Lemon balm is part of the mint family, and is able to do many of the same things mint can do like soothe tummy troubles. Even so, its light lemon flavour makes it useful for so much more. This easy to grow herb has many great uses in the home and more importantly in your kitchen. Read on to learn some amazing ways to use lemon balm in your home. If you haven’t grown this herb before, it is not that hard. Here are some great tips on learning how to grow and harvest lemon balm.
Using lemon balm around the home
Planting this herb near areas that you use for entertaining and in window boxes around your home, is a great way to repel mosquitos. It is a wonderful herb for attracting pollinators which help keep your space free of unwanted insects.
This easy to grow herb can be used to make a mosquito repellent as well. This can be done by steeping lemon balm leaves with the leaves of basil, mint and lavender. To do this, bring one cup of water to the boil in a saucepan. Add a handful of your chosen herbs into the saucepan of water. Place the lid on, and let the mixture steep for 4 hours. Squeeze the leaves to get out as much of the liquid as possible. Cool, strain out the herbs and pour into a spray bottle with ½ cup of vodka or witch hazel. Gently mix to combine the mixture. Apply by spraying on your skin. Keep this mixture out of reach off children.
Alternatively you can use essential oils to make an insect repellent using witch hazel as the base.
Treat bug bites and acne
You can mix fresh pressed lemon balm with bentonite clay to make a paste. This can be used as an acne-fighting face mask. When applied to bug bites, it helps draw out the toxins that make them itch. Add a few drops of lavender essential oil to the mix to help fight inflammation.
More Herbs and Spices Resources
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- How to Grow Yarrow
- How to Grow Nasturtiums
- Create a Gardening Journal
- How to Grow Basil
- How to Harvest, Preserve and Use Basil
- Dehydrate Celery
- Make Celery Salt
- Uses for Rosemary
- Homemade Garlic Powder
- How to Grow, Harvest and Use Stevia
Uses for lemon balm in the kitchen
Lemon Balm Tea
Lemon balm tea has many great uses ranging from aiding in sleep to helping with memory. Making a cup of fresh lemon balm tea is a great way to help with memory and focus while you study and to help calm you to sleep afterwards so you can be fresh and ready to go the next morning.
The leaves and blooms can be added to fresh vegetable or fruit salads. This adds some delicious to flavour and colour to the salad. Using a fun variety of this herb is a great way to mix things up in your salads. The leaves can also be chopped and added to salad dressings, dips and soft cheeses.
You can make a tasty lemon balm pesto by running lemon balm, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, and olive oil through your blender to make a puree. Use this in the same way you would use a basil pesto for a new unique flavour.
Roasted chicken and potatoes
This delicious herb makes a great flavouring for roasted chicken and potatoes. Both can benefit from a herbal slightly lemon flavor. Simply sprinkle fresh or dried lemon balm with your favourite herbs and spices over your chicken and potatoes with a generous amount of butter before roasting.
Lemon Balm Jelly
This lemon balm jelly recipe makes almost 5 cups of jam / jelly that can be used on toast, muffins, or to flavour cakes. Use as a topping for ice cream or even sprinkle over a few fresh leaves to your bowl of ice cream for a lovely lemon flavour.
You can use the leaves of this herb as you would mint for adding a delicious, tangy lemon flavour to your water.
Lemon balm can be added to homemade bread. Mix into a lemon bread or mix with other herbs like basil, and oregano to make a savoury buttery herb bread.
When cooking with this herb, to get the best flavour, add it towards the end of cooking. This delicious herb combines well with dill, parsley, or lovage, adding a subtle citrus flavour to dishes and sauces.