Bee balm has several uses in one’s health and wellbeing. Bee balm is especially helpful for digestive and respiratory issues. I am not growing bee balm and do not have any near me, but it does grow wild throughout the US.
Bee balm, very much like hyssop, is especially useful for stomach viruses. It is a carminative used for gas, bloating, rumbling in the tummy issues, diarrhea, nausea, and general upset stomach. This makes bee balm a powerful ally for stomach issues that are especially caused by a virus.
Bee balm is a nervine that is also helpful for tension headaches, but is also known to help with cold and flu respiratory symptoms. Fever? Bee balm can also help with breaking it.
Do you grow or use bee balm in your herbal medicine cabinet? How do you incorporate bee balm in your life?
Want to see what herbs we have in our garden? Take a look here.
Hi, everyone! Today we’re going to take a look at lemon balm, also known as melissa officinalis. This grows plentiful in our garden and is one of my favorite things to make a hydrosol from. This herb has several actions one can find helpful to lead a more balanced life.
I have never used lemon balm for this purpose, but it can help with light insomnia. Lemon balm brings about a feeling of calmness, but it is also a mild sedative. Something stronger may–or may not–be needed for chronic insomnia. There are varying degrees of insomnia and everyone is different, but if you haven’t tried lemon balm and you’re awake but want to be sleeping, give it a try.
This is a great herb for tension/anxiety headaches. It probably won’t help for a migraine, but if your headache is more psychological, this is one of your go to herbs. Making a strong tea will help. I actually use my hydrosol for tension headaches, but that’s not always an option and a tea will work just as well.
Depression is serious and affects the lives of those suffering from it and their loved ones. There are many lifestyle changes and routines to help battle this, but sometimes a little extra help is needed. There are many who, for very good reasons, want to avoid medication. Having a cup of lemon balm tea can be a useful ally in the war with depression. Even the ritual of just making the tea can have its own calming effect.
Lemon balm isn’t the only herb that possesses this lovely talent. Anything that is a diaphoretic makes you sweat. Nice, right? In the right circumstances, sweating is the goal. The main reason people want to induce sweating is if they’re trying to break a fever. There is nothing pretty about sweating and fevers, but it’s just one brick on the path of recovering from nasty colds and the flu.
How cool is it that lemon balm is antiviral? It’s very cool, but there are different viruses out there so it’s not effective for EVERY virus. Sorry. Less cool now, but knowledge is power, so knowing what virus lemon balm is best at defeating is important. Herpesviridae is the virus family most affected by lemon balm. Not a very pleasant family, this is where your cold sores come from. Using lemon balm on the affected area topically is best. Other common conditions caused by this virus family are:
sixth disease (roseola infantum)
You can try it with colds and the flu, like previously stated. Honestly though, when using it for other virus families, the strongest way it is going to help is with breaking the fever, which is still important. But actually attacking the virus? Not this herb’s speciality.
This is just a fancy word that means this herb can help if you’re a little gassy. It happens and no one appreciates the discomforts paired with flatulence.
You don’t see it called for in a lot of recipes, but lemon balm is a fantastic culinary herb. You can infuse an olive oil and make amazing salad dressings (I do this with garlic, too). Recipe calling for zest of lemon? Don’t have a lemon or just don’t feel like doing it? Don’t. Chop some fresh lemon balm (or use dried) and adjust to your personal tastes.
Lemon balm is part of the mint family so it’s easy to grow. It’s also invasive. We have a lot of herbs and produce that grow randomly from their designated locations.I have tomatillos that still randomly pop up in the three acres we have. I have not grown tomatillos in THREE YEARS. I blame the birds. It doesn’t really bother us, but if you’re on a smaller lot and have a tidy personality, keeping it in a large pot can help with that invasiveness.
Bees love it. This is a great herb to keep around other plants that may rely pretty heavily on pollination to be successful in all endeavors of plant life.
Pure Melissa (lemon Balm) essential oil is expensive, but a great way to incorporate it into your life. If you want pure Melissa essential oil I suggest using Rocky Mountain Oils brand.
Want to see what herbs we have in our garden? Take a look here.
Mint is an easy to grow herb that smells and tastes great. I commonly pull a leaf to chew when I’m outside. It’s a favorite here to use to steep as tea, even just for the flavor. There are several benefits to consuming and using mint, other than its pleasant taste.
We often hear of how ginger is used for any stomach issues, but mint does a pretty decent job in dealing with nausea and other digestive discomforts. I steep it with ginger when my stomach is mildly bothering me. It’s not an instant fix, but it does help.
Another way mint aids us is with headaches. For me, just smelling some essential oil or a fresh cup of tea brings a great deal of comfort when I have a headache.
Believe it or not, this herb’s cooling effects help with congestion. I like to drink it on its own as a tea, but if I’m severely ill, I will mix it with mullein (fantastic herb used to help clear out actual congestion).
If you have chronic issues with minor headaches or stomach problems, you can make a tincture out of mint to take on a consistent basis. Teas are great and I love tea, but tinctures can be a bit stronger if that’s what we need. There are other herbs to use for these problems, but in more severe cases. Mint is also great to use in conjunction with other stronger herbs to help with taste.
Cooling and Pain Relief
But, if I’m being honest, the coolest thing I love about mint are the different body butters, salves, and balms I can make with it. I have a muscle pain salve I make with cayenne. Cayenne does most of the hard work for this task, but the mint provides a nice cooling effect to counter the heat when applied to the skin. Cracked feet? A body butter with shea butter and mint help heal and soothe.
The most common method of using mint is as a tea. I made some with fresh leaves this week for my son’s congestion.
First, you harvest this amazing creature.
If you’re using fresh leaves you do need to chop it. There are many methods to this. This time around, I chose to put some in a small cup and simply cut it.
I like using tea balls for steeping. They’re easy to use and store. I pack two of these full of fresh chopped mint.
I boil water in an electric kettle. Once it is done and the bubbles from boiling disappear, I add the water to my favorite tea kettle with the tea balls. The kettle holds 1 liter of water. To get health benefits from the herb, you cannot just steep it for five minutes. You need to do a good 30-45 minutes.
After that, enjoy!
Want to learn about other herbs we grow and use? Visit this page to learn more! We will be adding more posts about each herb, but if you see a herb you’re curious about and there’s no post, do not hesitate to get a hold of us!