18 Brigham Creek Road
Auckland 0618
New Zealand
The Herb Patch
Let your food be medicine and your medicine be food

Lemon Balm

(Melissa officinalis) 

Lemon balm is a medicinal herb known for its many therapeutic properties including being antibacterial, antiviral and an antidepressant. It is considered a calming herb. The leaves can be finely chopped and boiled as tea to help induce sleep. Other beneficial properties include relieving pain from indigestion, improving appetite and reducing stress and anxiety.  

It is also an effective natural insect repellent as it contains high levels of a compound called citronellal, which gives it its lemony aroma and flavour which insects find so unpleasant. To use simply bruise and rub the leaves of the plant onto the skin especially around the ankles, arms and other areas most exposed and vulnerable to insect bites. It’s safe to use on children too. It can also be used to treat insect stings and bites by rubbing fresh bruised leaves on the affected area. 

We particularly enjoy our homemade herbal tea with a combination of lemon balm and lemon verbena. If you enjoy a light and refreshing tea without any strong or distinct herbal tea taste then this tea is for you. Lemon balm is a member of the mint family. If you prefer a minty taste you can add fresh or dried mint leaves to this tea combination. 

We make the above herbal tea from fresh leaves in summer and dried leaves in winter.