Not only is lemon balm extremely easy to grow in the garden, it boasts anti-viral properties in healthy doses which is why I speak fondly of it to all my friends and family (at every opportunity!). In the past, the herb has been used to freshen the breath (when chewed) as well as treating an upset stomach. Today, I want to bring you seven creative ways you can introduce lemon balm to your diet.
Glycerite – Firstly, you can fill your chosen jar with the leaves before then covering it with a combination of vegetable glycerine and water (3 to 1 parts respectively). As long as you leave it for at least three weeks, you can strain it and take a dose whenever you need to calm down. What most people don’t realise is that this can be stored in the fridge for numerous months.
Take a Bath – If you have a small bath bag, simply fill it with leaves and allow the water to run though it as the bath fills. After also adding rose petals, you have yourself an experience you won’t forget in a hurry (I try to do this at least once a month and I feel amazing afterwards). If you don’t have a bath bag, try a thin sock.
Herbal Water – After filling a jar with some fresh lemon balm leaves and adding some sliced lime, add some cold water and I like to fill it right to the top but you might find your own balance. Once you’re happy, place the jar in the fridge and leave it for a few hours. On a hot day, this is one of the most refreshing drinks you can have.
Vinegar – Next up, we have another tip for adding to your bath water or even washing your hair with a product full of natural minerals. For this one, I want you to fill a jar to the three-quarter point with leaves. From here, use apple cider vinegar to cover the fresh lemon balm leaves and you can then add the lid or cap (as long as it isn’t metallic). After leaving for a few weeks in a dark (and cool) place, strain the liquid and you have a mixture for washing your hair, adding to the bath, adding to salads, and various other dishes.
Lemon Balm Tea – For me, this is a personal favourite because I love trying different teas whenever possible. With a lemon balm tea, all you have to do is fill a jar with fresh leaves and pour in hot water. Personally, I like to then place a saucer on top of the jar to infuse the tea and keep it hot. When it should be cool enough to drink, remove the saucer and enjoy.
Lemon Balm Tea v2 – If you don’t have the time to make lemon balm tea or you can’t get hold of lemon balm leaves, I recommend looking online because some retailers sell the tea ready-made. As long as you stick to reputable retailers, you should be good to go.
Pesto – Finally, I haven’t concentrated too much on food today so my final suggestion is a delicious lemon balm pesto. As a lemon-flavoured pasta topping, they don’t come much better and you can play with the nuts according to your taste (as well as the taste of your guests), however I personally go for walnuts or sesame seeds, keeping it alkaline and getting the maximum nutritional value.
There we have it, seven simple methods of utilising the stunning ingredient that is lemon balm. If you use any of these ideas, please let me know as well as sharing any suggestions I haven’t listed here!