Lemon Balm

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Melissa officinalis

History

Lemon Balm is a tough easy to grow perennial herb. Its genus name ‘Melissa’ is from the Greek meaning ‘Honeybee’ alluding to its popularity with bees.

Growing

Grows easily from seed, cuttings, or divisions. Lemon balm is not fussy about soil type and is useful for difficult places. It competes well with grasses such as ‘couch grass’ making it a useful food forest or border plant. Likes full sun but will handle some shade.

Uses

The leaves make a lovely lemony herbal tea. Lemon balm has calming properties. Test indicate that it may help with memory, and general mental function. Can be used as a substitute for lemon grass. Used too added to lemon and lime dishes such as ice-cream.