10 Uses For Lemon Balm Herb

A Diagram of Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)

Lemon balm makes a calming tea, and is used for viral skin conditions such as herpes, and shingles.
Lemon balm makes a calming tea, and is used for viral skin conditions such as herpes, and shingles. | Source

Lemon Balm Is A Wonderful Healing Herb

Lemon balm is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae. It should not be confused with Bee Balm which is in the Mondara species of plants.

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is native to the southern part of Europe, but is now grown everywhere in the world. It is grown in many gardens as an ornamental plant. It's beautiful flowers help to attract bees to the garden. Lemon balm is also grown in many gardens for both it's medicinal use, as well as culinary uses.

The USDA Hardiness Zone charts says it is is easy to cultivate in zones 4 through 9. In the lower numbered zones, it needs an adequate covering of mulch and snow to survive the cold winters. In the upper zones, it will grow right up until the end of the year. It prefers full sun, but can tolerate some shade. If allowed, it can take over a garden. You can also grow it as in a pot in a sunny windowsill, to have it year round.

Fresh Lemon Balm

Fresh lemon balm leaf can be used to make sun tea.
Fresh lemon balm leaf can be used to make sun tea. | Source

Lemon Balm In Your Garden

Lemon balm herb makes the perfect addition to any garden. It is easy to grow from seed, or seedling. Add it next to a dark foliage plant, and it's light green leaves will almost look like they glow. Once it flowers, it will attract bee's and butterflies to your garden. You can grow it for it's beauty, for it's medicinal purpose, it's culinary uses, or just as a pot herb. For whatever reason you decide to grow Lemon Balm, you will surely enjoy it.

Lemon Balm Essential Oil

Lemon balm essential oil is a rather expensive oil, but it is worth the price. Some companies mix it with lemon essential oil and you can tell the difference from the price of the oil. True lemon balm or melissa essential oil costs on average $70 -$90 for a 0.125 oz bottle.
The lemon balm essential oil can be used in an oil diffuser to relax. You can also mix it into a carrier oil like almond oil, for a relaxing massage. Mix about 10 drops to 8 ounces of oil.
Lemon balm essential oil can also be mixed into a spray bottle and used as a bug spray.

Lemon Balm Insect Repellent Recipe

Looking to make a great natural insect repellent? Then, look no further.

  • Add 2-3 good sized handful of fresh lemon balm leaf to a quart of vodka.
  • Let the mixture steep for 4 weeks. Be sure to shake it every day. This will help mix the herb into the vodka.
  • Strain herb from the vodka, and pour into an 8 ounce spray bottle.
  • Next, add the essential oils. You will add six drops of citronella, three of peppermint and three of basil. Keeps away biting flies, and mosquitoes.
  • If you are using the dried herb, use about 1-2 handfuls. The dried is a little more concentrated, and you will need less herb.
  • Do not use on children 5 and under. Peppermint is too strong for the little ones. If the child is under 5, you can substitute 4 drops of lavender for the peppermint.

Lemon Balm Infusion

Add water to dried lemon balm to make an infusion.
Add water to dried lemon balm to make an infusion. | Source

Lemon Balm Sun Tea

Lemon Balm tea has a slight lemony taste, and is very delicious. For a hot summer day, it makes the perfect iced tea.
Place about 3 handfuls into a clean jar. Adjust the amount for the size of the jar. You want the jar to be about 1/2 full.
Set into the sun. Let sit for at least 4-6 hours. Strain out the herb and drink hot or add some ice. A slice of lemon, or a sprig of mint can be added.
Fresh lemon balm works best for this, as the dried herb does not have the lemony taste.

Lemon Balm Tooth Polish

Super delicious and whitens your teeth! Make a strong lemon balm leaf infusion. Add enough to 2 tablespoons of baking soda to make a paste. Add a pinch of cinnamon, and clove. A wonderful way to have fresh breath.

Lemon Balm Oil

Lemon Balm leaf can be infused into an oil to have in your natural first aid kid for insect bites, stings, rashes, and other viral skin infections. It is also used for herpes and cold sores.

Lemon Balm Salve

Lemon Balm oil can be made into a salve or ointment for cold sores, herpes, and shingles. The eugenol, tannins, terpenes and other natural chemicals make it helpful in healing viral skin infections. Used regularly, it can help shorten the duration of the herpes virus, and stop the outbreak of herpes. It's eugenol content is what helps the pain of shingles.

Lemon Balm Sitz Bath

Make an infusion in a large canning jar. Let sit for at least 4-6 hours. Overnight is better. Strain out the herb, and pour half the infusion into a shallow tub of water. Soak for 20 minutes. Pat dry. This will help heal the sores of herpes. Repeat in a day or so. The infusion will last up to 5 days in the fridge.

Lemon Balm Bug Sachet

Snip a few sprigs of lemon balm from the plant. Tie together with a string or pretty ribbon. Hang the springs upside down near a door or window. The scent will help repel flies and other insects. When dried, you can make it into a tea, (if it didn't get dusty), use in the tooth polish, add it to your bug spray, or throw onto the compost pile.

Lemon Balm Syrup

Add one cup dried herb to four quarts of water. Let simmer for 30 minutes on low. Add 3 cups of sugar. Cook for approximately 45 minutes to one hour until it thickens. It is best to use a cooking thermometer that you would use to make jelly. Use on vanilla ice cream, pancakes or waffles.

© 2012 Healing Herbalist

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Comments 59 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Wow! That's weird! We just bought some of this the past weekend and will be planting it shortly. Thanks for the great hub and ideas.


cloverleaffarm profile image

cloverleaffarm 4 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham Author

See, I knew you bought it, so I figured I would give you ideas on how to use it...lol. Have a great day, and happy planting.


discovery2020 profile image

discovery2020 4 years ago from TEXAS

Good article, CLF. Say, what do I spray on my new banana tree to keep it from turning brown?

Keep up the good work.


cloverleaffarm profile image

cloverleaffarm 4 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham Author

Hey discovery2020, sorry I don't know about banana trees. Bet you could find something online. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you fix your tree.


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 4 years ago from Massachusetts

WOW so many great ways to use the Lemon Balm plant, great job thanks for sharing these great ideas .


cloverleaffarm profile image

cloverleaffarm 4 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham Author

kashmir, I am glad you enjoyed it. Have a great day!


savingkathy profile image

savingkathy 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

I never knew there were so many uses for lemon balm. I will have to try some of these ideas with the lemon balm plants that are in my garden!


cloverleaffarm profile image

cloverleaffarm 4 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham Author

Lemon balm is so useful. You'll have fun trying it all. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Have a great day, and happy gardening!


toomuchmint profile image

toomuchmint 4 years ago

Great hub cloverleaf! Lemon balm is such an amazing plant. Many people grow it as a landscaping border, and have no idea about its culinary or homeopathic uses.

I love lemon herbs, and I'm trying to sprout a cutting. I was mostly going to use it for tea, but I'm definitely going to try the insect repellent, too.


cloverleaffarm profile image

cloverleaffarm 4 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham Author

toomuchmint, thanks for stopping by. I love growing lemon balm, and the scent is heavenly. It has so many uses, I have written several hubs about lemon balm. Enjoy your day.


kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 4 years ago from the Ether

I have it growing in my front yard...though one of them seems to be dying, maybe getting too much sun? Not sure, but I love lemon balm. The uses of it are so far and wide. Awesome hub.


cloverleaffarm profile image

cloverleaffarm 4 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham Author

Hello kittythedreamer, thanks for stopping by and reading. Not sure why it would be dying. Mine are all planted in full sun, and are totally happy. Maybe something got at the roots.

Lemon balm is awesome, and there are so many uses. You'll have to check out my lemon balm recipe hubs. You will enjoy them.


naimishika profile image

naimishika 4 years ago from India

Nice to see more about lemon balm.. We can now use it for many cause.


cloverleaffarm profile image

cloverleaffarm 4 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham Author

naimishika, thanks for stopping by. If you like lemon balm, you should read my recipes for using the herb...Lemon Balm Lemon Butter, and Lemon Balm Chicken. I have another one coming out soon.


kohuether profile image

kohuether 4 years ago from New Hampshire

Would you believe I have never thought to use lemon balm as a bug repellent? It makes sense because often those lemon scented plants have bug repellent properties. Thanks for sharing!


cloverleaffarm profile image

cloverleaffarm 4 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham Author

kohuether, thank for stopping by. Lemon balm is one of my favorite herbs.


kohuether profile image

kohuether 4 years ago from New Hampshire

Unfortunately I have a tendency towards low blood pressure so I try to stay away from using it. It's a shame because I live in Germany and bought that Klosterfrau herbal tonic with lemon balm that is supposed to be great for the nerves! I may splash it on myself instead to repel bugs.


cloverleaffarm profile image

cloverleaffarm 4 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham Author

Lemon balm is a nervine, and used to calm the nerves. You could try oatstraw or other nervines. I just checked by book, and it doesn't say that lemon balm is contraindicated for low blood pressure. You just should not combine it with sedative meds. I'm curious as to why it lowers your blood pressure.


Pinkchic18 profile image

Pinkchic18 4 years ago from Minnesota

Mmmm, I could see using the infusion when cooking fish!


cloverleaffarm profile image

cloverleaffarm 4 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham Author

Hello Pinkchic 18. Sounds yummy! I have used it on chicken, but never thought about fish. Thanks for stopping by, and let me know if you try it on fish.


iguidenetwork profile image

iguidenetwork 4 years ago from Austin, TX

I like aromatic herbs, but I only knew that lemon balm is only for medicinal purposes and for tea. Until I learn of the syrup -- I might try that! Great hub, nicely written and quite informative. :)


cloverleaffarm profile image

cloverleaffarm 4 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham Author

iguidenetwork, thanks for stopping by. Lemon balm is used for many medicinal purposes, as well as many culinary uses. The syrup is just one of many. You may like my other hubs on lemon balm herb. Thanks for the compliment. Have a great evening.


naturman profile image

naturman 4 years ago from UK

Plenty of information about the health benefits of lemon. I take it daily and I think it helps


cloverleaffarm profile image

cloverleaffarm 4 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham Author

naturman, thanks for stopping by. I am glad you enjoyed reading.


lrc7815 profile image

lrc7815 4 years ago from Central Virginia

I have a healthy crop of lemon balm but have learned a lot of new ways to use it from this hub. Great job! Voted up.


cloverleaffarm profile image

cloverleaffarm 4 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham Author

Hello lrc7815, thanks for stopping by. I am so glad you enjoyed reading, and thanks for the votes.


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

An informative and interesting hub on the 10 Uses For Lemon Balm Herb, you have mentioned a well researched title and so useful too


cloverleaffarm profile image

cloverleaffarm 3 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham Author

DDE, I am so glad you enjoyed it. I have written a couple of longer hubs on lemon balm that you might enjoy as well. The other popular one is Lemon Balm Oil vs Lemon Balm Essential Oil.


azrestoexp profile image

azrestoexp 3 years ago

Great ideas, interesting article.


cloverleaffarm profile image

cloverleaffarm 3 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham Author

azrestoexp, so glad you enjoyed reading it. I hope you found it useful for your daily life.


MysticMoonlight 3 years ago

Great information, thanks for sharing it. I grow lemon balm and I just love it. It has such a wonderful fragrance. There are many wonderful ideas to use in this Hub, I will definitely put your suggestions to good use :)


cloverleaffarm profile image

cloverleaffarm 3 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham Author

I am so glad you enjoyed reading. I love the smell of lemon balm. I'm glad you found the information useful. Have a great day.


ratnaveera profile image

ratnaveera 3 years ago from Cumbum

Dear Friend, Thanks a lot for sharing all the health and medicinal benefits of lemon balm. Basically mint family leaves have good health benefits. Great Hub!


cloverleaffarm profile image

cloverleaffarm 3 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham Author

Yes, the mint family has great benefits. Thanks for stopping by. I am glad you enjoyed reading it.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

I've had a lemon balm plant given to me for my garden but never knew what to use it for. I like the idea of a natural bug deterrent. Will try this!


cloverleaffarm profile image

cloverleaffarm 3 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham Author

FlourishAnyway, I'm glad you enjoyed reading. I love growing lemon balm.


kislany profile image

kislany 3 years ago from Cyprus

Oh I love melissa, and I'm using the essential oil quite a lot as well.


cloverleaffarm profile image

cloverleaffarm 3 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham Author

kislany, thanks for stopping by. The essential oil is lovely, but quite expensive for the pure stuff. So glad you enjoyed the article.


sweetie1 profile image

sweetie1 3 years ago from India

Very useful hub. Though I have never heard of lemon balm it is still very interesting read. May be we call it by some other name..


azrestoexp profile image

azrestoexp 3 years ago

Informative and useful. Great hub!!!!


cloverleaffarm profile image

cloverleaffarm 3 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham Author

sweetie1, you should check out my other hubs on lemon balm. It is great for cooking. The Lemon Balm Butter is marvelous. Thanks for stopping by.

azrestoexp, I am so glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading and have a great day.


weightlossgossips profile image

weightlossgossips 3 years ago from Singapore

Wow, so many useful uses that can be made out of lemon balm herb.. That's amazing and thanks for providing such a useful information.


cloverleaffarm profile image

cloverleaffarm 3 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham Author

weightloss, thanks so much for stopping by. Herbs are such wonderful gifts from nature. Many have several uses. I am glad you enjoyed reading. Have a great day.


lrc7815 profile image

lrc7815 3 years ago from Central Virginia

What a wonderfully informative article about one of my favorite herbs. I learned so much and now have some new uses for the crop that is so prolific on my patio. Voted up and sharing.


cloverleaffarm profile image

cloverleaffarm 3 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham Author

Hello Irc7815, thanks for stopping by. If you liked this hub, you should read my others about lemon balm. I especially like the one on how to make Lemon Balm Butter. Enjoy! Thanks for the votes and shares.


karenfritz profile image

karenfritz 3 years ago

I love the scent of lemon balm. I had a plant last year and plan to grow some more this year. Thanks for a great summary and ideas for use.


cloverleaffarm profile image

cloverleaffarm 3 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham Author

We grow lots of lemon balm. It's such a great herb. You should check out my "How to Make Lemon Balm Butter" recipe. There is also a hub on the "culinary uses of lemon balm". Thanks so much for stopping by. I am glad you enjoyed it. Happy day to you.


ologsinquito profile image

ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

These medicinal herbs seem to have so many uses. It's good that people are rediscovering them.


cloverleaffarm profile image

cloverleaffarm 2 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham Author

They do! For many people, herbs have been a way of life for years. Thanks for stopping by.


blueheron profile image

blueheron 2 years ago from Odessa, MO

Lemon balm is my granddaughter's favorite herbal tea, fresh from the garden. I think it would be good to try for seasoning fish. It's also one of several herbs that are good for hyperthyroidism.


cloverleaffarm profile image

cloverleaffarm 2 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham Author

blueheron, it is wonderful fresh from the garden. It is delicious on fish as well as chicken. It is good for hyperthyroidism, but one must be careful not to take too much, for too long or it could go the other way. Thanks for stopping by.


The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 2 years ago from United States

Glad to see this hub. We have lots of lemon balm, and I should use it more. What great ideas! Pinned & shared.


cloverleaffarm profile image

cloverleaffarm 2 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham Author

Thanks for stopping by. I love lemon balm. Thanks for the pin and shares.


kerlund74 profile image

kerlund74 2 years ago from Sweden

It seems like lemon balm (just like lemon) has a lot of useful areas. I think this hub gives great information and I think it is great that lemon balm is easy to grow in the garden:) Voted up and shared!


cloverleaffarm profile image

cloverleaffarm 2 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham Author

kerlund, lemon balm is a great herb. It is easy to grow, and I hope you enjoy growing it. I am glad you enjoyed reading the article. Thanks for the vote and shares.


kris in Olympia, WA 2 years ago

Just read this. Laughing so hard that someone bought it. It is a weed on my property (albeit a welcome one).


cloverleaffarm profile image

cloverleaffarm 2 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham Author

Yes, definitely a welcome plant. You have to buy it, or buy the seeds to get it to run like a weed. It is true that it will take over, as it is in the mint family, and all mint plants will take over if allowed.


Web Health Mart4U profile image

Web Health Mart4U 2 years ago from South Carolina

Thank goodness for natural herbs. Especially the ones with healing properties. Thanks for the informative hub.


cloverleaffarm profile image

cloverleaffarm 2 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham Author

I am glad you enjoyed it, Web. Be well.

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