Latin name: Melissa officinalis
Lemon Balm is a member of the mint family and is native to Southern Europe and Northern Africa. Its Latin family name, Melissa, comes from the Greek for “honey bee” in a nod to the plant’s small white flowers full of nectar that attract bees in summer when grown outside. It has been used in herbal medicine since at least the 1500’s to reduce stress and anxiety, promote sleep, and ease digestive discomfort.
Lemon Balm’s bright green, heart-shaped leaves offer a bright, lemony scent when rubbed or eaten. The scent is a result of its volatile terpenoids, which can relay a sense of relaxation. The small flowers range from white to yellow-pink. Lemon Balm is high in antioxidant flavonoids including rosmarinic acid, gallic acid, and quercetin.
Muddle fresh sprigs of Lemon Balm in drinks and cocktails for a refreshing addition, or steep fresh or dried into tea. Use fresh leaves to complement fruit salads, vegetable salads, poultry, fish, and soups. Lemon Balm oil can also be used in perfumes.
Care & Harvest
🌿 Harvest: Harvesting frequently helps prolong the plant's life. Pinch off individual leaves, or use clean shears to cut stems above growth nodes. Once the plant reaches 10 inches, you can begin trimming larger, outer leaves. Leave 1/3 of the height of the plant at a time to ensure it continues growing.
Harvest to Plate Recipe
Lemon Balm Tea
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon balm leaves chopped
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon raw honey (optional)
Chop the lemon balm leaves to release their oils. Set aside.
Heat the water in a cup in the microwave or on the stove until boiling.
Mix the leaves and water in a mug and allow to stand 10 minutes to steep.
Stir in honey and strain if desired. Drink warm.
Our Plant Health & Nutrition Team thoroughly tests each variety we offer to bring you the most flavorful and high-quality plants. We regularly rotate our plant portfolio, so please note, availability varies.