Lemon balm makes plain foods tastier, as well as providing health benefits. People can grow it in their homes. In doing so, the herb provides a pleasant and natural deodorizer for rooms. Though not very big in size, lemon balm has many uses.
Cooks use the herb as a garnish or to give bland foods a zesty taste. It goes well with other mints, allspice, rosemary, pepper, and bay leaves. Lemon balm adds flavor to fruit and green salads, sorbets and fruit juices. Casseroles, egg dishes, soups and meats receive enhanced flavor from lemon balm.
Lemon balm is a member of the mint family. It grows two feet tall and produces small flowers during the summer. The leaves have a lemon odor and flavor. Lemon balm comes in two varieties: Melissa officialis and variegata, a variety with variegated leaves.
Besides being an antiviral medication, lemon balm also treats amenorrhea, chronic fatigue syndrome, Graves’ disease, headache, hypothyroidism, insomnia and shingles.
Herbalists prepare the leaves of lemon balm into a tea and apply the dregs to the sores with cotton. The method includes brewing two to four teaspoons of lemon balm in boiling water. Boiling releases the antioxidants. Apply the teabags to the sore. Within eight days, the sores should disappear. Europeans have taken this procedure a step further and made the balm into an ointment containing 700 milligrams of dry leaf material. The ointment cures the herpes virus in eight days, according to scientists who tested it.
Scientists in Germany, known as Commission E, endorse lemon balm as a sedative and for relieving stomach aches. Lemon balm contains terpenes, a group of chemicals that cause sleepiness. Two to four teaspoon of dried lemon balm in boiling water is the dosage.
Shingles is a type of herpes virus. Use lemon balm in a tea, with lots of other herbs, to provide an effective treatment. Purdue University professor, Dr. Tyler, suggests applying the tea directly to the rash with cotton a few times a day.
Two teaspoons of lemon balm leaves combined with one teaspoon of bugleweed helps to regulate thyroid hormone production. It regulates thyroid levels, whether the imbalance is too high or too low.
Lemon balm is powerful. Cooks use it to season foods and make liqueurs and medicine. It has many health benefits providing antioxidant and protection against infection. Herbalists widely prescribe it for genital herpes and cold sores.