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There are a few herbs that are really soothing and relaxing…and are good for when you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed out. One of my favorites is lemon balm. One cup of lemon balm tea really helps to relax away the stress of the day. But it has some other wonderful benefits that you need to know about as well!
Our ancestors knew how powerful these herbs were. And they not only used them to make teas, tinctures, and salves, but also incorporated the flowers, leaves, bark, and roots into their diets as well. Because of the growing interest in healing the body naturally with herbs, you will be finding more important information on how to incorporate herbs into your life to balance your body and improve your health.
Today we are going to look at lemon balm, also known as Melissa. This plant is actually a member of the mint family. In spite of being a part of the mint family, it does not have a minty taste or smell. Instead, it has a slight lemony taste and scent. Although the plant is native to Europe, it is now grown around the world, and many gardeners and herbalists love having it in their garden because it draws honey bees, which help to pollinate the rest of the garden.
Some of the benefits of lemon balm are:
Lemon balm contains flavonoids that have strong antioxidant properties. With chronic exposure to environmental and food toxins, consuming high-quality, food-based antioxidants is vital for maintaining your health. The antioxidants go after free radicals which damage you at a cellular level.
Helps to relieve stress, depression and anxiety
One of the main things that lemon balm is known for is its stress-relieving, calming properties. In fact, it is one of my favorite herbs to have on hand when the stress is high, and I love to make lemonade with it to sip on after a stressful day. People have been using it as a mild, natural tranquilizer for thousands of years.
Reduces colds and flu
Lemon balm has great anti-viral properties and is great to drink as a tea or take as a tincture when you are hit with a cold or the flu. Lemon balm salves and ointments have been shown to speed healing in cold sores as well.
The tranquilizing effect of lemon balm relaxes muscles which can help to relieve stress headaches.
Helps insect bites and wounds
Traditionally, fresh leaves of lemon balm were placed on insect bites to help with the swelling and it was also used on bug bites and wounds in salves, ointments, and poultices to help speed healing.
Natural allergy relief
Lemon balm contains natural anti-histamine properties which can help to reduce the symptoms of seasonal allergies.
Reduces PMS symptoms
Drinking the herb in tea form can help to relieve the bloating, irritability, and cramping that women can feel during PMS as well as throughout their cycle.
Lemon balm is very calming and helps to balance out an easily distracted mind. Even those who deal with regular racing thoughts can benefit from the balancing power of it.
Can help with tummy troubles
This powerful herb helps to reduce gas, bloating, and indigestion.
These are some of the amazing benefits of lemon balm and a great reason to consider learning more about it and whether or not it is right for you.
There is one caution for those considering using lemon balm. If you are currently taking thyroid medication, it can interfere with the effects of the medication that you are taking. Do not use it if you suffer from a thyroid condition.
Herbal remedies are amazing, but like anything else, they will not be right for every person. And you may experience an allergic reaction when taking any new herb. The good news is that you can simply discontinue using that herb. Any negative symptoms should disappear within 24-48 hours.
A relaxing recipe for you!
Here is a great, relaxing, bedtime tea that uses lemon balm along with a couple of other sedative teas. This tea is medicinal in nature, and will make you sleepy….so don’t operate heavy machinery after drinking this!
It is always important to know what medications these herbs can interact with. Lemon balm interacts with thyroid medications and chamomile interacts with blood thinners. If you are on either one of these types of medications, then avoid this tea. Leave out the chamomile if you are on blood thinners, but don’t have any restrictions with the other herbs.
- 1/2 tsp lemon balm
- 1/2 tsp catnip
- 1/2 tsp chamomile
- Steep the three herbs in a mug of steaming hot water for at least 10 minutes
- Add honey or stevia to sweeten. Enjoy!