How many times has your grandmother recommended that you drink a cup of lemon balm tea to relax when you feel anxious or stressed? Without a doubt, this is one of the most famous properties of this plant, but it has many more!
Lemon balm, also called lemon balm or lemongrass, is an herb of the lamiaceae family that grows mainly in the Mediterranean area. Continue reading and discover how to prepare a rich lemon balm infusion at home to benefit from its medicinal properties.
The melissa plant
Melissa officinalis is a perennial plant that grows in temperate zones. It can reach almost 1 meter in height and is crowned by petiolate leaves of an intense green color. During flowering, it stands out for its white flowers with four stamens.
Its name comes from the Greek melissophyllum and means bee and honey. It is easy to imagine that it has been called that because these animals are attracted to the nectar of its flowers as if they were honey. It is worth noting that, according to legend, this plant was used in ancient times to attract bees and then harvest its tasty product.
In addition, natural medicine has been using it for hundreds of years to prevent diseases, combat melancholy and strengthen the immune system. Beyond its health properties, lemon balm is used to prepare infusions, liqueurs, ice creams and all kinds of refreshing drinks, as well as being used to make relaxing immersion baths.
If you pay a little attention, you may be able to recognize this plant on the banks of rivers or in the middle of the forest. Of course, you can also find fields cultivated with it for the subsequent production of infusions and pharmaceutical and cosmetic products.
What is lemon balm used for?
Lemon balm infusion has many applications to prevent and treat diseases since this herb has interesting properties for health.
Different studies have suggested that it helps restore appetite, in addition to having a carminative effect that would improve symptoms of gastritis, nausea and gastrointestinal spasms.
On the other hand, it would be useful to regulate menstruation and control its symptoms.
Ayurvedic medicine maintains that this infusion is relaxing, antidiabetic, antiviral and anti-inflammatory. Therefore, it is usually recommended in case of headaches, neuralgia and various pains.
Due to its intense aroma, it is also recommended for halitosis. If you read the toothpaste ingredients list carefully, you may find that it mentions lemon balm, even using one of its other names like lemongrass or lemon balm. This is due to its proven antibacterial properties and its delicious aroma.
Do not hesitate to try this infusion with this “yuyo” incorporated, you will love it!
Cultivate Melissa officinalis
Lemon balm is a grateful and easy plant to grow. You only need a large pot (the plants need about 25 cm of separation) and pay special attention to the soil since the lemon balm needs sandy, fertile and permeable soils. It does not tolerate waterlogging, so be careful when watering: the soil must be moist but without accumulation of water.
It grows very well in semi-shade, making it ideal to have it on the balcony or in the kitchen window, sheltered from the direct sun. An observation: although it prefers shade to direct sun, it needs sunlight to stay healthy, otherwise its leaves lose their color.
During the winter, it is better to keep it indoors because it does not tolerate low temperatures well. So plan somewhere to put it inside the house.
Another interesting point is that you can use seeds to create your lemon balm plant or cut shoots with roots from an existing one. This is the easiest way because the growth is much faster. Go ahead and plant lemon balm at home: it is a plant that requires little care and that can help you alleviate endless health disorders; In addition, the lemon balm infusion is delicious!
The taste of lemon balm infusion
The infusion of lemon balm has a pleasant flavor, similar to lemon (this herb is also known as lemongrass for a reason), with a slight acid touch.
If you prefer drinks with a sweeter flavor, you can add honey to your infusion or combine lemon balm with orange juice, for example. Either way, it’s delicious.
Lemon balm infusion: how to prepare it at home?
Lemon balm tea is prepared using the leaves of the Melissa officinalis plant. It is worth noting that, due to its calming and relaxing properties, it is recommended to drink it at night before going to sleep.
If you take it during the day, for example when you are working, you may feel a decrease in energy. This is because this infusion promotes internal tranquility and helps to fall asleep.
- 1 cup of water.
- 1 tablespoon of lemon balm leaves.
- Optional: honey, orange juice.
- Heat the water and when it starts to boil, lower the heat.
- Add the lemon balm leaves and cover the pot.
- Let cook for 10 minutes and turn off the heat.
- Wait a few minutes while the drink finishes infusing.
- Strain and sweeten, if you wish.