BALM: “Honey of a Healer”
Anxiety, Asthma, Digestion, Herpes, Skin Wounds
Also Known As: Bee Balm, Cure-All, Lemon Balm, Melissa and Sweet Balm
Bees love the fragrance of this herb. The generic name for balm is Melissa, which is the Greek name for bee. During the 10th century, Arab doctors and Medieval Europeans recommended balm for anxiety conditions. In the Middle Ages, European herbalists use it as a cure-all. It was used for arthritis, headaches, tooth pain, insomnia, sores, menstrual cramps and more.
For a relaxing and soothing bath, put a handful of balm in a cloth. Tie it and run your bath water over it. In addition to feeling relaxed you will love the lemony aroma scent.
For a lemony tasting infusion, use 2 teaspoons of leaves per cup of water. Steep for about 10 to 20 minutes. You may drink up to 3 cups per day.
- Minor Cut:
Crush fresh balm leaves over cut and apply direct pressure.
Use one half to one and a half teaspoons of balm up to 3 times daily.
To treat wounds, make a hot compress using 2 teaspoons of leaves per cup of water. Boil for 10 minutes, strain and apply with a clean cloth.
USE: (Grow Your Own)
Balm grows up to 2 feet in height. Stems are small, square and produce white or yellow flowers. Seeds are sown in the spring and can germinate indoors our out. Keep the soil moist and well drained. Partial shade is preferred. Germination takes 3 to 4 weeks.
For medicinal purposes, harvest the leaves before flowers grow. Cut the entire plants a few inches above ground. Dry quickly because the leaves can turn black. Much of the fragrance will be lost when dried. After drying, powder the leaves and store thin in a tightly sealed container preferably opaque in color.
Balm interferes with the thyroid-stimulating hormone thyrotrophin. If you have a thyroid condition, consult with your doctor before using. Balm is on the FDA’s list of herbs that are generally regarded as safe.