Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm is common throughout Europe It is a perennial and is easily cultivated by seed or root division in rich The leaves are bright green growing in opposite pairs they are ovate and serrate The flowers are yellow-white to rose colored or even bluish, two lipped, bilabiate they grow in clusters at the joints or some times on small branches at the joints
The branched upright stem is square and grows to about 3 feet in height

Lemon Balm is edible and medicinal. Fresh leaves can be added to egg dishes
or salad and can be used to make sauces for fish , pork and poultry. Dried or fresh the whole plant is used to make cool refreshing drinks or warm relaxing teas.
Used in alternative medicine are antibacterial, antiviral, antispasmodic, carminative, digestive, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, sedative, and tonic.

Balm contains a volatile oil citral and citronella which is strongly antispasmodic and aids in calming nerves, relieving menstrual cramps, depression, insomnia, hyperthyroidism, upset stomach, and colic in babies. Leaf tea is good for fevers, colds, and headache. Fresh crushed leaves are applied to wounds and insect bites. The essential oils in the fresh plant, particularly citronella make it a most effective insect repellent when crushed and rubbed on skin or clothes. Research has shown that the plant contains polyphenols, it can help significantly in the treatment of cold sores and combat the herpes simplex virus. Added to bath it soothes irritated skin and relieves muscle tension. The oil is often added to skin preparations and perfumes. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy and is very pleasant used in potpourris

No comments:

Post a Comment