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Lemon Balm: A Friend for the Bees

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Lemon Balm: A Friend for the Bees

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) is a member of the Lamiaceae (Mint) Family. Melissa, the genus name is from the Latin melisso phyllum, meaning, “honey bee” as it is a favorite flower of bees. The species name officinalis means that the herb has long been used by apothecaries.

Lemon balm also goes by the folk names Balm, Bee Balm, Dropsy Plant, Heart’s Delight, Melissa, and “Elixir of Life” (a name given by Paracelsus). Lemon balm was widely used in ancient Greek and Rome. This herb was sacred in the temple of Diana, and priestesses of Aphrodite were called Melissa. Avicenna, the great Arab physician (980-1037) said, Lemon Balm “causeth the mind and heart to be merry.”

The above-ground portion of the place is used as an antibacterial, antidepressant, antihistamine, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antispasmodic, antiviral, aromatic, carminative, cephalic, chologogue, diaphoretic, digestive, emmenagogoue, febrifuge, hypotensive (mild), nervine, parturient, rejuvenative, sedative, stomachic, tonic, and vasodilator.

Lemon Balm is used to treat allergies, amenorrhea, anxiety, asthma, attention deficit, bronchitis, chicken pox, chronic fatigue, colic, colds, depression, Fever, flatulence, Flu, Grave’s disease, headaches, herpes, homesickness, hyperactivity, hypertension, hysteria, indigestion, insomnia, menstrual cramps, migraine, mumps, muscle spasms, nausea, nervousness, Newcastle disease, nightmares, heart palpitations due to nerves, pain, restlessness, senility, shingles, smallpox, stomachache, and teething. Lemon balm clears heat, calms the heart, cleans the liver, improves chi circulation and lifts the spirits. German studies indicate lemon balm’s essential oils help protect the cerebrum from excess external stimuli.

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Brigitte Mars

Brigitte Mars, a professional member of the American Herbalist Guild, is a nutritional consultant who has been working with Natural Medicine for over 40 years. She teaches Herbal Medicine at Naropa University, Boulder College of Massage, and Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts and has a private practice. Brigitte is the author of 12 books, including Rawsome!. Find more healthy living articles, raw food recipes, videos, workshops, books, and more at brigittemars.com. Also check out her international model yogini daughter, Rainbeau at rainbeaumars.com.

54 comments

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9:10PM PDT on May 15, 2013

Marvellous and delightful. Bee balm flowers are wonderful as well. Such an intense red flower.

5:53AM PDT on Aug 30, 2011

Thanks

12:31AM PDT on Jul 4, 2011

To make Lemon Balm soup. Great article. Thanks for sharing.

6:12PM PDT on Sep 2, 2010

I love lemon balm but did not know all it is good for. I will start to grow it on my roof!

7:52AM PDT on Aug 8, 2010

Ciekawe.

1:23PM PDT on Jul 31, 2010

Great! I have so much lemon balm in my backyard!

11:32PM PDT on Jul 26, 2010

Mint is excellent for honey bees. It helps keep them healthy, and the honey has a bolder flavor.

10:29AM PDT on Jul 25, 2010

Seems like a great plant to have around.

10:12AM PDT on Jul 24, 2010

As a beekeeper I found this article very interesting!

9:11AM PDT on Jul 24, 2010

I have lemon balm. Haven't see any honeybees in my garden, but the bumblers are out.

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