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Volume III
May 24, 2013

Weekly Home / Cook'n & Eat'n


Lemon Balm: Natural Medicine with NO Side Affects!

By Alice Osborne

Medicine and prescription commercials drive me crazy. I listen to this junk and think, "Oh sure, why not try your product? What's wrong with diarrhea, liver failure, depression, thoughts of suicide, incontinence, loss of eyesight, tongue swelling, faintness, inability to sleep??" Are we as a society NUTS? Surely there's got to be ways to find relief from chronic ailments besides turning to all this garbage that carries such nasty side affects!

Feeling strongly about this subject, and knowing how important protecting health is to those with blood sugar issues, I've been researching natural health remedies. I almost always find what I'm looking for on one of my favorite sites, Lo and behold, there it was: some good information on the medicinal properties of an easy-to-grow, common garden herb, lemon balm.

A member of the mint family, lemon balm is treasured for its lemony scent and medicinal qualities. It has been used to reduce stress, promote sleep, and improve digestion. According to current scientific research, lemon balm even improves Alzheimer's symptoms of anxiety and loss of memory. And made into a tincture, lemon balm acts as a salve for cold sores and other skin irritations.

Then there is the scent. Care2 suggests tucking large sprigs into cut flower arrangements or simply sitting them in a bud vase on the kitchen counter. So it makes good sense then, to grow this pretty and so useful herb in our gardens.

What if you don't have a garden? Lemon balm can be grown indoors in pots. This might be a good idea anyway, since it spreads like crazy--it's a true real-estate hog. And it flourishes when it is cut back periodically, making it a great harvesting herb. So indoors, it just needs a sunny window that receives at least four hours of direct sunlight per day; you water only when the soil gets dry.

Lemon balm tea is a classic remedy for colds and flu, also. Mix lots of lemon balm leaves (dried will work well, but fresh is always best) with mint, honey, and boiling water. Pour boiling water over the fresh herbs and let steep for ten minutes.

This lovely plant is commonly found in most nurseries and home and garden stores. So let's get some lemon balm. And let's start thinking for ourselves--let's turn to Mother Nature as often as we can for some of her natural relief, and avoid those nasty prescription-based side affects!


Alice Osborne
Weekly Newsletter Contributer since 2006

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