Lemon Balm (Melissa
officinalis)is an herb in the same family as
mint. It is considered to be a calming herb and is used in many herbal tea
blends as a harmonizing ingredient to bring together the flavors of other
herbs. Use lemon balm to make a tea by putting a handful of fresh leaves in a
mug or tea pot and pouring boiling water over the leaves. Steep for 5–10
minutes. Delicious both hot or iced.
Whole fresh lemon balm leaves make a nice addition to salads, or add
finely minced lemon balm leaves to vinaigrettes for salad or steamed
Many herbs, including lemon balm, can be made into a simple syrup used
to flavor drinks. Stir together in a sauce pan one cup sugar, one cup water,
and one cup loosely packed lemon balm leaves. Bring to a boil, stirring
occasionally, and boil until all of the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the
heat and let stand for 30 minutes. Strain out the leaves, and store the simple
syrup in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to one month.