Lemon Balm Tea & Bug Spray


Lemon Balm Is Good For

Today, lemon balm is used in traditional medicine as both a sleep aid and digestive tonic. It can be consumed as a tea, taken as a supplement or extract, or applied to the skin in balms and lotion. Lemon balm essential oil is also popular in aromatherapy, where it is believed to promote calmness and ease stress.


Lemon Balm Benefits

  1. Lowers triglycerides–When used aromatically (that means you breathe it in) Melissa essential oil (which is lemon balm) has been shown to lower triglycerides which could impact a variety of other health conditions.

  2. Treats heart palpitations–Use caution if you plan to try lemon balm for any kind of heart rhythm issue, but studies have shown that lemon balm can help reduce episodes of palpitations in some people.

  3. Natural antibacterial–With its ability to fight a spectrum of bacteria inside the body, lemon balm has shown particular effectiveness against candida–a type of yeast that can cause brain fog, digestive issues, exhaustion and more.

  4. Treats diabetes–Primarily for type 2 diabetes, studies have shown that lemon balm extract or oil is beneficial in the reduction of blood sugar levels. It is not a replacement for insulin.

  5. Calms anxiety–Despite some studies from outside sources who conflict this statement, many people say that lemon balm benefits their battle with anxiety.

  6. Treats insomnia–Lemon balm is said to help calm and offers a mild sedating effect that promotes sleep.

  7. Improves cognitive function and focus–A study of young adults who took lemon balm internally found an improvement in mood and the ability to focus.

  8. Helps manage ADHD in children–Perhaps thanks to its calming effect, lemon balm reduces hyperactivity and impulsiveness and improves focus for some school children.

  9. Fights the herpes virus–Even though there’s no way to ever get the herpes virus out of your body, you can focus on preventing outbreaks and that means keeping the virus under control. For cold sore sufferers, lemon balm reduced outbreaks, duration and pain/itching. Plus there’s no viral resistance to the herb over time so it can be used repeatedly.

  10. Fights cancer–Lemon balm has been shown to cause cancer cell death in the deadly brain cancer called glioblastoma multiforme. It has also shown a positive effect on certain types of breast, liver, and some types of leukemia.

  11. Battles inflammation--Chronic inflammation can support a variety of diseases and trigger pain in the body. Lemon balm has shown to reduce inflammation throughout the body.

  12. Manages overactive thyroid–Known as Grave’s Disease, lemon balm stops certain substances that trigger the thyroid from binding to receptor cells and helps slow down an over active thyroid.

  13. Soothes constipation–Studies are still being done but early research shows that lemon balm, peppermint and angelica root may be helpful treatments for constipation.

  14. Reduces PMS symptoms–When taken in a capsule form, lemon balm reduced those pesky mood swings, weight gain and bloating in high school age women.

How to use

A handful of fresh lemon balm and mint makes an excellent hot or iced tea, especially with honey. You can also use the herb to bake a batch of lemon balm cookies or lemon balm bread, whisk up a quick lemon balm vinaigrette, or top your pasta with lemon balm pesto.


Lemon Balm Tea

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon balm leaves chopped

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 teaspoon raw honey optional

Instructions

1. Chop the lemon balm leaves to release their oils. Set aside.

2. Heat the water in a cup in the microwave or on the stove until boiling.

3. Mix the leaves and water in a mug and allow to stand 10 minutes to steep.

4. Stir in honey and strain if desired. Drink warm.


Lemon Balm Bug Spray

Gather:

  • a handful of fresh lemon balm leaves

  • plus a generous pinch each of basil, catnip and mint from your garden.

Stuff a glass jar full of the herb leaves, then pour witch hazel extract over them, almost to the top. You can usually find witch hazel in your local drug store or in the pharmacy section of a grocery store.

Cap the jar and set it in a cool, dark cupboard for a week or two. Strain and store out of heat and light.

When you’re ready to mix up a fresh batch of spray, fill a small glass spray bottle or mister half way with the infused witch hazel.

Fill the rest of the bottle with water, but not quite to the top.


At this point, I add a few drops of essential oil, to boost the spray’s power. Without the essential oil, it’s not very strong, so I highly recommend adding them.

I add:

  • 1 drop basil essential oil

  • 1 drop citronella essential oil

  • 1 drop lemongrass (or lemon eucalyptus) essential oil

You might wish to add more or less depending on your tolerance for essential oils. I’m very conservative with their use, so feel free to adjust to your preference. If you’re pregnant, nursing, or have chronic health issues, research each essential oil and consult a qualified professional for further guidance on usage for your condition.

Screw the spritzer top onto the glass bottle and shake well.

Spritz on and around you as needed for bug control, shaking thoroughly before each application. We’ve found this exact combination will last an average of one to two hours before needing to be reapplied, but that will also depend on your particular body chemistry and how heavy the bug load in the area is.

Once you’ve mixed up a batch with water, store in the refrigerator and use within 1 week. The remaining undiluted witch hazel will last about six months.

This spray is intended for people, not pets.


Caution

You should avoid lemon balm if you have a hypothyroid because it can negatively affect your thyroid medications.

Some people have had allergic reactions to lemon balm ranging from anaphylactic responses and rashes. Use caution if lemon balm is new to you.

If you are nursing or pregnant ask your doctor before you start using lemon balm.

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