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Melissa officinalis - Lemon Balm

Melissa officinalis - Lemon Balm

This small herb contains huge medicinal benefits from helping with anxiety to treating cold sores. It’s an easy perennial herb to grow and the bees love it—it’s even called “Bee Balm” because of its popularity among our favorite pollinators!

Common Name: Lemon Balm

Scientific Name:  Melissa officinalis

Plant Family: Lamiaceae (Mint Family)

Primary Uses

Edible Parts: leaves- raw or cooked. Commonly used for teas

 Medicinal Uses: Antianxiety, antibacterial, antidepressant, antiemetic, antispasmodic, antiviral, aromatherapy, carminative, diaphoretic, digestive, emmenagogue, febrifuge, sedative, tonic. Can also be used as a bug repellant

  • How to use: can use fresh or dry leaves, can extract the essential oil which contains citral and citronella to use for aromatherapy  

Meaning of Scientific Name: Melissa- from Latin and Greek “honeybee” Melis- from Irish “sweet.” Officinalis- “sage” “marshmallow” officinalis- from Latin  “of or belonging in an officina,” a storage room for medicines and necessaries.

Designing with this Plant

USDA Hardiness Zones: 4-8

Forest garden layer: Layer 4: Herbaceous