Lemon Balm

Space Needed

1 SF/Plant

Background

Lemon Balm is a rugged, attractive herbaceous perennial native to the Mediterranean, Russia, Syria, Iran and Turkestan. It’s been used medicinally for over 2,000 years. 

Medicinal Value

Calming, antiviral, and antiseptic, this lemony scented member of the mint family is one of nature’s best nervous system calmants. As a tea, it acts as a mild yet highly effective sedative and helps alleviate stress, anxiety and insomnia and even panic attacks with accompanying heart palpitations.
 Also, some find it useful applied topically  for treating herpes; others find it lowers high blood pressure and alleviates migraine headaches. As an aromatic and carminative herb it can relieve stagnant digestion, ease abdominal cramping, and promote the digestive process in general. 

Ornamental Value

Lemon balm emerges early in spring  may be clipped freely throughout the season; it will continue to produce new leaves well into the fall. It is not fussy and will thrive in a moderately rich soil in part shade or full sun 

Cultivation

 Lemon Balm is very easy to grow from seed. They may be started indoors six to eight weeks before last frost. The seeds germinate between 12 and 21 days. It is also easy to grow from rooted cuttings or divisions from a mother plant.

Harvest & Keeping

Harvest continually as leaves develop for consumption as desired.  Tinctures should be made from fresh leaves.  dried herb remains potent for up to 6 months. Lemon Balm overwinters easily indoors.

Precautions

Lemon Balm is sedating; do not use if you need to remain alert. It may increase the action of pharmaceutical sedatives. Use with caution if pregnant or breastfeeding. 

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