Lemon balm is a member of the mint family and grows just as productively!
It makes a great addition to any herb garden and is one of my favorites (I like plants that are easy to care for!)
It produces tonnes of beautifully lemon scented leaves that can be used in a variety of ways.
Benefits of using lemon balm
Lemon balm is thought to have several therapeutic benefits.
I’ll talk about the main health benefits of using lemon balm quickly before I share the 20+ ways you can use lemon balm in your home:
Anxiety and Stress
The use of lemon balm is thought to reduce stress and anxiety. A small study showed that the effects were felt 1-3 hours after drinking a water-based drink containing 0.3 grams of lemon balm extract.
A 2013 study found that lemon balm combined with valerian root improved the sleep quality of 100 women with menopause.
It is believed that the herbs stimulate the production of serotonin (the feel good hormone).
Lemon balm has spasmolytic (anti-spasm) and carminative (anti-gas) properties due to it containing acitral, citronellal, linalool, geraniol, and beta-caryophyllene.
There is a growing body of evidence to support the belief that it can be used to relieve an upset stomach, IBS and acid reflux.
How to use lemon balm?
So, how can you use these mountains of beautifully lemony foliage?
Here are my favorite uses for lemon balm in the home:
Lemon Balm Tea
- Snip a few fresh lemon balm leaves.
- Rinse thoroughly, and pat dry.
- Tear leaves into smaller pieces.
- Place one tablespoon of dried leaves or two tablespoons of fresh into an infuser.
- Top up cup with hot water.
- Remove strainer and sweeten as desired.
Lemon Balm Infused Honey
Speaking of honey, why not infuse some with your fresh lemon balm?
1. Fill a jar halfway with clean, dry lemon balm leaves (tightly packed).
2. Fill to top of jar with honey.
3. Allow to infuse for 3-4 weeks.
4. Strain and enjoy.
Lemon Balm In Fruit Salad
It’s so simple to use lemon balm to add its subtle flavor to fruit salads.
We love it chopped finely in a fruit salad.
Lemon Balm In Yogurt
As above but add to natural yogurt with a drizzle of honey.
Lemon Balm Smoothie
Adding a handful or two of lemon balm to your usual smoothie will give a subtle lemony flavor (and all those vitamins and minerals!)
Lemon Balm with Fish
Add a sprig of lemon balm with some garlic and butter or oil inside your fish and cook as usual.
Chicken with Lemon Balm
Here is a delicious recipe for roasting chicken with lemon balm.
Lemon Balm Pesto
- Cup of lemon balm leaves
- Half a cup pine nuts/ cashew nuts
- 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon fresh chives
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
2. Season to taste.
Lemon Balm Pasta Sauce
- 2 can of tomatoes
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 large onion, chopped
- Salt to season
1. Fry onion and garlic.
2. Add other ingredients and simmer gently.
3. Add 2 cups of fresh lemon balm leaves.
4. Cook for a few more minutes.
5. Blend into a smooth sauce to pour over pasta.
Jams with Lemon Balm
Make your jam as usual but at the end add a handful of chopped lemon balm leaves.
Lemon Balm Vodka
1. Half fill a sterilized glass with fresh lemon balm leaves.
2. Top up with vodka.
3. Leave it to infuse in a dark room for a month. Shake occasionally.
4. Strain the lemon balm out.
5. Add sugar syrup to taste.
6. Bottle and serve with ice.
Lemon Balm Icecream
I love this lemon balm icecream recipe by Nutmegs Seven.
Lemon Balm Lemonade
Lemon Balm Drizzle Cake
- 225g caster sugar
- 225g unsalted butter, softened
- 4 large eggs
- 280g self-raising flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 4 tbsp whole milk
- Large handful of lemon balm leaves
- Large handful of lemon balm leaves.
- 140g caster sugar
- 70g water
1. In the saucepan make the syrup by combining the caster sugar with the water and lemon balm leaves.
2. Cook over low heat.
3. Dissolve the sugar and bring to the boil.
4. Take syrup off the heat and leave to infuse until the cake is baked.
5. In a bowl beat together the butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy.
6. Mix in the eggs one at a time.
7. Fold in flour and baking powder.
8. Add milk until it forms a dropping consistency.
9. Stir in finely chopped lemon balm leaves.
10. Pour into loaf tin and bake at 160°C for roughly 45 minutes.
11. Leave cake to stand for 10 minutes then use a skewer to poke a few holes in the cake.
12. Pour the syrup over the top and leave it to cool before removing from the tin.
Lemon Balm Vinegar
This vinegar is great in salad dressings.
1. Fill a jar half full with fresh lemon balm leaves.
2. Fill to top with white wine vinegar and seal.
3. Leave to infuse for 3 to 4 weeks before straining and bottling.
Lemon Balm Syrup
1. Put 1 cup of lemon balm leaves with 1 cup of eater and 1 cup of sugar in a saucepan.
2. Bring mix to the boil for a minute or two until sugar is dissolved.
3. Remove from heat and cover.
4. Leave stand for 30 minutes before straining the leaves.
5. Store the syrup in the fridge.
To add to my posts about our journey to self-sufficiency in a modern society I’ve put together a collection of posts about how we use one of the favorite parts of our garden…the herb garden…you can read them all hear.
What’s your favorite way to use lemon balm?