Lemon balm

Melissa officinalis
Dutch: Citroenmelisse, German: Zitronenmelisse, French: Baume mélisse/ Citronelle
Mint family Labiatae




General description

Lemon balm is mostly seen cultivated, but in southern regions one sees it once in a while in the wild in hedges and along roads. Lemon balm is a remaining or fixed herb like plant.
The plant flowers from July to August with light yellow or white flowers.

Melissa officinalis flowers Lemon balm flower

The leaves are oval, serrated, hairy, nerved and light green. The leaves smell like lemon and can get yellow when they grow in the full sun or in dry ground.
The stems are hairy, subdivides square and light green. The plant becomes approximately 1 meter high.
Melissa officinalis Lemon balm plantLemon balm Melissa 
officinalis leaf
The seed of Lemon balm is dark brown till black, with a white point. They are tear form like and approximately 1 mm long.
Melissa officinalis Lemon balm seeds Melissa officinalis Lemon balm seed


Cultivate Lemon balm yourself.

The plant grows on each damp soil kind, in the full sun with shadow in the afternoon.
Lemon balm can sow you the best in the spring, the seed germinate slowly.
Replant the plants after rise at 60 cm distance. Small plants can be held indoors also. Split up the plant or take stem cutting in the spring or fall.



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History

By on 
Melissa officinalis Lemon balm

The name Lemon balm, Melissa officinalis, comes from the old Greeks.
The Greek name for a Honey bee is Melissa. This because bees have a preference for the nectar of this plant and the plant attracts bees. Lemon balm became used medicinal two thousand years ago by the Greeks.


The Arabs brought the plant to Spain and the Benedictine monks to northern regions, where it already early became cultivated in monastery gardens.
Lemon balm was called in Southern Europe 'heart's content' and by the Swiss physician Paracelsus 'life elixir'. He believed that this herb could bring a man completely back to life. This opinion was supported by the London Dispensary from 1696: 'Lemon balm will, when each morning administered, make someone younger, strengthen the mental ability and cheer up' a languorous mind.
Lemon balm had also name as one of the morning tea kinds that in the thirteenth century became consumed by Llewelyn, Prince or Glamorgan, who became 108 years old, and John Hussey from Sydenham who became 116 after fifty year long had breakfast to have with Lemon balm tea with honey.
The way to obtain Melissa oil is already described for centuries by herb expert and is used also these days within the aroma therapy to decrease depressions.



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Applications

Decorative.

Use the leaf in smellers for ill persons.


Housekeeping.

Plant Lemon balm around beehives and orchards to attract bees for pollinating.
Rub Lemon balm on beehives before a new swarm arrives in it.
Join Lemon balm juice to a furnish wax.
Previously Lemon balm was a straw herb.

Lemon balm Melissa officinalis


Cosmetic.

An extract as a face steam bath and as a rinse for grey hair. Add it to the bath water.


Medicinal.

Lay the fresh leaves immediately on insect bites and swear or do they in a dad on it.
An extract of the leaves as tea use for lighting by chronic bronchitis, cold with fever, headache and tensions what to decrease. The tea gives relax a feeling.
The herb is good works by a difficult digestion, it cram decreasing on the stomach and the intestines and is anti-flatulence. Lemon balm has been combined also good against insomnia, sleepiness with Lavender and Hawthorn. It has further an antiviral working by herpes infections.

Use Melissa o.a. by; allergies, asthma, bronchitis, chronic cough, flaw at appetite, depression, migraine, nastiness, bowel disturbances, postnatal problems, heart palpitations, irregular menstruation, blown up feeling, insomnia, fear, depressiveness, tension, shock and stress.
Melissa can be used in very low concentration to treat quite good eczema and other skin problems.


Applications with ethereal oil.

Often the working of an ethereal oil can be strengthen to combine these with other ethereal oils.

Here single applications of the ethereal oil of Lemon balm follow.

By insomnia, migraine.
5 drops Melissa and 5 drops Lavender mix with a little bit milk or a spoonful honey.
This add want to go bathe at a bath and area for the unpleasant bed.

Or by insomnia.
Mix 5 ml Melissa with 5 drops Rose. Sprinkle a few drops of this mixture on the pillow and you sleep like a Baby.

Evaporate.
8 drops Melissa in the aroma lamp work restorative and relaxed on the body. Let tensions around the heart slip.

An example of available ethereal oil, is the Melissa oil of Jacob Hooy.



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Chemical properties

In the plant present compounds.

Ethereal oil (o. a. citral a and b with caryophyllene oxide), bitters matter, Tannins
Flavonoids (o. a. luteoline-7-glucoside and rhamnazine)
Terpenoids (o. a. b-caryophyllene, citronellal, geraniol, linalool and nerol) and
Polyphenols (o. a. caffeine acid, protocatechuine acid and rosemary acid).


Chemical compounds in Lemon balm.

1-octen-3-ol, 10-alpha-cadinol, 3-octanol, 3-octanone, Alpha- cubebene, Alpha-humulene, beta-bourbonene, Caffeine acid, Caryophyllene, Caryophyllene-oxide, Catechines, Chlorogenine acid, Cis-3-hexenol, Cis- ocimene, Citral-A, Citral-B, Citronellal, Copaene, Delta-cadinene, Eugenyl-acetate, Gamut-cadinene, Geranial, Geraniol, Geranyl-acetate, Germacrene-D, Isogeranial, Linalool, Luteolin-7-glucoside, Methyl-heptenone, Neral, Nerol, Octyl-benzoate, Oleanoline acid, Pomoline acid, Protocatechuine acid, Rhamnazine, Rosmarine acid



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Precautions

Lemon balm is a safe herb, but some people get sick of large doses and strong teas.
Avoided large doses during pregnancy.
Some people react allergic by contact with Lemon balm.
The most ethereal oils cannot be taken in without risk. Use ethereal exclusive internal oil has as you sufficient knowledge or consult a (homeopathic) physician.
In general however the working by external use is stronger than by internal use.



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Culinary

Cut fresh leaves fine in salads, white sauces for fish, mayonnaise, sauerkraut or herring in sour.
Add Lemon balm to fruit salads, jelly, custard pudding, fruits drinks and wines.
Extract of fresh leaves for Melissa tea.
Add Lemon balm to mixed vinegar kinds, try Lemon balm with dragon.



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Other variants

Melissa officinalis sail. variegata



Melissa officinalis sail. variegata

Has good spotted, notwithstanding that lemon fragrant leaves.
It grows in light shadow. In the hot sun, the leaves scorch through which it arise dull spots.
The heights is approximately 30 cm.



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Remaining images

Here a number of impressions / photographs of Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) are shown.

Lemon 
balm Melissa officinalis Lemon balm Melissa officinalis


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[1]. Bremness, Lesley;- The Complete Book of Herbs: A Practical Guide to Growing and Using Herbs - Fifth edition; Studio (1994). ISBN 0140238026
[2]. Rüdt, U.; - Therapeutic and poisonous plants - First edition; Zutphen: B. V. W. J. Thieme & Cie (1973). ISBN 90-03 94630 2



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