Melissa - Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm.jpg

Latin Name: Melissa officinalis

Common Name: Lemon Balm

Plant Family: Lamiaceae

Traditional Chinese Medicine Name (TCM): Xiang feng cao

Ayurvedic Name: Neebu Balm

Relatives: Catnip, Bells of Ireland, Bee Balm, Hyssop, Lavender, Peppermint, Spearmint, Basil, Rosemary, Thyme (there are many more in this family)

Parts Used: Aerial parts

Ways to Use: Tea, Tincture, Glycerite (fresh), Soak (bath), Salve

Actions: Antiviral, Antispasmodic, Antidepressant. Antioxidant, Carminative, Anxiolytic Nervine, Radioprotective, Trophorestorative

Taste: Refreshing, Sweet, Astringent, Sour

Energy: Cooling, Drying

Adult Dose: Infusion: 1-2 teaspoon(s) of dried lemon balm in 1 cup of hot water, infused for 10-15 minutes (drink 2-4 cups/day). Tincture: 3-5 mL, 3-4x/day of a 1:5

Appearance & Characteristics: Lemon balm is a perennial with a square stem (like all mints), simple lobed or non-lobed toothed leaves which are opposite. The flowers are usually white but often pink and yellow, and are held in a little tube-like cup.

Native to: Southern and Central Europe, Mediterranean

Geographic Distribution: Widespread throughout the world, favoring human-made meadows and disturbed ground.

Key Constituents: Volatile oil up to 0.2% 0 citral, caryophyllene oxide, linalool and citronellal; Flavonoids; Triterpenes; Polyphenols; Tannins

Magical Energetic Uses: Love, Success, Healing - Influence love by soaking it in wine, strain and share with a friend or carry it with you to find love 

Growing: Propagated from Seed or Cuttings in the Spring

Harvesting Guidelines: Aerial parts are picked from early summer onward and best when picked just before the flowers open as this is the time of the highest concentration of volatile oil

Gender: Feminine

Planet: Moon

Element: Water

Folk Names: Bee Balm, Lemon Balsam, Melissa, Sweet Balm, Sweet Melissa, Tourengane, Oghoul

Folklore: If you keep bees, rub it on the hives and it will attract new bees and keep the old ones. It is also used in magical healing, and Pliny said that its powers were so great that if it was attached to a sword that had made a wound the blood would be immediately staunched. Though sword wounds are rare today, the lemon balm is still used in healing incenses and sachets. It can also be used in spells to ensure success