As a herbalist, you must have already read the Herbal Guide to Lemon Balm. Many of you herbalists might be aware of its properties. It is a herbaceous plant from the mint family. Till now, you have been associating it with tea. You should know about the background of this useful plant before proceeding further. The leaves have been in use for quite some time now. You must have seen it being used in teas and for flavoring.
Aromatherapy is also done by lemon balm. You must know more, to reap its benefits. You should be able to recall the numerous times you had mint-flavored ice creams and peppermint tea. In folklore, you must know of its usage in treating ailing stomachs. An aid to digestion, it is a wholesome part of traditional medicines. It is one of those plants that you cannot afford to forget.
Growing Lemon Balm Plants
This herbaceous plant can reach heights of 1-3 feet, depending upon the soil and amount of sunlight it receives. It is a hardy plant, and many people have used it under harsh conditions. You need to mulch the plants all year, but doing so in winter is considered most important. Mulch will aid warmth to the soil. You can grow it almost anywhere in the home or garden. You should grow your plant in loam and full sunlight. Lemon balm plants can quickly grow from seeds.
You can sow the seeds in mid-spring or early fall to late winter. Moreover, you can grow these plants outside without any hassles. You will see that the germination starts faster. Observations show that it takes 7-14 days to germinate at temperatures around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Plant seedlings in the garden with a gap of 12-18 inches in between. You must note that plants grown from seeds and the ones grown from root cuttings and stem cuttings smell different. Keep pruning to get bushy plants.
Herbal Guide to Lemon Balm – The Harvest and Beyond
You can pluck the plants once they are fully grown. The moment buds come on, you can harvest the plants. The oils are at their highest concentration around this flowering time. We can store the pairs of leaves by cutting their stem. You need to dry the leaves for usage. It can be a bit tedious. herbs can be dried by clipping off the leaves from the stem. You can lay the cut leaves on tissue or paper to dry it.
If you can afford one ,Purchase a dehydrator. If you want to retain the medicinal value, try to maintain a cool environment. When you see the leaves crumbling to pieces, the time is just right to use them. Keep them in air-tight jars to preserve their scent. The smell may not be that sharp as lemon, but you will observe a rich, woody aroma emanating from the herbs when dry. You can make hot or cold tea, mix with other herbs like fennel or use them in creamy spreads and dressings. The choice is yours.