Alright, I’ll just come out with it: I found some weird herb growing out by the side of our garage, and I’ve been brewing it and drinking it to help me get to sleep at night. It also might be giving me these really vivid dreams…
Lemon balm tea, friends. It’s totally a thing. Unless it isn’t.
I was first introduced to the herb this spring when I noticed it growing up out of a sidewalk crack behind my house. Is that spearmint? I plucked it for further examination, but it didn’t have a minty smell. I crushed some leaves and it smelled like lemons! What?! It was kind of growing invasively, but I delighted in the fragrance of fresh lemon that filled the air when I hit it with the weed whip. It wasn’t until browsing gardening boards on Pinterest that I saw its beautiful leaves springing from a lovely pot labeled “Lemon Balm”! Hooray! I had an abundance of a useful herb! But just how useful?
This member of the mint family is known as a powerful antiviral that’s used to aid sleep, calm ADHD, heal cold sores, relieve stress, heal dementia, repel mosquitos, attract bees, and make you hear colors. Maybe I was kidding about that last one. But you shouldn’t use too much of it or maybe any of it if you have certain health conditions, and some of the studies on it are way more conclusive than others. So, just don’t be a weirdo hippie about it, like I am. Do your research.
You can use it in salads, cook with it, bake with it, or do what I do! Let’s make really yummy tea!
You can use a generous handful of fresh leaves, or a heaping teaspoon per cup of crushed dried leaves. (You can buy it on Amazon. Told you this is totally a thing.) Boil some water, poor it over, and let it steep for five minutes.
Mmmm. My new favorite beverage! Sweeten with honey, and you’ve got a soothing, but fresh cup. How does it taste? Even my husband says, “Not bad!” It smells like lemons but it’s not sour tasting at all. Just maybe a bit minty I guess?! You’ll just have to try it. I really love it.