Lemon Balm! The quintessential healing powers of a plant closely related to the Mint Family; also known as Melissa officinalis. Why Lemon Balm Chef!? Great question, so I was in the process of providing an in home cooking service for my client. As a Personal chef, it is part of my job to develop an awesome relationship. Not only am I a Personal Chef but I am your educator, friend, a lending ear, more importantly a concerning professional. Afterall, it is my job to suggest, and consult the best options for good eating, Right? So mom walks in and we immediately begin our usual conversations on her updates with eating well, overall living, and weekly escapades. She began to speak of back pain/ previous injury that was the cause for drastic diet change. Currently she under the guide of her doctor whom suggested that she has remove carbohydrates (starches) from her diet. I commend her for being obedient. As we spoke, on the subject of arthritis, back pain, and natural remedies; I had recollected my attendance to the local farmers market in search of a lavender plant, and I fell upon lemon balm. This link speaks on the best 12 ways to utilize such a wonderful plant. I had promised mom this blog, however, after reading and researching I learned that there are so many remedies to this simple plant besides nerve relief. It doesn’t just help with relieving the nervous system alone, but also for colic, (if you like myself have or had a baby with colic and understand the difficulties then you will love this) bug bites, upset stomach, even freshen breathe. I must admit it smells wonderful. just rub on a leaf and inhale I guarantee you’ll fell lighter. Not only does it relieves stomach pains, you can steep the leaves in a base oil and create a lip balm to help with herpes and cold sores. Didn’t know that did you, neither did we!
As we continue talking, I made sure to state ( and this goes for you as well) make sure to consult with your doctor. Too much of anything is bad business. however, internally it can affect those with under-active thyroid. So always check. I am not a licensed doctor or physician my blog is simple a food professional and herb lovers recommendations and opinions.
Ways to use Lemon balm… Well the obvious cooking. Aha! maybe you want that lemon essence with your chicken, add it in your sauce at the end or in your marinade. This is a tender leaf plant so always add in cleaned, chopped leaves at the end of the cooking process to get the best aroma, taste, and presentation.
Bath water; by all means run a hot bath and add your lemon balm oil or leaves to the bath water. I like the leaf idea as well as the oil for aesthetics. (Guys take note)
Creating an oil: There are several ways to create an infused oil. if having the proper equipment and for faster results ( note: faster isn’t always better) infuse a base oil such as, olive oil, grape seed oil, avocado oil with a bunch of leaves. Play around with the amount for the proper aroma you are looking for. Heat oil, Do Not let it reach the smoke point. A slight hint of smoking turn off, and add in the lemon balm leaves and stalk if you like and let steep until cool. Blend in a blender, pour into a strainer, strain thoroughly using cheesecloth and a fine sieve (strainer) into a bowl or large mouth jar, until most of oil has passed through. If you like me you can squeeze the rest of the oil into bowl. (Waste not Want not right) <<<< never understood that saying.
You can create a lemon balm syrup, tea, clay mask… there’s like no limit to what you can do. I like to add in other herbs to create a bouquet of aroma, like lavender, chamomile, and such. You can get creative so long you understand each plants properties and what their purpose is. Always keep in mind if you never tried these items before rub a very small portion on your arm first to see if you are allergic, or go to the doctor and pay for a test. Test and trial in small batches prior to using. I hope this blog helps you in any way
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