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Lemon Balm
Melissa officinalis

Lemon balm

Today, this oriental herb is used in all dishes where you would also use lemon: desserts, fish dishes, raw salads, dressings, and tea.

Particularly in tea, lemon balm has a soothing effect on the body, which may help fight stress and insomnia.

Recipes with lemon balm

Lemon balm leaves is also refreshing in summer drinks and ice cubes.

Origins

The herb originates from the Orient, but today it grows everywhere from the Mediterranean countries to the Alps. Melissa is a Greek word meaning bee and honey, which is no wonder as bees love its flowers.

Usage in the old days

Lemon Balm has had many names. In the 15th century it was known as “Hearts Ease”, perhaps because it was used in heart medicine. Later, it was known as “bee plant”, supposedly because it attracted bees.
It was also used as a remedy for grey hair and as a cure for rabies.

Medical use

The leaves soothe insect bites and have a calming effect when used in tea. So, if you are stressed and find it hard to fall asleep, a cup of lemon balm tea before bedtime may help.

 

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