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

This site is for educational purposes only. It does not provide medical advice. Information found on myhealthyhomemadelife.com is meant to motivate you to make your own health care and dietary decisions based upon your own research and in partnership with your health care provider.

 

 

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56 Comments

  • Reply Gail Doherty July 14, 2017 at 10:41 am For many years I thought it was a weed that grew along side our house!!! I love the ideas on how to use it, Jen. I'll be trying the lemon infused water and adding it to my teas this summer. I enjoy all your great ideas for using growing plants in your yard, to promote better health.
    • Reply Jen July 14, 2017 at 3:25 pm Thank you so much! I hope you're able to enjoy the infused lemon balm water all summer! :)
  • Reply Monique July 15, 2017 at 10:18 am Lovely! I should use some of this!
    • Reply Jen July 15, 2017 at 10:43 am Thanks, Monique! :)
  • Reply Taylor || The Millennial Sprinkle July 15, 2017 at 12:51 pm Wow! I definitely have to try this. I never knew how beneficial lemon balm could be. Thanks so much for sharing! xo, Taylor (thesprinkle.tayloramead.com)
    • Reply Jen July 15, 2017 at 7:38 pm I'm so glad to hear that, Taylor! :)
  • Reply Amanda July 17, 2017 at 11:50 am I keep meaning to plant this in the garden and didn't realise it was so easy and a part of the mint family. I wonder if I planted it in the open garden if it would also help calm our rescue dog who can be quite anxious at times? Thanks for the reminder
    • Reply Jen July 17, 2017 at 12:01 pm It's definitely worth growing, Amanda! I haven't heard of lemon balm being calming to someone near it but that is true of motherwort. You might look into that as well to help your rescue dog. I wrote a post on motherwort a few months ago and I'm growing it in my garden this year. It was a cinch to start from seed. http://www.myhealthyhomemadelife.com/motherwort-the-lion-hearted-herb/
  • Reply Krystin July 17, 2017 at 12:45 pm Wow, I've never heard of this before, that's such a good idea for relieving stress/anxiety. Definitely trying this! Krystin www.girlinbetsey.com
    • Reply Jen July 19, 2017 at 7:40 am I'm so glad to hear that, Krystin! :)
  • Reply Anabelle July 19, 2017 at 1:44 pm Wow I had no clue about all of the benefits of using lemon balm. I definitely want to try it out, as I tend to get pretty stressed out. Thank you so much!!
    • Reply Jen July 19, 2017 at 6:34 pm I'm so glad to hear that, Anabelle! I hope you find it helpful! :)
  • Reply Shell July 19, 2017 at 3:22 pm I love growing this in my garden because of all its wonderful uses !
    • Reply Jen July 19, 2017 at 6:35 pm It really is fantastic! I'm glad to hear you're familiar with it, Shell! :)
  • Reply Leah July 19, 2017 at 10:34 pm I love this, another great article that I am pinning for sure! I planted lemon balm about a month ago. It was part of a tea quartet - roman chamomile, pineapple sage, peppermint and lemon balm! I can't wait to chuck this in the dehydrator and make up some tea! I need to right now because I am feeling the pressure!
    • Reply Jen July 20, 2017 at 7:04 am I'm so glad this was helpful, Leah! I love your idea for a tea blend. Lemon balm makes such a nice addition!
  • Reply Nilushi Rathnaweera July 20, 2017 at 7:00 am LOVE YOUR POST
    • Reply Jen July 20, 2017 at 7:03 am Thank you, Nilushi!
  • Reply Karla July 20, 2017 at 7:23 am I always learn something interesting and useful on your blog. It's great that lemon balm has a shelf life of a year.
    • Reply Jen July 20, 2017 at 7:24 am Thank you, Karla. Keep in mind that the shelf life of the lemon balm glycerite is 1 year but the tincture will last several years!
  • Reply Monica Veal July 20, 2017 at 9:12 am I enjoyed this so much! Melissa is easily one of my favorite herb!! Her smell is intoxicating. Thank for reminding me of all of the amazing benefits!
    • Reply Jen July 20, 2017 at 9:18 am I'm so glad to hear that, Monica! I agree, the smell is intoxicating. I can't walk past it without reaching out for some to smell!
  • Reply Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine July 20, 2017 at 3:53 pm That would make a fabulous tea ritual to end the night with!
    • Reply Jen July 20, 2017 at 5:28 pm I think you're right, Rebecca!
  • Reply Deb July 20, 2017 at 10:49 pm I made a batch of tea today with the fresh herb.....and there's nothing like it......so fresh and sweet and nourishing! Thanks for the lemon balm Jen, I think I'll be enjoying it for years to come from the looks of it!
    • Reply Jen July 21, 2017 at 6:27 am You're very welcome, Deb! :)
  • Reply Elena July 21, 2017 at 11:39 am I think that we have this plant in our backyard. Funny how until now I thought it is just another weed.
    • Reply Jen July 22, 2017 at 6:51 am I hope you get to try it! It's absolutely wonderful, Elena!
  • Reply Michelle C July 24, 2017 at 8:21 am I LOVE lemon balm. It's always one of the first things I plant in a new herb garden. Thank you so much for sharing.
    • Reply Jen July 24, 2017 at 7:24 pm I'm so glad to find another lemon balm lover! Thanks for commenting, Michelle!
  • Reply Silvija July 25, 2017 at 10:00 am never tried before! Your post was so informative that I will try your recipes! And now going to make a cup of mint tea! Even the smell relaxes me
    • Reply Jen July 25, 2017 at 11:10 am Thank you, Silvija! I'm so glad to hear that! :)
  • Reply Emily July 25, 2017 at 10:07 am Great Post! I've recently wanted to grow some lemon balm myself!
    • Reply Jen July 25, 2017 at 11:10 am Thanks, Emily. I hope you get to grow some. It's really terrific!
  • Reply kristin July 25, 2017 at 5:40 pm i get stressed easily. i didn't know there was such a natural solution!
    • Reply Jen July 26, 2017 at 7:26 am Lemon balm is a great natural solution to stress. I hope you give it a try, Kristin!
  • Reply Reeni @ Simply Reeni July 26, 2017 at 9:18 am Great information! I normally use chamomile for when I am stressed and can't sleep, but I will have to try this next time! Thanks for sharing!!
    • Reply Jen July 26, 2017 at 9:34 am Thank you, Reeni! I love chamomile for relaxing also. I often combine chamomile and lemon balm together in different tea blends. I hope you find the lemon balm helpful ! :)
  • Reply Shelby @Fitasamamabear July 26, 2017 at 9:49 am Lemon balm tea is super relaxing! I haven't tried the tincture yet but that sounds pretty awesome too (I make a chamomille one for pain)- thanks!
    • Reply Jen July 26, 2017 at 10:33 am Thanks, Shelby! The lemon balm tincture is great, especially when you can't drink a cup of tea!
  • Reply Elise Cohen Ho July 26, 2017 at 11:12 am I love Lemon Balm though I do think it is a pity that it is not great for people with underactive thyroid as they often have many of the issues listed.
    • Reply Jen July 26, 2017 at 2:58 pm I agree. There are other herbs that might be a better fit for someone with an underactive thyroid. Chamomile is probably most well know for it's relaxing properties.
  • Reply Establishing A Healthy Bedtime Routine For Yourself - skin & satori July 26, 2017 at 5:02 pm […] Lemon Balm tea – great for relieving stress and assists with sleep. […]
  • Reply Kim July 26, 2017 at 5:40 pm I have a ton of lemon balm in my garden and I love to just rustle the leaves and smell it. So awesome!!! Never knew I could make tea!!! I'm going to go out and pick some leaves right now!!!
    • Reply Jen July 26, 2017 at 8:03 pm I do the same thing, Kim! It smells so good, doesn't it? I'm so glad to hear that you'll be using the lemon balm and making tea! :)
  • Reply Alee King | The Beautified Life July 27, 2017 at 7:45 am I have never tried lemon balm (I've tried every natural supplement under the sun for my anxiety). I will have to give this a try! And if it's not too late, start growing some in my garden. I have a perfect spot in my garden where I've been trying to decide what to plant. Thanks for the informative post. :) Alee
    • Reply Jen July 27, 2017 at 12:31 pm Thank you, Alee. I'm so happy to hear that! Lemon balm is so useful, you won't regret growing some!
  • Reply Irene July 27, 2017 at 8:46 am This is such a great post! Thanks for sharing the recipe. Sometimes you need a good drink to relax, and this is natural so there is no better drink!
    • Reply Jen July 27, 2017 at 12:30 pm Thank you, Irene! Lemon balm certainly does make a healthy and delicious beverage! :)
  • Reply Moe July 27, 2017 at 12:59 pm Oh wow! I'll have to plant this. I've been looking for something to overtake my front flowerbed area...but I know nothing about plants! Thanks for the tips too
    • Reply Jen July 27, 2017 at 5:06 pm Hi Moe! I think you'll find lemon balm extremely easy to grow. I started mine from seeds in a small pot and then transferred it to my garden. For there, it will just self seed and you don't need to do a thing.
  • Reply Aneca July 29, 2017 at 9:06 pm Great post all around!!
    • Reply Jen August 1, 2017 at 2:11 pm Thank you, Aneca!
  • Reply Our 14th Tip Tuesday Live Now! - Ask Dr. Ho August 1, 2017 at 9:31 am […] How to Use Lemon Balm for Stress, Tension and Anxiety from Jen at My Healthy Homemade Life offers great tips for controlling these issues in an effective and natural way. […]
  • Reply Shayem August 1, 2017 at 11:59 am I didn't know about Lemon Balm and its effects! What a great information! Thank you.
    • Reply Jen August 1, 2017 at 2:11 pm Thank you, Shayem. I'm so glad this post was helpful!

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