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How to Use Fresh Lemon Balm: Five Best Ways

Updated on February 14, 2013
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Introduction

In addition to being delightfully aromatic and easy to grow, fresh lemon balm can prove to be a versatile plant around the house, from the kitchen to the bathroom and everywhere in between. The following are five of the best uses for this wonderful herb.

A couple of these examples involve the use of a lemon balm infusion. Infusions involve transferring the aroma, flavor, and healing properties of an herb into a carrier substance, such as water or oil. Go here for instructions on how to make herbal infusions with either water or oil.

Tea

Perhaps the simplest, healthiest use for fresh lemon balm is in tea. Lemon balm has been shown to aid in digestion and soothe stomach upset, and it also serves as a mild sedative to help you relax and unwind. It mixes quite well with other members of the mint family, as well as with chamomile. Brew 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs per 8 oz serving, add lemon or sweetener to taste, and even put it over ice for a cool, refreshing tonic on a hot day!

Cooking

Lemon balm is also a multitasker in the kitchen and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. Apply it as a rub or marinade for chicken and fish, and anywhere you might use lemon thyme or similar spices. Garnish cakes, pies, and ice cream with a few leaves, or mix it right in to any dessert that lends itself to a lemony mint flavor.

Aromatherapy

This herb makes a great addition to any aromatherapy ritual and can have both a soothing and invigorating effect. It will make you feel more peaceful and ready to face the day! Use crushed leaves or an infusion in the bath or shower, morning or night. Alternatively, if you make an infusion, you can use it as a perfume or mix it with your favorite body lotion or massage oil for a pleasant, longer-lasting fragrance.

Potpourri

Although lemon balm loses a little of its scent as it dries, it still retains enough to make a statement. Add some leaves to your potpourri mix, or weave a few whole stems into an aromatic garland or wreath. You can also add lemon balm oil to liquid potpourri or reed diffusers. This is a great option if you grow lots of lemon balm and wind up with a lot of surplus during the harvesting season.

Ointment

Finally, lemon balm is also known to be an effective salve and antibiotic. Apply whole leaves or infused oil to cuts, burns, and rashes in order to ease pain and discomfort and assist in the healing process.

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