Lemon balm is a perennial herb that grows thick, bushy and abundantly. It smells great, is super tasty, and has a variety of fun uses. If you’re wanting to create an herb garden, lemon balm should definitely be included on your plant list. Because it grows so abundantly, you might be searching for ideas on how to put it to use. Here are 10 uses for lemon balm that you’re sure to enjoy:
To Repel Mosquitoes
Lemon Balm is a great herb to have in your outdoor living spaces because it’s known for repelling those pesky mosquitoes! I currently have Lemon Balm in a planter with some colorful annuals next to our patio table. You could also try rubbing a few leaves over your arms and legs so the lemon scent is on your skin, warding off the mosquitoes.
Each summer I like to make up a batch of simple syrup so I can enjoy some delicious summery drinks. Sometimes I like to add some lemon balm leaves for an extra special treat. All you need is
- 1 cup of packed lemon balm leaves
- 1 cup of water
- 1 cup of sugar
- Bring all the ingredients to a boil for 1 minute, until sugar is dissolved.
- Remove from heat and cover.
- Let stand 30 minutes.
- Strain the leaves from the syrup.
- Store the syrup in the refrigerator.
I like to use the mixture in lemonade and iced tea or in club soda to make Italian sodas.
To make Tea
Dried or fresh lemon balm leaves are great for making a calming tea. Lemon balm is also known for fighting colds and flu so drinking a cup of lemon balm tea is sure to make you feel good!
To make lemon balm infused honey, pack a jar half full of lemon balm leaves then fill it up with honey. Let the mixture sit for a month or so before straining. This infused honey is perfect for using in tea, desserts, and more.
For Cold Sores
Lemon balm can be an effective way to treat cold sores. You could create a lip balm by infusing a carrier oil (almond oil, jojoba oil…etc.) with some lemon balm, then combine with some beeswax to get lip balm consistency.
In desserts or fruit salads
Add a few tablespoons of chopped lemon balm leaves to fruit salads to impart some lemony flavor without making it too sour. You could also try mixing some chopped leaves with yogurt to use as topping for fruit salads or for creating parfaits. It’s even yummy in fruit crisps and pies.
Make a Sleepy Time Syrup
Put about 3/4 cup lemon balm leaves into a small pot and add just enough water to cover the leaves. Simmer, covered partially, until the liquid is reduced in half. Strain out the leaves. While still quite warm, measure out about 1/2 cup of the concentrated tea and stir 1/4 cup of honey into it. You can add more honey to taste, if you’s like. Store in the refrigerator for about a week. Dose by the spoonful at night to help calm and relax everyone from children to adults. (Keep in mind that honey should not be given to infants under one year old.)
Use in bath water
How about a nice lemony scented bath? You’ll feel relaxed and refreshed! You could either sprinkle some leaves right in the tub or you could put some in a cloth bag and hang it from the tap. (and let the water run through it while you fill it up.)
Use in iced tea
Another drink I like to make in the summer is Sun Tea. Along with the tea bags, sometimes I like to add some lemon balm or even mint for that matter.
Use to make infused water
It’s crucial to drink a lot of water, but let’s face it, plain water can be boring! Jazz it up by placing some lemon balm leaves and some fruit to your water to make it more exciting to drink.
For those of you that grow lemon balm, what are your favorite ways to use it?