Wednesday, June 04, 2008

A Little Bit of Lemon Balm...

...goes a long way.

I had never tried ingesting lemon balm before (that is, before Monday). I had grown it in gardens and enjoyed that lovely lemony scent, but I was not aware of its healing properties.

After a visit to my naturopath on Monday (yes, the amazing Greg Yasuda!), I started on my path of drinking lemon balm tea. Greg asked me to drink three cups of lemon balm tea a day to help with my anxiety. Apparently lemon balm has long been used to help calm the nervous system:

"Lemon balm ( Melissa officinalis ), 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" (

I purchased dried organic lemon balm at The Herbalist here in Seattle. Oh my, if you haven't toured this herbaceous place, you must! It is wall-to-wall with colorful bottles of tinctures and remedies, as well as bulk dried herbs. I steep one tablespoon of lemon balm, add 1-2 drops of stevia if I want it to be a little more sweet, and sip away.

The warmth of the the steeped goodness calms my nervous system right away and the lemony taste lifts my spirits. I think I shall now add lemon balm essential oil to my practice. Off I go to the Herbalist once again!

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