Lemon balm is a great perennial herb, with lemon-scented and mint-like leaves. Native to Southern Europe, and the Mediterranean, this herb is grown for its aroma and citrusy taste. In the kitchen, lemon balm can be used as a substitute for lemon peels and adds flavour to soups, seafood, and more. In this article, we will share how to grow lemon balm, the nutrients, and health benefits that can be gained from adding this herb to your diet.
There are many different varieties of lemon balm. Here are some recommended varieties: ‘Citronella’, ‘Aurea’, ‘All Gold’, and ‘Lemonella’.
How To Grow Lemon Balm
Sow lemon balm outdoors in late spring, or indoors in early spring. Grow lemon balm in containers/pots and trenches in full sun, but will tolerate partial shade. Sow 0.5-1cm deep in individual container/pot, and 18 inches apart if growing in trenches, cover the seed with a thin layer of soil. Lemon balm will thrive in most soils but prefers well-drained soil with organic matter such as compost or manure. Place the pots in a warm place and seeds should germinate in around 1-3 weeks.
Water plants regularly, especially during dry spells. When roots start coming out of the drainage holes at the bottom, transplant lemon balm into a bigger container/pot. In late summer cut back plants after flowering to encourage a flush of new leaves. If growing over winter, consider protecting your plants with clothes, or a fleece. Pick fresh leaves throughout summer when the plant gets big enough.
Nutrients And Health Benefits
Lemon balm contains many beneficial nutrients, including vitamins B-1, B-2, and B-9, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, sodium, and potassium. In addition, lemon balm can help relieve stress, reduce anxiety, may boost cognitive function, and help treat cold sores. Also, lemon balm can ease insomnia and other sleep disorder, may relieve indigestion, treat nausea, ease headaches, and toothaches.
Lemon balm is easy to add to your diet, here we will share some ways how to. Pick a few leaves, and use them as a garnish on top of icecreams, and soups, include a few leaves in salads and dressings. Make lemon balm tea, make a lip balm for cold sores, sprinkle hopped lemon balm onto dessert, and fresh baked goods.