Herbs have so many uses, you should grow some.
Herbs can be used for so many ailments as well as for enjoyment, that’s especially true with Lemon Balm. Our herb garden started out small, with the herbs that were most familiar to us. As we began learning more about homesteading through taking classes, listening to gardening podcasts, and real-life learning, we began to take notice of the many benefits herbs have. We’ve added some herbs to expand our garden and our health. One herb, in particular- lemon balm, a.k.a., “Melissa,” from the mint family, is one that has an array of uses of which involves food and drink.
Our fruity first use for Melissa.
When I planted Lemon Balm, I first used some leaves in a fruit salad. If you are inclined to use the food you grow, you can definitely use the leaves in any dish where you might like some lemony flavor… chicken dishes and salads come to mind. Since my kids are not always fans of specks of green, I decided to keep looking for ways to use our healthy, busy lemon balm. The herb has tripled in size from the plant it was last year, begging to be used in bunches… making me curious about how good it would be as a tea. According to author, Rosalee De La Foret, Alchemy of Herbs, there are not harmful amounts of lemon balm when consuming. She does say, however, that some studies of animals have shown it to inhibit thyroid function in vitro- but “has not been shown in humans.” Some herbs can only be used in limited amounts. I wanted to make sure lemon balm was safe to stuff a large mason jar with, for a strong cup of tea.
Is it “tea time?” Herbs make a wonderful tea. I’ve played around a bit with our herb garden and hot water. Simply letting rinsed herb leaves infuse hot water is a very easy way to enjoy natural tea. You can adjust the strength of the tea based on how many leaves you add and the amount of time you allow them to infuse. Making this tea reminded me of how my parents would set a glass container out in the sunshine to steep on a summer day. I loved being able to pick my own leaves and let nature take over from there!
This just could be your “cup of tea” to soothe your nerves.
Did you know that lemon balm can be an aid for nervousness, agitation, or insomnia? Try a cup of tea. See if it helps! I sure enjoyed it and won’t be without it this summer!
Lemon Balm Tea Recipe:
- 4 cups of hot water
- 2 cups of rinsed lemon balm leaves
- 1 large sealable glass jar
Collect the leaves. Rinse each leave and add to a large jar. Pour the hot water over the leaves, seal, and set out in the sun for several hours. Strain out leaves. This tea can be served hot or cold.