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Lemon Balm
shopping: two varieties
Melissa officinalis

lemon balm

plant overview
bright lemon flavor

Also known as Sweet Balm and Sweet Melissa, this member of the mint family is found in abundance in mountainous regions of Europe and is now naturalized elsewhere. The common name for this herb stems from the word “balsam” in reference to its sweet aroma. Its genus name (Melissa), which means “bee,” alludes to the fact that bees flock to its flowers. Because the leaf of the plant has a very strong lemony odor and flavor, it is harvested as a salad herb and vegetable. Dried lemon balm herb is used in herbal tea blends and to flavor wines, vinegars, breads, sauces and other foods.

Clicking "learn more" next to each variety will take you to individual product pages for details.
Lemon balm
01.
A Bit of Botany
a little botanical information about lemon balm

description
Lemon balm is a perennial herb in the mint family Lamiaceae that grows to 70–150 cm tall. The root-stock is short, the stem square and branching, grows 1 to 2 feet high

At each stem joint pairs of broadly ovate or heart-shaped, crenate or toothed leaves grow. These leaves not only emit a fragrant lemon odor when bruised, they also have a distinct lemon taste.

Lemon balm's white or yellowish flowers grow in loose, small bunches from the axils of the leaves and they bloom from June to October. The plant dies down in winter, but happily the root is perennial.

common names & nomenclature
These plants attract bees. Not surprisingly the genus and common name Melissa is Greek for "honey bee".

Also known as:
sweet melissa, honey leaf, balm, sweet balm, melissa


02.
Where in the World
habitat and range for lemon balm

Lemon balm is native to center-southern Europe and the Mediterranean region.

03.
Cultivation & Harvesting
considerations for growing and harvesting lemon balm

climate
The lemon balm plant grows well in a partly shaded sheltered position. It can be drought tolerant as it is able to tolerate dry places. It is typically grown in herb gardens providing bushy, lemon-scented leaves. Planted near edges of the garden, traffic flow will release its citrus smell when it is brushed against.

soil
Lemon balm grows in any well-drained soil, but it prefers a light rich moist soil.

growing
Lemon balm can be propagated by seeds, cuttings or division of roots in spring or autumn. It grows in clumps and spreads well. In mild temperate zones, the stems of the plant die off at the start of the winter, but will shoot up again in spring.

Lemon Balm grows vigorously and care should be taken against placing it where it will spread into other plantings.

harvesting
The plant can be used fresh or dried, for drying it is harvested just before or just after flowering.

preserving
Dried lemon balm is best stored (as cut pieces or powder) in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

for educational purposes only

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

please be advised: 
you should always consult with your doctor
before making any changes to your diet!!
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