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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Aromatherapy Thursday - Lemon Balm

Botanical Name:  Mellissa officinalis
Where it grows: North Africa, USA, Mid East, South Europe, Hungary
US Hardiness Zone: 5-9
Special Characteristics: Square stem, Bright red flowers
How the oil is produced: Steam distillation
Fragrance: Lemon with a light mint, herbal, green, citrus
Blends well with: Geranium, most other mints, rosemary, lavender, Rose, Citrus, Lemongrass,
Etsy Shop, Simple Earth Creations, has a wonderful herbal tea made with lemon balm that can be found at:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/SimpleEarthCreations?ref=seller_info
Lemon Balm is another one of my favorite herbs.  When I was young I was very interested in herbology and would suck up any information on natural healing and holistic treatments as I could.  I visited another farm with my family where the mother had been very knowledgeable and had several large herb gardens.  As we walked the fields of green leaves and small flowers she taught me how to identify herbs in the wild. 
This beautiful painting can be found at ArtFire shop Ninthya at http://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/studio/nithya
One thing that would always stay with me was a simple trick to tell what plants belong into the mint family.  She told me to always check the stems; if they are square there is a strong possibility they are some kind of mint.  Over the years this has remained true, if it had a square stem it would be part of the mint family when I looked them up.  Lemon Balm is part of the mint family and does have the square stem. 

Lemon Balm has a beautiful lemony scent and can easily be grown in your garden.  One thing to be aware of with the mint family is that they are very aggressive.  I you don’t want your entire garden to be taken over you must contain their roots.
Lemon Balm is considered to be a calming fragrance and in aromatherapy it is used to up lift your mood and relieve nervous tension.  It can be used in as a warm bath soak or in a diffuser to help ease the day’s stress.  It is also known to have antibacterial properties and help topically with bug bites, eczema, and other skin issues.  It is also useful during the menstrual cycle to help relieve headaches, cramping and nausea. 



Note:  When using any essential oil too much of a good thing can have a negative impact so make sure to practice safety.  Aromatherapy should never replace medical treatment and you should consult your physician before using any alternative medicine

This information is for educational purposes only, it is not intended to treat, cure, prevent or, diagnose any disease or condition. Nor is it intended to prescribe in any way. This information is for educational purposes only and may not be complete, nor may its data be accurate.

Whenever using essential oils conduct an allergy test prior to use and never apply directly to your skin or directly stick your nose close to the bottle (dropper, spoon, cover, etc.) Often essential oils are strong enough to burn the thin membranes inside your nose.

Do not take internally unless working with a qualified and expert practitioner. Keep away from children.

2 comments:

Christie Cottage said...

That painting is lovely!

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Nithya Swaminathan said...

Dear Colleen,
Thank you so much for featuring my painting.:) Have a nice day!

Warm regards,
Nithya