Top 15 Lemon Balm Uses You Must Know

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is a versatile herb known for its ease of cultivation and diverse applications. Beyond its role in attracting bees and other pollinators, lemon balm possesses antiviral properties and is valued for its ability to alleviate stress and calm restlessness, making it beneficial for both soothing nerves and calming hyperactive children.

Traditionally, lemon balm has been employed to treat colic and digestive discomfort across all age groups, from infants to the elderly. Its leaves can be chewed to freshen breath or applied crushed to insect bites to reduce itching.

One popular use of lemon balm is in crafting lip balm for cold sores (refer to item #3 below). Additionally, it can be utilized to create a variety of preparations such as sleepy time syrups and soothing teas.

Those familiar with growing lemon balm are aware of its vigorous growth habit, which can quickly dominate garden spaces. Despite its prolific nature, the herb offers numerous practical applications. Below, we explore more than a dozen ways to utilize this abundant herb.

Lemon Balm Uses

Lemon balm, a fragrant member of the mint family known for its lemony scent, tends to proliferate vigorously in gardens. Here are two practical uses for lemon balm:

1. Sleepy Time Herbal Syrup:

Place approximately 3/4 cup of lemon balm leaves in a small saucepan and cover with enough water to submerge the leaves.

Simmer with the lid partially on until the liquid reduces by half. Strain out the leaves and compost them.

While the liquid is still warm, mix 1/2 cup of the concentrated tea with 1/4 cup of raw honey. Adjust sweetness to taste with additional honey, if desired.

Refrigerate for up to 3 days. Administer by the spoonful before bedtime to promote relaxation.

Tip: Adjust the batch size as needed, maintaining a ratio of approximately 2 parts lemon balm infusion to 1 part honey.

2. Lemon Balm Bug Spray:

Effective in repelling insects, this homemade bug spray is a favorite among DIY enthusiasts. Utilize surplus lemon balm and other herbs to prepare.

These uses harness lemon balm’s aromatic properties for practical purposes in home remedies and natural pest control.

3. Utilize fresh lemon balm leaves in various culinary applications:

Enhance salads by chopping fresh leaves and sprinkling them over dressed greens. For added flavor, consider drizzling honey or a yogurt-honey dressing.

Incorporate 1 to 2 tablespoons of finely chopped leaves along with a pinch of lemon zest into your favorite scone or muffin batter for a refreshing twist.

Freeze fresh leaves in ice cube trays to create decorative cubes that can elevate summer beverages.

4. Create a soothing lip balm for cold sores:

This specific lip balm recipe was developed to address cold sores triggered by sunlight, particularly for a young child.

It effectively cleared up his cold sores within a few months and prevented recurrence.

Here are detailed instructions for creating different products using lemon balm:

5. Make a Glycerite:

Glycerites are a sweet alternative to alcohol-based tinctures for herbal medicine. They utilize glycerin instead, making them suitable for those avoiding alcohol. Glycerites can also be incorporated into skincare products like lotions and toners. Here’s how to make a lemon balm glycerite:

– Fill a jar with fresh lemon balm leaves.

– Combine 3 parts vegetable glycerine with 1 part water and pour over the leaves.

– Seal the jar and place it in a dark location for 3 to 4 weeks.

– After steeping, strain the liquid.

– The recommended dosage is 1/2 to 1 teaspoon as needed for relaxation.

– Store the glycerite in the refrigerator; it remains viable for several months.

6. Make a Relaxing, Tummy-Soothing Tea:

Lemon balm tea is known for its calming and digestive benefits. Here’s a simple method to prepare it:

– Fill a jar with fresh lemon balm leaves.

– Pour hot, simmering water over the leaves.

– Cover the jar with a saucer to retain the vapors and let it steep until cool enough to drink.

– Sweeten the tea to taste and enjoy its soothing effects.

7. Make Lemon Balm Soap:

This soap recipe uses lemon balm tea and is naturally scented with lemongrass, providing a refreshing and aromatic experience. It’s a great way to utilize surplus lemon balm from your garden.

8. Simple Remedy for Bug Bites & Acne:

Mix a small amount of cosmetic clay with lemon balm tea until moistened.

Apply the mixture to blemishes and bug bites as necessary. Allow it to air dry and keep it on the skin as long as possible to alleviate itching and inflammation.

9. Relaxing Bath Recipe:

Fill a bath bag with fresh lemon balm leaves and rose petals.

Hang the bag from the bathtub spigot and let the water flow through as you fill the tub. For added relaxation, consider adding a cup of Epsom salt to the bath.

(If bath bags aren’t available, a thin white sock tied at the top can be used instead.)

10. Ginger & Lemon Balm Cold Syrup:

This syrup combines ginger and lemon balm for enhanced antiviral properties.

It’s simple to make and suitable for involving kids in the process.

Put in refrigerator for up to two weeks. Take it when exposed to germs, feeling fatigued, or sensing the onset of illness.

11. Lemon Balm Tincture:

Lemon balm tincture is a soothing, antiviral remedy ideal for preempting colds or bugs.

– Fill a jar three-quarters full with fresh lemon balm leaves (or one-quarter to one-third full with dried leaves).

– Pour in 80 proof or higher alcohol (e.g., vodka) until the jar is full.

– Seal with a non-metallic lid and store in a cool, dark place for 4 to 6 weeks, shaking occasionally.

– Strain and store for at least a year.

– Adult dosage is 1/4 teaspoon (about 1 dropperful or 1 ml) as needed; mix with honey for better compliance.

12. Lemon Balm Vinegar:

Lemon balm vinegar serves as a hair rinse, bath additive, or flavorful salad dressing enhancer.

– Fill a jar 3/4 full with fresh lemon balm leaves.

– Cover completely with apple cider vinegar.

– Seal with a non-metallic lid and steep in a cool, dark place for several weeks.

– Strain before use; shelf life is 9 months to 1 year+.

13. Candied Lemon Balm Leaves:

A fun activity for kids, candied lemon balm leaves are made by coating them with egg white and sugar, then drying in a low-temperature oven.

– Beat an egg white with a bit of water.

– Dip lemon balm leaves in the mixture, then in sugar.

– Arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

– Dry in a 200°F oven until leaves are dry but not browned, checking every 5 to 10 minutes after 20 minutes.

14. Lemon Balm & Honey Butter:

Enhance hot fresh bread or biscuits with lemon balm and honey butter.

– Mix 4 tablespoons of softened butter with finely chopped lemon balm and honey to taste.

15. Herbal Lemon Balm Water

Refreshingly subtle, herbal lemon balm water is perfect for hot summer days.

  • Fill a jar with fresh lemon balm leaves and thinly sliced lemon.
  • Add cold water until full.
  • Refrigerate for several hours before serving.

Leave a Comment