Sweet Melissa is a Balm
Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis), also called Balm, sweet balm, bee balm, closely Vegan Cleansing Balm resembles mint but has a distinctive lemon scent. It is easier to keep in check than mint. It grows best in the summer months and dies back over winter.
It was once believed that bags of linen, filled with the dried seeds, stems and roots, and worn under the clothing, would bring the wearer happiness.
An Arabian proverb says ‘Balm makes the heart merry and joyful’.
Lemon balm was believed to help clear the head, stimulate the memory and sharpen understanding and was of great value to students, especially at exam time.
Lemon balm can be used in salads, fruit cups, jellies, soufflés and icings but is usually taken as a tea. Melissa tea is supposed to cleanse the system and has a reputation for promoting long life if taken daily upon rising. The tea is supposed to sharpen the wit and understanding, to overcome memory loss and to relieve depression.
The tea is refreshing in hot weather, and is used to induce perspiration. The tea can bring down a mild fever. It can also ease stomach complaints and nervous disorders such as headaches, insomnia and nausea. It has been used to treat symptoms of pregnancy, regulate menstruation and ease some symptoms of menopause.
When mixed with honey, Melissa tea helps soothe sore throats. The leaves are an effective mouth freshener, and are said to relieve toothache. They can also soothe insect bites.
It lovely scent and soothing qualities make it a popular addition to baths and herb pillows.
Wendy Streater has been interested in natural products for over twenty years. After discovering some disturbing facts about the ingredients in regular household products, Wendy has set up a site devoted to informing everyone about the natural, affordable alternatives available.