bring us back together, help us to regulate, smooth, soothe + untangle.
lemon balm (Melissa officinalis): bee balm, blue balm, balm mint, citronelle
Melissa originates from the greek: honey bee as LB is said to bring bees to a hive, helping them find their way home
Officinalis refers to this plants medicinal use
Lemon refers to the citrus smell of the volatile oils citrall and citronellal.
Balm refers to a plant that is healing + soothing
Date: 19 Jan 2021
Plant: Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)
Method of preparation: Dried leaf infusion 10+ mins
Sweet, lemony, grassy, green, rounded deep, nettles, toffee,
Nothing then strong Grass, tightens throat, really just very grassy,
In my head, relieving headache and sinus, green misty first going up then down, diffising, relaxing forehead, relaxing torso and now into legs, shoulders relax a bit, grassy tightness in throat, swirly green mist, pulling me together, knitting my body gently as one, like pulling my legs and arms into my torso, tummy relaxing,
Who are they?
Green, healer they work with energy, wear green, dark brown hair, female, a bit like the metal benders (from avatar), intelligent. clear, cool, not very close, a bit aloof.
(add pic of LB tea here)
plant patterns + relations
LB is in the Lamiaceae family which also contains mint, lavender and thyme. This family often have strong aromatic smells due to their high concentration of volatile oils (volatile oils evaporate very easily in heat, hot water for example), and also contain a lot of incredibly beneficial medicinal properties.
how lemon balm can support humans
ANTIVIRAL Lemon balm has polyphenols which have been found to be an effective antiviral, for example when applied externally to herpes, cold sores and shingles. (lemon balm infused oil for example)
NERVOUS SYSTEM Modern studies have found that Lemon Balm does indeed have a positive impact on the nervous system, working as a nervine, sedative and having antispasmodic effects. contains volatile oils that support the nervous system to calm. bringing together mind and body in an ability to regulate the nervous system and moods.
HORMONE REGULATION It has also been found to balance hormones and can be helpful for an overactive thyroid.
PREVENTING INFECTION Although there is no evidence of its ability to staunch wounds (see historical use), LB's ability to prevent infection has been observed.
historical use, alliances + folklore
As well as bringing humans back to themselves, Lemon Balm is also noted to bring bees to a hive, helping them find their way home if they are lost (Melissa originates from Greek meaning Honey Bee).
Lemon Balm has had long historical use in supporting a variety of nervous system complaints, including depression, low moods, melancholy and hysteria. Also to bring life to a person, order to the nervous system and to renew and strengthen the body and mind.
Lemon balm is renowned in folklore for being effective in stopping putrefaction and infection when applied externally to wounds and cuts, bites and stings. The plant has been used externally in battle to staunch wounds, as well as taken internally in wine to prevent infection.
Historically it is often recommended as a medicine, for both internal and external use when steeped in wine.
Storing + processing
Gathering: i got out my scissors and cut each stem seperately, sorted them and took off any leaves that didn't look very vibrant. I cut them a bit before flowering, the stalks were already quite hard.
Drying: I hung the stalks upsode down in small bunches for a few days out of any light. they seem to have dried well and smell nice and strong and yummy. i chopped them up a bit and then put them in a paper bag, which is having a little bit of time in the dehydrator.
lemon balm oil for external application:
lemon balm tincture:
I used about 100g of fresh and chopped lemon balm leaves (just before it starts to flower) mixed with about 700ml vodka.
I could have used dried herb but i'm experimenting.
I'm making it to try out for my intense, extreme and ongoing anxiety.
Currently stewing in a dark cupboard....
(1) Mrs. M. Grieve. (1995). A Modern Herbal: Balm [online] Available at: https://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/b/balm--02.html [Accessed 20 January 2021]
(2) Heartwood Foundation. (2020). FC Unit 4: Materia Medica 1: Section 6: Lemon balm [online] Available at: https://heartwood-uk.net/lms/course/view.php?id=561 [Accessed 20 January 2021]