Thursday, 6 August 2009

Thursdays favourite Plant

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)

This is one of my favourite herbs. I have a huge pot of it my the kitchen door and I love rubbing the leaves to get a hit of that yummy lemon scent. It just smells so summery and makes you feel all happy. In aromatherapy and herbal medicine its used to help ease stress, and reduce anxiety and create a feeling of calmness. It also is supposed to help improve your memory. I love to make a tea from a few leaves crushed and steeped in boiling water. I also add a few leaves when I make lemonade to give it and additional lemony kick.

Lemon balm is in the same family as mint and is as easy to grow. Its happy grown in a container (add lots of gravel/grit for drainage) or in the ground. Lemon balm is a really good plant to grow for bees as they love the delicate little white flowers. I prefer it to lemon verbena that I also grow as I find the lemon verbena has a bit of a sugary sherbet taste to it and lemon verbena doesn't like the cold and can be vulnerable to frost damage whereas lemon balm is fully hardy and comes back year after year.


Sara said...

Going to grow some as I have a rubbish memory - now, what was it called again.....

Elizabeth M Rimmer said...

... and seeds itself all over the garden!


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