Botanical Name: Melissa Officinalis
Common Names: Lemon balm, common balm, balm mint
What parts of lemon balm are used?
The leaves are used both fresh and dried in teas and tinctures. Fresh leaves are also used in essential oils.
How do you identify lemon balm and where is it grown?
A distant memory of the mint family, this perennial herb can be spotted growing in South-Central Europe, North Africa and in Central Asia. If you don’t recognize it, it’s fragrant lemon scent may give it away. This perennial has heart-shaped leaves with serrated edges and dainty yellow, blue or white flowers. The natural lemony fragrance associated with the leaves makes this herb a common ingredient that is often used in medicines and in combination with other useful herbs. This plant is also attractive to bees and other insects.
Do you enjoy that fresh, lemony scent many furniture-polishing products emit? You may have lemon balm to thank for that. In addition to furniture polish, lemon balm is also found in cosmetics and—not surprisingly— perfumes.