How to Use Lemon Balm for Stress, Tension and Anxiety

July 14, 2017
How to Use Lemon Balm for Stress, Tension and Anxiety | Herbal Remedies | Home Remedies | Herbal Tea Recipes | How to Make a Lemon Balm Tincture | How to Make a Lemon Balm Glycerite | My Healthy Homemade Life

How to Use Lemon Balm for Stress, Tension and Anxiety | Herbal Remedies | Home Remedies | Herbal Tea Recipes | How to Make a Lemon Balm Tincture | How to Make a Lemon Balm Glycerite | My Healthy Homemade Life

I’ve been meaning to write a blog post about how much I adore lemon balm for a while now.   It’s truly a wonderful plant to grow in your garden (or even in a pot!)

I’ve been growing lemon balm in my garden for several years now and each year, I’ve come to love it more and more.   The more I use it, the more I realize how incredibly useful this plant is in my day-to-day life.

Lemon balm (also known as Melissa) is easy to start from seed and you may even find it for sale at your local garden center or nursery.  Just be warned, lemon balm is a member of the mint family and like most mints, it can easily take over your garden if you let it.  Plant it in a large, empty, sunny area where you won’t mind it spreading and you’ll have yourself a good supply of lemon balm for drying and using fresh in all sorts of things.

 

How to Use Lemon Balm for Stress, Tension and Anxiety | Herbal Remedies | Home Remedies | Herbal Tea Recipes | How to Make a Lemon Balm Tincture | How to Make a Lemon Balm Glycerite | My Healthy Homemade Life

Lemon Balm: A Relaxing Nervine

Lemon balm is useful for so many things but I love it most for it’s relaxing and calming properties.

The word “balm” by definition means something soothing, healing or comforting and that is truly what lemon balm does.

Life is stressful— the kids fight, the “to do” list seems never-ending, the car is making a funny noise, you feel like you’re always on the go,  you can’t sleep, and so on and so forth.  You get it.   Sometimes it feels like the stress (both good and bad) is something we constantly battle.  Thankfully, there’s lemon balm to help us deal with the stress with a happier heart and to unwind at night and sleep more deeply.  Who doesn’t need a little lemon balm in their life in this day and age!

 Lemon balm has long been used as a remedy for the nerves. Hippocrates, Galen, Culpepper and even Shakespeare all spoke of it’s attributes.  There are also records of Thomas Jefferson growing lemon balm at Monticello.  Around 1696, John Evelyn wrote that “balm is sovereign for the brain, strengthening the memory and powerfully chasing away melancholy.

Lemon balm actually has a direct impact on the nervous system, soothing and calming frayed nerves.  Known as a relaxing nervine, lemon balm relaxes, soothes and supports the entire nervous system.

Herbalist Jim McDonald refers to lemon balm as “the sunshine herb” because it uplifts our spirits.  I love that!

 

Lemon balm may help if you’re:

  • anxious

  • tense

  • stressed out

  • mildly depressed

  • restless

  • irritable

  • in a panic

  • nervous (with or without heart palpitations)

  • wound-up

  • agitated

  • burning the candle at both ends

  • over-working yourself

  • unable to sleep

 

Lemon Balm is considered safe for most people to consume daily but be sure to check with your doctor if you have any medical conditions.   If you have a underactive thyroid, it’s best not to consume lemon balm in excess.

 

How to Use Lemon Balm for Stress, Tension and Anxiety | Herbal Remedies | Home Remedies | Herbal Tea Recipes | How to Make a Lemon Balm Tincture | How to Make a Lemon Balm Glycerite | My Healthy Homemade Life

 

Tips for Using Lemon Balm

  • While dried lemon balm can be effective, the fresher the lemon balm, the more effective it will be.  If you grow your own lemon balm, take advantage of it as much as you can while it’s fresh and super potent!

  • Pick your lemon balm on a hot, sunny day and it will contain more aromatic oils.

  • Dry your fresh lemon balm to use over the winter.  I love using my dehydrator to dry herbs but you could also hang them to dry or put them in a hot car on a sunny day (Thank you, Amy, for this tip!)

  • Be sure to store your dried lemon balm in a glass jar out of direct sunlight.  Sunlight will cause your herbs to lose their potency more quickly.

  • While lemon balm is relaxing and will help you sleep more deeply at night, it will not make you drowsy so it can be consumed any time of the day.

  • Have a favorite tea blend?  Try adding a little dried lemon balm to it.    Lemon balm adds a delicious, lemony flavor that most people (and kids)  love.

 

How to Use Lemon Balm for Stress, Tension and Anxiety

 

Let’s look at some recipes featuring “the sunshine herb” that will lift your spirits and drive away the stress, tension and anxiety!

How to Use Lemon Balm for Stress, Tension and Anxiety | Herbal Remedies | Home Remedies | Herbal Tea Recipes | How to Make a Lemon Balm Tincture | How to Make a Lemon Balm Glycerite | My Healthy Homemade Life

 

Lemon Balm Infused Water

This is such an easy and delicious way to consume lemon balm throughout the summer!  I find it easiest to make by the half-gallon.

What you’ll need: 

  • glass jar with lid  —These jars are my favorite for making sun tea, infused water and kombucha

  • fresh lemon balm (enough to loosely fill the jar)

  • water (to fill the jar)

  • optional ingredients: fresh lemon, lime or orange slices, cucumber slices, fresh peppermint or spearmint leaves, dried hibiscus flowers, etc.

Instructions: 

Loosely fill a glass jar with fresh lemon balm leaves.   If desired, add any of the optional ingredients for added flavor.

Fill the jar with water and refrigerate for several hours.   Serve cold.

 

How to Use Lemon Balm for Stress, Tension and Anxiety | Herbal Remedies | Home Remedies | Herbal Tea Recipes | How to Make a Lemon Balm Tincture | How to Make a Lemon Balm Glycerite | My Healthy Homemade Life

Lemon Balm Tea

Steep 1-2 tsp dried lemon balm in 1 cup of hot water for 10-15 minutes or combine it with chamomile for a bedtime tea.

My “Unwind Tea” recipe also features lemon balm  and is another great recipe to try.  You can find it in my free Ebook, 3 Home Remedies You Can Make in an Afternoon.

 

How to Use Lemon Balm for Stress, Tension and Anxiety | Herbal Remedies | Home Remedies | Herbal Tea Recipes | How to Make a Lemon Balm Tincture | How to Make a Lemon Balm Glycerite | My Healthy Homemade Life

Lemon Balm Tincture

Drinking tea or infused water isn’t always convenient, so this is where a tincture comes in handy.  It’s easy to throw it in your bag and take as needed.  It travels extremely well.  You’ll find that the nerve calming properties are stronger when you tincture the fresh lemon balm.

What you’ll need:

 

Instructions:

  • Fill  the jar half way with dried lemon balm or 2/3 of the way with fresh lemon balm leaves.

  • Pour the vodka or apple cider vinegar over the herbs.  Completely fill the jar and seal with a lid.  Shake well.

  • Label and date your jar.

  • Store your jar in a warm spot, out of direct sunlight for 4-6 weeks.  Shake your jar often, every day if possible.

  • After 4-6 weeks, strain off the lemon balm and discard.  Fill a small tincture bottle (with a dropper) for daily use and pour the remainder in a clean glass jar.

  • Label and date your bottle and jar.  Store in a cool, dark place where it will keep for several years.

  • Dosage: 2-5 ml (0.4 – 1 tsp,) 2 to 5 times a day in a small amount of water.

     Recipes Notes:

  • Apple cider vinegar will cause your metal caps to rust.   If using apple cider vinegar in your tincture,  use either a plastic lid or place a piece of plastic wrap between the jar and the metal lid.

How to Use Lemon Balm for Stress, Tension and Anxiety | Herbal Remedies | Home Remedies | Herbal Tea Recipes | How to Make a Lemon Balm Tincture | How to Make a Lemon Balm Glycerite | My Healthy Homemade Life

 

 

Lemon Balm Glycerite (Alcohol Free)

Another option for easy consumption is a lemon balm glycerite.  A glycerite makes a great choice for kids because it’s alcohol free.  Almost like a cordial, lemon balm glycerite is sweet and delicious.

What you’ll need: 

 

Instructions:

  • Fill  the jar half way with dried lemon balm or 2/3 of the way with fresh lemon balm leaves.    If using fresh lemon balm, crush them a bit with your hands or with a wooden spoon.

  • Pour the glycerine over the herbs.  Add distilled water as needed to completely fill the jar and seal with a lid.   Shake well.

  • Label and date your jar.

  • Store your jar in a warm spot, out of direct sunlight for 4-6 weeks.  Shake your jar often, every day if possible.

  • After 4-6 weeks, strain off the lemon balm and discard.  Fill a small tincture bottle (with a dropper) for daily use and pour the remaining glycerite in a clean glass jar.  Label and date your bottle and jar.  Store in a cool, dark place.

  • The shelf life of your lemon balm glycerite is about a year.

  • Adults: Take 1/2 to 1 tsp as needed.

 

 How to Use Lemon Balm for Stress, Tension and Anxiety | Herbal Remedies | Home Remedies | Herbal Tea Recipes | How to Make a Lemon Balm Tincture | How to Make a Lemon Balm Glycerite | My Healthy Homemade Life

Did you try any of these recipes? Please let me know how it turned out by leaving a comment below or sharing a picture on my Facebook Page or on Instagram and tagging me @myhealthyhomemadelife.  

I love hearing your feedback!   

 

 

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References:

Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs by Rosemary Gladstar

Alchemy of Herbs by Rosalee de la Foret

The Modern Herbal Dispensatory by Thomas Easley and Steven Horne

Rosalee de la Foret. http://www.herbalremediesadvice.org/

Herb Mentor by Learning Herbs

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