Lemon balm tea has a number of health benefits as well as a gentle, lemony-mint taste. It helps with colds and the flu by soothing fevers, and has been shown to have some effect on lowering blood pressure.
There are chemicals within lemon balm that help with headaches and a number of stomach complaints as they work as muscle relaxants and mild sedatives. Lemon balm's sedative properties also mean it helps with mild insomnia. Additionally, it is said to help soothe depression and anxiety.
Tea is only one way to get the health benefits of lemon balm, but it is a useful and easy one. Just follow the steps below.
Step 1 - Prepare Lemon Balm
Lemon balm tea can be made from fresh lemon balm leaves or dried lemon balm leaves. Home grown, organic lemon balm is the best option, though there are places where you can buy dried lemon balm for you tea. If grown at home, be sure to avoid spraying chemicals on your plant.
To dry lemon balm, cut stems from your plant and hang them in bunches in a cool, dark area or place the stems on a drying rack. When the leaves are fully dried, separate them from the stems and crumple them into a bag. Dispose of the stems. Seal the bag and store it in a cool, dark place.
Fresh lemon balm leaves can be used whole to make tea, or cut to release more of the oils into the water.
Step 2 - Mix Tea
Place two teaspoons of fresh lemon balm or one teaspoon of dried lemon balm in a mug. Fill the mug with boiling water.
Alternatively, place the leaves in a teapot, increasing the amount to match the size of the pot. Fill the pot with boiling water.
Step 3 - Let Steep
How long you steep depends on how strong you want your tea. The flavor will be more intense the longer your steep. A normal range is five to 10 minutes of steeping. Much longer and the tea will become cool.
Step 4 - Add Flavors
You can add other herbs to your lemon balm tea, such as other mint varieties or lemon grass. Also, you can add honey, sugar, or lemon juice. Just add a bit to make the flavor to fit your tastes.
Cold Lemon Balm Tea
If hot liquids are not appealing to you, try making your tea double strength then putting it over ice. Or place the leaves in a large jar of cold water and leave the jar in the sun. Over the course of a day it will steep into rich sun tea. Serve over ice.
Other Ways to Use Lemon Balm
Lemon balm can be used as a flavoring for various foods. Try cutting up leaves and add them to your salads, or place a sprig on desserts. Also, you can sprinkle dried leaves into soups or over meats.