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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. 

Anxiety

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. 

Insomnia

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:

Valerian

Lemon Balm

Lavender

Passionflower

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.

Sources:

https://www.mariongluckclinic.com/blog/chilling-out-with-lemon-balm.html

https://www.healthline.com/health/lemon-balm-uses

Bela Ballatore

Bela Ballatore is the Lifestyle Manager at The Villa, CHC Headquarters. On top of writing for the Apothecary page, she manages the herbal and vegetable gardens and the chickens on the farm. She fell in love with cooking as a young girl, cooking side by side with her father. Through cooking and Kundalini yoga her father helped her develop her spiritual practice at a young age. She moved to Nevada County in 2019 to further her dreams in connecting to Mother Gaia and living a healthy life. Continually participating in meditative work on the land and taking on new roles at CHC she takes steps towards a healthy mind, body and soul everyday.

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