Lemon balm is a sweet, lemony scented herb in the mint family. The bushy plant can reach three feet in height and has tiny, indistinct ivory flowers. It's native to Europe and the Mediterranean region, and has been cultivated for over 2,000 years. Its subtle lemon flavor with mint and herb undertones makes it a popular relaxing tea. The botanical name, Melissa officinalis L., is derived from a Greek word for bees. This plant is great for attracting bees; at one time, beekeepers commonly rubbed fresh lemon balm leaves on the inside of new hives to encourage bees to stay. Our premium quality lemon balm leaf is dried quickly and at low light and temperature to preserve color and maintain the characteristic aroma and flavor.
ADDITIONAL PRODUCT DETAILS
- A lovely herb that's perennial, easy to grow, attracts bees and is sweet smelling.
- All above-ground parts of this plant are fragrant, but the leaves have the highest amount of essential oil.
- Look for a nice medium green coloration to indicate good quality; very dark or black leaves have been poorly dried.
- Lemon balm leaf is more expensive than lemon balm “herb”, as product labeled herb may contain up to 60% stem, but the woody stems have little value.
To make lemon balm tea, pour one cup of hot water over two teaspoons of lemon balm herb, cover and let stand three to five minutes. Boiling water drives off much of the leaves' essential oil, so using cooler water temperatures when brewing and covering while steeping helps protect the delicate flavor. Lemon balm sun tea is tasty and refreshing and is a good alternative to hot water brewing for protecting the tea flavor. Lemon balm also makes a good addition to sleep pillows in combination with other sleep pillow herbs such as hops, mugwort and lavender flowers.
Lemon balm makes a lovely, soft, lemony tea that is enjoyed just for it flavor and is excellent as a calming, before bedtime tea. It's relaxing and uplifting to the mind. Lemon balm is also used as a seasoning in spice mixtures and herb vinegars. In personal care products, lemon balm is used an ingredient in skin toners, lip balms and lotions. It makes a wonderful cleansing facial steam.