The lemon balm can be found almost everywhere around Greece. The plant is rich in nectar and this is the reason why it’s well-known among beekeepers. It’ s distinctive smell is similar to lemon, that’s why many of the names attributed to the plant refer to the word lemon.
Legend has it, that Charlemagne knew about the valuable properties of the plant, so he ordered the plant to be cultivated in the gardens at monasteries. In the 17th century Carmelite monks prepared a beverage known as “eau de melisse des carmes”, and its main ingredient was lemon balm.
It has anticonvulsive, anti-inflammatory, placatory, antioxidant, anti-rheumatic, antiasthmatic properties and it also regulates the thyroid gland.
Traditionally lemon balm is used for the relief of mild anxiety symptoms, and mild gastrointestinal disorders.
The leaves of the lemon balm can be widely used in cooking either in meals and salads or desserts. It is also used in perfumery, in distilleries and in alcoholic liqueurs. The use of lemon balm isn’t recommended for children under 12 years old, during pregnancy and breastfeeding as there aren’t sufficient medical evidence.
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