Lemon Balm is a soft name for a powerful medicinal herb. While doctors tell us there is no treatment for viral infections, research studies say otherwise… or until they figure how to make money on something unpatentatable.
Lemon Balm is an active antiviral and is active against the herpes simplex virus. That includes HSV-1 cold sores, HSV-2 genital sores, and herpes zoster or shingles. Many herbs are antibiotic, but antivirals are less common. Put the oil and its carrier oil on the first sign, and it may never show up. Drink Lemon Balm tea 3 times a day for a week, even better. Add licorice root, which has been shown to irreversibly inactivate the herpes simplex virus. After reading this study, I added American Licorice (Glycerrhiza lepidota) seeds to my wish list. The one sold in the Market Economy as Licorice root is the tropical cousin, but our native cousin and several others from Russia and Europe have the same active constituents.
I add Lemon Balm leaves to my tea now and again, it is good for general health and supports Echinaceae very well during cold and flu season. Elderberry also supports the immune system and is an antiviral.
Lemon Balm is good in fruit salads, and as a flavoring.
Yummy tonic: crush 1/4 cup of Lemon Balm leaves, cover with 1 pint white wine, sit 2 days, strain, and drink. Benedictine and Chartreuse both have Lemon Balm in their ingredients, and started life as medicinal concoctions.
Lemon Balm is a member of the Lamiaceae family, like mint and Horehound, and like Horehound it tolerates a little drought. If I ever see a day of monsoon season, I will plant a chunk of this outside with some light shade and steal a spot from the weeds. I hope it gets out there and spreads like Horehound.
Lemon Balm is such a favorite of bees that beehives can be rubbed with leaves to attract and keep swarms. Lemon Balm Syrup attracts queens. I will try this to see how it works.
My Pharmacopeia improves with easy to grow Lemon Balm.
Lemon Balm essential oil is used in perfumery and is quite expensive because the oil return is very low. I may never have enough to try it, so that’s probably academic. My Treemoss collection is growing and the scent is heady, so I will let Lemon Balm be tea and medicinals.