Spring is in the air with lemon balm

Spring is in the air with lemon balm,

The past few days the sun has been shining here in Blackpool UK and little sprouts are peeking through the ground, I have been planting seeds for a couple of weeks now and the aubergine, sweet pea and tomato seedlings have appeared. I always get really excited by this happening.

Today I planted sunflower, marigold and Calendula seeds, I re-use takeaway tubs with lids because they make great little propagators.

Last year I dried a lot of lemon balm as it grew in abundance and I will be honest with you, I havent used it yet, but I am drawn to it today and feel it has womanly properties so I got out my herbal books and did some research.

 

spring

Lemon balm: (melissa officinalis)

It is a mild sedative, herpes remedy, great for upset tummies, bloating, wind, colic, toothache, menstrual cramps and is used to treat anxiety.

It is anti viral and relaxing too so perfect for frayed nerves and fighting viruses including colds and flu.

There is a lovely recipe for a cold and flu fighting tea in one of my books called The herbal drugstore by Linda B White and Steven Foster.

Basic cold and flu tea

It is a blend which uses herbs to sooth and fight cold and flu all in one.

To make the tea combine in equal parts:

Dried peppermint leaves

dried lemon balm leaves

Dried elder flowers

Dried yarrow flowers

This can be stored in an airtight jar for up to a year (away from heat and light)

To make the tea

1/4 litre water, 1-2 tsp tea blend, 1/2 tsp grated ginger (optional) you can also add lemon and honey if required.

It also attracts bees, they love it! So it is a great plant, but I would recommend it going in a pot, it’s a member of the mint family and spreads widely if in the ground.

There are lots of other ways you can use lemon balm and one I really liked is this lip balm recipe from Nerdy Farm Wife, this is great for healing cold sores.

While it’s generally considered safe for most people, lemon balm can inhibit thyroid function. If you have severe hypothyroidism (under active thyroid) or are on thyroid medication, if you’re pregnant, nursing, or on medication please consult your health practitioner before using.

lavender

Last year I grew Calendula and saved the petals and seeds, I used some of the petals combined with oats and dried lavender and these went into glass jars to make a gorgeous skin nourishing bath soak. This is my final jar, so I can’t wait to get growing some more. I pop it in some net or muslin and run it under the hot tap, when I am filling my bath, later when I am in the bath, I squeeze out all the milky goodness onto my skin, it is great for soothing skin disorders like eczema too.

I am currently reading James Wong’s Grow your own drugs and Riverford organics Spring and summer recipe book and we are going foraging for some wild garlic, as it’s that time of year again.

 

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