LEMON BALM MEDICINE MOMENT

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), a perennial of the mint family (Lamiaceae) with an aromatic, pleasant, floral, lemon-like flavor that is cooling, calming, uplifting, and mildly astringent. It is used in formulas for bellyaches, anxiety, hyperthyroid, colds and viruses. FYI, if you don't have a wild patch growing nearby, it is quite easy to grow, and very worthwhile.

When the flowers are just starting to open (now in our neck of the woods), gather the upper leaves, buds and flowers (called the flowering tops). Strip them from their main stiff stem and make into a tincture. Or dry and use as a lovely tasting tea. Put them fresh into water and make Herbal Essence Water, so easy to make and simply refreshing.

To help with id, harvest and use here is the lemon balm plant map from our book Foraging & Feasting: A Field Guide and Wild Food Cookbook by Dina Falconi, illustrated by Wendy Hollender. Book Link: http://bit.ly/1Auh44Q

 Do you use lemon balm and if yes how so? Please share your experience in the comments.

Basket full of lemon balm flowering tops ready to be stripped of main woody stem and made into a tincture.

Basket full of lemon balm flowering tops ready to be stripped of main woody stem and made into a tincture.

To help with id, harvest and use here is the lemon balm plant map from our book Foraging & Feasting: A Field Guide and Wild Food Cookbook by Dina Falconi, illustrated by Wendy Hollender. Book Link:  http://bit.ly/1Auh44Q

To help with id, harvest and use here is the lemon balm plant map from our book Foraging & Feasting: A Field Guide and Wild Food Cookbook by Dina Falconi, illustrated by Wendy Hollender. Book Link: http://bit.ly/1Auh44Q