With spring around the corner I am already dreaming about one of my favourite things to do: Growing my own herbs. Last year I began working on my herb garden. I grew herbs to add to my cooking, such as rosemary, thyme and parsley. I also began growing herbs and flowers to add to my aromatherapy products, including lavender, calendula and lemon balm.
The scientific name for Lemon Balm is Melissa officinalis. During summer, the small flowers full of nectar appear, these flowers attract bees. Melissa is Greek for “honeybee”, hence the genus, Melissa. Which also makes it a great addition to any herb garden. We have to look out for our bees!
Lemon balm has many actions and properties including helping to ease stress and anxiety. Lemon balm aids digestion by helping to soothe and ease any discomfort. It is also anti-viral and can help to lessen and prevent cold sores. It is fab as a cup of tea. It's lemony scent is very calming. It is also a great herb to use in aromatherapy.
Infusing herbs into carrier oils is a great way to extract the medicinal properties of a herbs, which can then be used externally. Herbal-infused oils can be used as a base and turned into beautiful balms, ointments and creams. No sure how to make a balm? Please see my Simple Balm Recipe in an early blog post.
To infuse herbs such as lemon balm. There tends to be 2 methods:
The sun method: Pick your chosen herb, add to a carrier oil and a sterilised jar, and leave to dry in a sunny place for at least 2 weeks. Turning daily.
The quick method: Add fresh herbs and your chosen carrier oil into a bain-marie and infuse for a minimum of 2 hours.
I am going to share my lemon balm infused oil recipe by following the quick method:
Lemon Balm Infusion Recipe
1. Pick a good handful of lemon balm
2. Add to a bain-marie with a carrier oil of your choice, such as apricot or jojoba. Make sure the lemon balm is full submerged in the oil.
3. The lemon balm should be infused within the oil for a minimum of 2 hours. Ensuring the water does not dry out in the bottom of the bain-marie. Try to avoid any water getting into the oil.
4. Once ready, drain through a muslin cloth and add to sterilised bottles.
5. Label and date your infusion. It can be kept in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.
You now have a beautiful, aromatic lemon balm infused oil. A perfect addition to your balm, cream and ointment recipes.
*Disclaimer* The information in this blog post is for educational purposes. It is not a replacement for professional medical advice. As a qualified aromatherapist, please contact me if you have any questions relating to essential oils.