Community Resilience, Self-Reliance, Renewable Energy & Cooperation
Lemon balm is one of my favorite herbs for many reasons. To start, it is by far one of the easiest herbs to grow and it’s beautiful to look at, as well. I particularly like the way lemon balm attracts beneficial insects and butterflies to my garden. Occasionally, even the hummingbirds find it intriguing. I am also partial to lemon balm tea, especially on a cold winter night. It’s deep earthy lemony flavor brings back a touch of summer sunshine and its soothing and calming properties make it a valuable medicinal herb.
Sometimes referred to as Melissa or Sweet Melissa, Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) is a member of the Lamiaceae, or Mint family of plants. Like other mint family members, lemon balm has scalloped, oval to heart-shaped leaves that grow opposite one another on square (four-sided) stems. These highly textured leaves are bright green on top and slightly whitish below. This is a great herb to share with kids, as the leaves are wonderfully fuzzy to touch and leave a trace of their lemon scent on the fingers. Most people don’t stop to look at the flowers of lemon balm because they are very small. But up close, the tiny white to pale pink two-lipped flowers form whorled spikes that are quite attractive to pollinating insects... Read the entire article at Show Me Oz
Jill Henderson is an artist, author and naturalist with a passion for wild edible and medicinal plants, organic gardening, seed saving and sustainable agriculture. She currently authors and edits the blog Show Me Oz: The Very Best of the Ozarks (http://showmeoz.wordpress.com), which focuses on building community around sustainable ideals relevant to the people of the Ozarks region and beyond. She has written three books: The Healing Power of Kitchen Herbs, The Garden Seed Saving Guide and A Journey of Seasons. Available in print and ebooks