Here at the Villa, we have Lemon Balm growing everywhere.
Last spring, before the pandemic became so serious, I had planted dozens of seeds with the intention of selling starters at the CHC spring sale. Because of the severity of COVID-19 and the “California stay-home orders”, we decided to cancel the sale and we gave away the plants to friends and neighbors that were single moms, front line workers, and families.
As the earth warmed and seeds started to sprout I noticed dozens and dozens of pots with lemon balm sprouting up.
Mind you, I never planted lemon balm seeds. I had two spots on the property with Lemon Balm that went to seed the previous fall of which I didn’t harvest. I was filled with so much joy and amazement as I watched our nursery become filled with lemon balm! We gave some away and we planted the rest.
Fast forward to this spring, as I make my rounds through the various gardens we developed during the pandemic last year, I see little patches of lemon balm, flourishing under the leaves and dried leaves. I trim off the dried plant material, brush away the leaves to reveal the most gorgeous bush of lemon balm. I’m anxiously awaiting for the plant to grow more so I can start harvesting off the top.
Ironically enough lemon balm has been used to ease anxiety for hundred of years (if not longer) According to this article on the Marion Gluck Clinic “It is proposed that lemon balm may work by increasing gamma-aminobutyric (GABA) levels in the brain.”
If you are someone who is prone to anxiety or nervousness, I recommend drinking a cup of lemon balm tea morning and night. It is a wonderful herb to add to any cup of tea, water or even pesto! You can use lemon balm that traditionally calls for mint. It is very similar but has a wonderful citrus taste.
Because of its effect on your brain, it is the perfect herb to add to your nighttime Tea Blend. I curated a “Goodnight Tea” when I first moved onto the villa, in equal parts:
Because of Valerian’s strong smell and taste, I paired it with all of these flowers which all have calming effects. And when I really need it I will add a pinch of Kava Kava.
Similarly to mint, Lemon Balm also helps with indigestion, cramping, headaches and toothaches.
I hope you can plant a patch of lemon balm this year and watch it grow bigger and bigger every year.
We’re so excited that spring has sprung on The Villa,
Stay Tuned for more.