October 07, 2017
*Photo Credit: Kita Centella
One of my favorite go-to herbs for mood support is Lemon Balm. It’s a safe and user-friendly herb that’s great for all ages, ever so useful when dealing with a multitude of complaints, and it tastes nice as a tea.
People have known about the benefits of Lemon Balm for a long time. There is evidence that Lemon Balm has been cultivated for over 2000 years. The Latin name for this sweet herb is an easy one to remember: Melissa, which is the Greek word for honeybee. (Apparently, bees are pretty into this herb too.)
The best way to describe the way Lemon Balm works as a mood-support herb is that it helps you to “break even”. If you’re down in the dumps, it can help make you feel more uplifted and brighter on the inside. If your energy is scattered all over the place, and you’re stressed and having a hard time focusing, Lemon Balm can help you feel more calm, and therefore able to focus and concentrate. This herb is neither a sedative nor a stimulant; instead, it can help you find your “sweet spot”. Lemon Balm is just plain good. It’s an ingredient in many of our tea formulas because of its overall safety and usefulness.
If you’re looking for a natural way to balance your mood without making you drowsy, make a quart in the morning and sip on it throughout the day. Brew a cup and enjoy it hot or over ice any time you need to calm, focus your attention, and lift your spirit.
Because the flavor is so mild, children like it too, which is great because it can be one of the most helpful herbs for kids. Parents of children diagnosed with ADD can use Lemon Balm tea as a great beverage to serve the kids instead of juice or soda. While there is no such thing as a miracle cure for anything, Lemon Balm is pretty reliable, and is a safe tea to at least try before putting children on medication. It can be given in the morning, before going to school, again when they get home, and one last time before bed. The tea can be enjoyed alone, or in combination with other herbs like Chamomile, Spearmint, Linden, and Hibiscus.
Kita's kids playing in the herb garden
Steep one teaspoon Lemon Balm and one teaspoon Chamomile in 12 ounces hot water for 5 to 10 minutes. Strain. Blend in ¼ cup apple juice and serve warm. Instead of apple juice, you can substitute almond or coconut milk and honey to taste.
The idea of making a moon tea night sound a little strange, but it’s no more nutty than making a tea in the sun; you just make this kind at night. Why make Lemon Balm tea in the moonlight? Because when you brew this tea in the moonlight, something mysterious occurs that seems to bring out its calming, soul-refreshing properties more than any other method.
To make, you will need:
1 quart glass jar, with lid
4 tablespoons Lemon Balm
Place Lemon Balm in the glass jar. Fill with cool water. Place it out in the moonlight and let it steep overnight. Bring your tea inside first thing in the morning. Strain out the leaves and sip the tea throughout the day. You can make a little extra to use to as a facial rinse; Lemon Balm is naturally antibacterial, and will cleanse the skin. The tea is so cool and refreshing to the body and spirit, I recommend that people try it at lease once.
There aren’t that many herbs that I consider to be for just about everybody. Lemon Balm is definitely one of them!
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