leaves, finely chopped
- Small glass jar
- Combine your carrier oil and chopped lemon balm leaves in a small jar. Make sure the leaves are submerged in the oil.
- Cover and place in a sunny spot for 2 weeks, turning/shaking every so often while still making sure the leaves are submerged.
- Strain out the leaves and the oil is now ready to use.
- In a double boiler, warm the oil, beeswax and honey until the wax is just melted.
- Remove from heat and add the essential oil.
- Set the pan in a shallow ice-water bath and with a whisk or spoon stir rapidly for 30-45 seconds until the honey is completely incorporated and the balm looks a bit like a thick frosting.
- Spoon this balm into a glass storage container and let cool to room temperature before putting the lid on the container. Let sit for 2 hours before using.
- To use, apply with a clean finger the minute the tingle of a cold sore is felt. Apply liberally 3-4 times a day until the cold sore is healed.
- Use the balm within 1 year.
Sweet almond oil is always quite pleasant for lip balms but olive, grapeseed, sunflower, and most any other will also work. Skip the coconut oil here as its tendency to harden and soften with the temperature make it difficult to judge the exact amount of beeswax needed to keep it a balm and not a melted pool in the container.