Lemon balm (Melissa Officinalis) is a common plant, found in the south and Mediterranean regions of Europe, but you can find it in just about any natural store. Just be careful to check if it is really the lemon balm, because many people mistake it by St. John’s Wort (Hypericum Perforatum), god knows why.
Caution: Large intake of lemon balm is not advised for people with low blood pressure. That includes pregnant women, who generally have many nuances in their blood pressure.
There are many uses to the lemon balm, some of them experienced by me. The effects are: relief of intestinal gas, calms the digestive system, chronic bronchitis, nervous system, colic, toothache and headache, also has a great impact on depressive disorder, works as a mild sedative, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, cures common virus infections (e.g. flu), rheumatic pain and cough.
Wow! That’s a lot of good effects it has on you. It has been traditionally prepared as a tea, but can be added to juice and mixed and used in recipes of all kinds too. If you use the fresh leaves, just put two leaves (or one and a half) in your teacup and fill it with hot water and cover the teacup. Using the dry leaves, generally smashed, add about a teaspoon of them to your cup. There are no clear restrictions to the concentration you can use, but up to some point it’s just not going to be well mixed in the water and absorbed by you. If you desire to sweeten it, avoid using sugar. Use honey instead and you get the same effect on taste, but a less harmful one on you.
For babies: Babies have a lot of problems with intestinal gases they can’t release, and often cry a lot about it. As babies are more delicate, it’s advisable that you try making half the concentration used for the normal tea. Children sometimes are very sensible with things they will not have any problems with when older. It also may help your child calm down and sleep better and for longer periods at night. Avoid adding sugar.
For animals: The lemon balm tea can also get your animals rid of fleas. For that, you should add pieces of the stem and leaves to a mixture of water and alcohol -some people like adding salt. I add about 20 grams of lemon balm to 1L of water and 100mL of alcohol. Then, I just leave it in a glass recipient for three days and it’s ready to use. You should bathe your dogs/cats with it about every 14 days.