Natural remedies are the answers to all sorts of ailments. One of the best options for good sleep and mental wellness comes from Lemon balm.
Guess what I just planted in my garden this summer? That’s right, lemon balm! Honestly, I didn’t know much about this plant until I did my research. There was only this voice in the back of my head that said, “Yeah, I need this plant in my arsenal.” Maybe you do too!
Lemon balm is a member of the mint family and grows to between 12 and 32 inches (30-80 cm) in height. This plant grows fast and covers a large area, thus providing a beautiful ground cover in the garden. The leaves of the plant are oval shaped and emit a lemon scent that is both tantalizing and intoxicating. This stuff just smells good.
The reason we need lemon balm in our lives
There are many positive reasons why lemon balm should be included in your home herbology. One reason is that this herb makes an utterly delicious addition to baked chicken. Stuff a few leaves inside with onions or garlic and you get this amazing zing. If you are a vegetarian, add it to stuffings or various vegetables for the same lemony/minty flavor.
Now, let’s talk about medicinal qualities – anxiety, insomnia, and depression are the main focus. Lemon balm can work wonders in these areas, and best of all, leave few to no side effects, unlike pharmaceuticals. Let’s break down these ailments and understand how lemon balm works for improvements.
Anxiety and anxiety disorders
Anxiety has the ability to destroy your life. It attacks your mind, then your body, and then finally, your relationships. What’s worse is that anxiety is extremely difficult to control. Medication has been prescribed for this illness that works pretty well.
But these medications also produce side effects and have the ability to encourage addiction. So, with that being said, a natural alternative would be nice.
Cue lemon balm- the leaves of the lemon balm plant can be used to treat anxiety by soothing the nerves. You will notice a feeling of relaxation paired with an improved ability to deal with emotional stress.
You will also maintain healthy cognitive activity. This aspect alone shows how the herb can improve your quality of life.
As with anxiety, depression can also be devastating. Many times, depression has led to suicide as well. Just like with anxiety disorder, a physician can prescribe medications, namely anti-depressants. But did you know that lemon balm can serve as a natural anti-depressant?
Considering this herb increases calmness and alertness, you are better able to keep a sound mind and logical thinking. In fact, mathematical skills can also be improved with the use of lemon balm.
And when anxiety is reduced in the brain, feelings of worthlessness are also reduced as well. For over 200 years, lemon balm has been used to treat such ailments.
Sleep is a precious thing; and as you get older, you will want more of it. Unfortunately, some people battle insomnia night after night. There are many ways to improve your quality of sleep including essential oils, ambient music, and even adjusting the temperature of the room.
If you’re searching for natural herbs, however, then lemon balm is one of the best.
Considering lemon balm is great for battling anxiety, you can see why it would help with insomnia as well. This herb has soothing and relaxing properties which can help you get to sleep quickly while calming your mind. In fact, anxiety is one of the top reason why we cannot get to sleep, and reducing this problem helps a bundle.
How to use lemon balm
This herb can be used in a few ways. Since it’s been included in culinary recipes, it’s safe with few side effects. Here are a few things you can try.
You can simply pour a quart of boiling water over fresh leaves (about a hand-full) and let it steep. After it has cooled, add the juice of one lemon and 1 quart of apple juice. This makes a yummy but effective concoction.
2. With tea
Add lemon balm to your favorite teas, like chamomile. Just remember that lemon balm has strong sedative properties so be careful of how much you ingest. You could fall asleep pretty quickly.
While most people do not have the equipment necessary for making homemade essential oils, some do. If you do, please include lemon balm in your plans. If not, lemon balm essential oil can be purchased to use as a tincture.
Guess what? You can even use lemon balm in your bath water too. Just add an infusion or even a few leaves to your warm water to reap the benefits of relaxation.
Speaking of that intoxicating scent, lemon balm does change the mood in the air. This plant can actually purify the interior air of your home helping you relax even further. Just keeping a potted plant inside can do wonders.
Let’s try it!
I will be utilizing my lemon balm plant for some of these ideas above. I hope you give it a try as well. If you aren’t growing your own, you can purchase lemon balm in several forms. You can try powdered or capsule form, liquid, or dried (teas), whatever works best for you.
Feel free to share some of your lemon balm recipes too. Have fun and be well!
By Sherrie H.