Lemon Balm is one of the most versatile and safe herbs to grow and use making it a fantastic herb for even the youngest or most inexperienced of gardeners. It also thrives indoors or out making it well suited to all types of gardening venues and available spaces. These seeds are not genetically modified, are an heirloom variety and grown without the use of any chemicals or pesticides. We are very happy to be able to give this herb as a gift to you and hope you enjoy growing it and using it as much as we have.
Flower Type: Perennial
Bloom Time: Summer
Exposure: Full Sun, Light Shade in hot climates
When to Sow Outside:
Spring, two weeks before average last frost
Late summer/early fall at least 2 months before first fall frost.
When to Sow Inside: 8 - 10 weeks before last frost.
Seed Depth: 1/8" to 1/16"
Seed Spacing: 1"
Days to Emerge: 5 - 10
Thinning: 12" apart
Bee Balm is easily grown in ordinary garden soil. It also grows well in heavy clay soils, requires a part shade to sunny place to grow. This species thrives when grown in a dry soil and prefers alkaline soil conditions.
What is it good for?
Lemon Balm is a member of the mint family, is considered a "calming" herb. It was used in the Middle Ages to reduce stress and anxiety, promote sleep, improve appetite, and ease pain and discomfort associated with digestion (including flatulence and bloating as well as colic). Even before the Middle Ages, lemon balm was steeped in wine to lift the spirits, help heal wounds, and treat venomous insect bites and stings. Today, lemon balm is often combined with other calming, soothing herbs, such as valerian, chamomile, and hops, to enhance the overall relaxing effect.
Lemon balm, although native to Europe, is grown all over the world. It is grown not only in herb gardens but also in crops for medicine, cosmetics, and furniture polish manufacturing. If you rub your fingers on the leaves, your fingers will smell tart and sweet, like lemons.
Some studies suggest that topical ointments containing lemon balm may help heal lip sores associated with herpes simplex virus (HSV). Although few rigorous scientific studies have been conducted on lemon balm, many health care professionals suggest that this herb is beneficial for a variety of health problems, including Alzheimer's disease, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, indigestion, gas, insomnia, and hyperthyroidism. Experimental laboratory studies also suggest that lemon balm has antioxidant and anti-HIV properties, but further studies are needed to confirm these findings.
Lemon balm supplements are made from the leaves of the plant. Essential oils made from lemon balm leaves contain plant chemicals called terpenes, which play at least some role in the herb's relaxing and antiviral effects. Lemon balm also contains substances called tannins, which are thought to cause many of the herb's antiviral effects. Lemon balm also contains eugenol, which calms muscle spasms, numbs tissues, and kills bacteria.
Lemon balm is available as a dried leaf that can be bought in bulk. It is also sold as tea, and in capsules, extracts, tinctures, and oil. The creams used in Europe, which contain high levels of lemon balm, are not available in the United States. On the other hand, teas can be applied to the skin with cotton balls.
How to Harvest?
Beeyoutiful’s Lemon Bee Balm flowers usually bloom from June to July. Gather edible leaves and flowers in bloom, dry on small bundles in paper bags in a dry, well-ventilated area. Cuttings can also be laid in a dehydrator set on it’s lowest heat setting in humid climates to assure that it is thoroughly dried and that there is no moisture left that could cause mold or mildew in long term storage. The dried leaves and flowers can be stored in a cool, dark place. We have used sealed glass containers, zip lock bags and plastic bins for our herb storage with good success. Freezing is beneficial for long term storage but not required.
The fresh leaves can also be gathered and steeped in boiling water to make a refreshing herbal tea.
How to use?
Lemon balm may be used topically in children to treat cold sores. The dosage would be the same as the recommendations for use in adults. For internal use, adjust the recommended adult dose to account for the child's weight. Most herbal dosages for adults are calculated on the basis of a 150 lb (70 kg) adult. Therefore, if the child weighs 50 lb (20 - 25 kg), the appropriate dose of lemon balm for this child would be 1/3 of the adult dosage. For difficulty sleeping, or to reduce stomach complaints, flatulence, or bloating, choose from the following:
* Tea: 1.5 - 4.5 grams (1/4 - 1 teaspoonful) of dried lemon balm herb in hot water. Steep and drink up to 4 times daily.
* Tincture: 2 - 3 mL (40 - 90 drops), 3 times daily
* Capsules: Take 300 - 500 mg dried lemon balm, 3 times daily or as needed.
For cold sores or herpes sores, steep 2 - 4 teaspoonfuls of crushed leaf in 1 cup boiling water for 10 - 15 minutes. Cool. Apply tea with cotton balls to the sores throughout the day.
Take a good bunch of Lemon Bee Balm. Pack a layer of the herbs in a jar, cover it with a layer of raw honey and repeat. Finish with an extra layer of honey. It will be a sticky mess. No problem. Squish it with a spoon if there are big air pockets. Let it sit for a couple of weeks at least. The deliciously flavored honey can be used in all sorts of ways. A favorite of ours is slathered on freshly made bread.
The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, contain components that can trigger side effects and interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, herbs should be taken with care.
No side effects or symptoms of toxicity have been reported with lemon balm use, but this herb should be used with caution by pregnant and nursing women. We recommend personal research and consulting with a health care provider qualified in the field of botanical medicine.
- Sedatives, Thyroid medications -- Although not yet demonstrated in clinical studies, lemon balm may interfere with sedatives and thyroid medications. If you are taking sedatives (for sleep disorders or anxiety) or medications to regulate your thyroid, you should consult a health care provider before taking lemon balm.