Herbs are an amazing natural resource. They have a multitude of uses: they season our food, heal our illnesses, beautify our bodies, and clean our homes. Some herbs even do all of those in one lovely plant. Lemon Balm is one of these multi-tasking herbs. It’s also a bushy perennial in many home herb gardens giving plenty of abundance for all of its uses.
Get started using lemon balm for body, home, and in food with our ultimate guide for how to use lemon balm!
Lemon Balm for the Body
This lemony scented herb can help the body in numerous ways. The citrus scent makes it delightful to put on the body. The lemony flavor means that the medicine is a pleasure to take internally.
Heal: Lemon balm has been studied as a remedy for cold sores and can be infused into oil for the making of a healing balm.
Soothe: Lemon balm helps relieve gas and heartburn making it a soothing addition to mint, ginger and other tummy soothing teas. Those tension headaches can often be soothed with a cup of lemon balm tea.
Bugs: Lemon balm repels mosquitoes. To try this repellent simply rub crushed leaves on exposed skin.
Lemon Balm for the Home
Clean: As a mild anti-viral lemon balm makes for a great addition to homemade cleaners. Simply infuse the leaves in some vinegar and use that to clean normally.
Diffuse: Lemon Balm essential oil works in much the same way as the whole herb. Put a few drops of lemon balm essential oil in a diffuser to help calm frazzled and overwhelmed nerves. The house will have a lovely smell at the very least and at the best the inhabitants will sleep more soundly.
Sleep: Because lemon balm is often used to treat insomnia, put dried leaves into dream pillows and tuck them under sleeping pillows to encourage a more restful night.
Bugs: Keep vases full of cut lemon balm on picnic tables to help repel mosquitoes while guests enjoy a cookout.
Lemon Balm as Food
Lemon balm does indeed have a light lemony flavor but it comes without the acidity or sourness of the lemon fruit. This citrus flavor makes lemon balm an ideal herb for both sweet and savory dishes. Use lemon balm in any dish where actual lemons or lemon juice are included. Some ideas for putting it to use in the kitchen:
- Combine chopped lemon balm leaves with softened butter and spread on chicken before roasting.
- Toss fresh leaves into smoothies for a light lemon flavor, it’s particularly tasty in berry smoothies.
- Chop it finely and toss some into fruit salads, mix into yogurt, even use it in homemade cookies or jams.
- Toss fresh sprigs into iced tea for a light lemon flavor instead of using lemon slices. Try our delicious Lemon Balm Oat Straw Tea Recipe (ease stress and anxieties).
- Layer fresh leaves with salt or sugar in clean jars for infused flavor. Use the salt on chicken or fish. Sprinkle the infused sugar on cookies or in cakes.
Lemon balm gives plenty of opportunities to experiment with its many uses. Now that you know how to use lemon balm, we encourage you to be adventurous…toss those leaves into food, try infusing it into tea, and more to see how it works best.
Please, make sure that you are growing your own lemon balm (organically!) or purchase quality, non-irradiated and organic lemon balm. We support Mountain Rose Herbs, where you can find organic lemon balm here.
Make the most of this natural wonder by keeping lemon balm in the herbal medicine cabinet, the kitchen spice rack, and the cleaning closet.
A Few Precautions: Lemon balm is generally considered a safe herb but there are a few people who should avoid it. Folks who have hypothyroidism should not take it. Pregnant and nurse feeding women should seek the advice of a doctor or herbalist before using it medicinally. As always double check with a doctor or pharmacist to be sure lemon balm won’t interfere with any prescription medications.