Lemon balm - application, recipes and medicinal plant

Lemon balm - application, recipes and medicinal plant / Naturopathy
The lemon balm, also called simply lemon balm, belongs to the mint family. Originally from the eastern Mediterranean, it has long been widely used in Central Europe. Her name refers to the sour taste. Is there good tasting medicine? Yes, lemon balm has a gentle lemony taste and is therefore suitable for all the recipes for which you usually use lemon juice. The most important facts in advance:

  • Melissa tastes lemony and is just as valuable as a medicinal and a kitchen plant.
  • Soothe leaves and oil of the plant, help to fall asleep, relieve the symptoms of heart disease, help against inflammation, viruses, skin problems and stomach problems.
  • Melissa relaxes the muscles, has an antiviral and astringent effect.
  • Melissa is easy to plant and dry, so it's available all year round.


  • ingredients
  • Effect and application
  • Common names
  • Gastrointestinal disease
  • Melissa oil on the skin
  • Melissa for digestion
  • Melissa at the menstruation
  • balm oil
  • An old medicinal plant
  • Grow lemon balm yourself
  • Dry lemon balm
  • Melissa in the kitchen
  • Melissa tea
  • melissa milk
  • recipes


Melissa contains phenolcarboxylic acids, tannins and bitter substances (including rosmarinic acid), chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid. This leaves the leaves against viruses. The essential oil consists of citral, geranial, neral and citronellal. Added to this are caryophyllene oxide, Germacren D, and 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one. It also contains resins, mucilage, glycosides, saponins and thymol, as well as a high content of vitamin C..

Melissa is versatile in the kitchen as well as for medical purposes. (Image: eyewave / fotolia.com)

Effect and application

The antispasmodic properties of melissa can be used for a variety of ailments: Melissa is an ancient remedy for migraine, neuralgia and pain during the period. Melissa promotes the regression of scars by contracting effect. Rheumatic and neuralgic pain can be treated by external use of melissa. Melissa promotes the secretion of liver cells, has an anesthetic effect and promotes bleeding.

Melissa is traditionally used as a remedy for stomach problems and stress. It should calm down and promote digestion, relieve bloating and weaken feeling of fullness. In addition, melissa dissolves cramps and relaxes the muscles. Lemon balm balms help against herpes simplex. However, you need creams with lemon balm, a lemon balm works only slightly. Lemon balm is used as a home remedy for colds, inflammation of the respiratory tract and circulatory problems.

Melissa boosts the production of the "happiness hormone" serotonin, a neurotransmitter. That's why balm oil works against stress, inner restlessness, anxiety and mild depression. It calms with nervousness. Melissa also balances the histamine balance, and histamine is causally related to stress. Melissa oil also showed an improved production of acetylcholine in studies with dementia patients, thus probably improving memory.

The soothing effect of melissa also makes it a good way to get a grip on sleep disorders. If you suffer from stress and can not fall asleep, we recommend combining balm with valerian, hops, lavender and passionflower. All complement each other.

Common names

Melissa is also called garden melon, hives (because of the importance as bee pasture), honey leaf (because of the taste), heart rust (because of the encouraging effect), women's well-being (because of the use against menstrual cramps), weeds (against bugs) and feverfew (because they with Vorwehen and labor pain relieves joint pain). These nicknames indicate that lemon balm was very important in folk medicine.

Gastrointestinal disease

Melissa calms the muscles around the stomach and intestines. That is why it helps against stomach cramps, intestinal problems and many abdominal pain. In inflammation of the gastric mucosa balm oil counteracts the inflammation. You can swallow it without problems. Melissa oil inhibits the production of substances that cause inflammation in the stomach and so also relieves gastritis that has already developed.

The oil of lemon balm can be used against inflammation in the stomach and also relieves an already existing gastritis. (Image: Madeleine Steinbach / fotolia.com)

Melissa oil on the skin

Melissa oil promotes blood circulation in the skin. This can regenerate better, absorb nutrients better and looks younger overall.

Melissa for digestion

Melissa promotes digestion in two ways. On the one hand, the stomach produces more gastric juices and thus decomposes chewy food better. Secondly, lemon balm stimulates the production of saliva. This hard digestive diet is already better predigested in the mouth.

Melissa at the menstruation

Melissa relieves spasms and is therefore excellently suited to relieve spasms in the abdomen during the period. At the same time Melissa drives menstruation.

balm oil

The bad news first. Melissa oil is expensive. The good news: You can use it in many ways, in an aroma lamp as well as on the skin, as an aroma for baking, for liqueurs as well as for bathing. Melissa oil smells and tastes very intense. There are hardly any known side effects, only with a weakened thyroid you should not use it.

An old medicinal plant

Already in Pliny, the elder in the first century of our era, the melissa is known as a remedy for heart disease, upset stomach and exaggerated emotions, in fact against diseases, against which we use them today. Above all, however, it served as a fodder plant for bees. No plant was supposed to drive the insects, and the lemon balm was considered a delicacy. "Melissa" in Greek means "sweet as honey", and the Greeks came in contact with the "honeywort" in the natural distribution area in the Middle East. In today's Germany, she had occupied Growing Charlemagne.

Hidlegard von Bingen wrote: "Melissa is warm and a person who eats it likes to laugh because its warmth touches the spleen and therefore the heart is pleased." She also believed that the plant was helping against white spots on the cornea.

Paracelsus (1493-1541) saw lemon balm as the best remedy for heart disease. As "Herba melissa" the plant moved into the official market register of the city of Brunswick. The Carmelites made from 1611 an alcohol extract with lemon balm, and so was the "Klosterfrau Melissengeist".

Grow lemon balm yourself

Planting lemon balm is very simple: it likes sun and loamy soil, then it makes little claims. You can pull the plant on the windowsill as well as in the yard or in the garden. You can sow from May, when there is no ground frost more. The leaves will then harvest in August and September. From the second year, the harvest is lush.

The cultivation of lemon balm is relatively easy and you can also pull the plant on the windowsill. (Image: Cilfa / fotolia.com)

Dry lemon balm

You can dry the lemon balm to make tea in the winter or to use the leaves as a bath additive. For this, it is best to pick the plants shortly before flowering, when the essential oils are richest and thus provide the strongest aroma. They rinse the branches with cold water and remove damaged leaves.

Then put the leaves on a baking sheet. Be careful not to layer the leaves so they will dry evenly. Preheat the oven to 80 degrees and set it off when it reaches its temperature. Now push in the sheet with the lemon balm and leave it in the cooling heat. When the stove is cold again, the leaves are dried. Store the dried plant parts in an airtight container in the dark.

Melissa in the kitchen

Melissa is an all-round talent in the kitchen. The freshly picked leaves are suitable for salads as well as mushrooms, fish, game and poultry, scrambled eggs, omelette and other egg dishes, herb sauces, remoulades such as mayonnaises, sauerkraut, fruit soups, bowling, jellies and as a decoration on ice, pudding and creams , You can also use lemon balm for liqueurs, schnapps, fruit wines and cocktails.

Melissa harmonizes with chives, dill, borage, parsley and cress, also with thyme and rosemary. It is suitable for dips, quarks, yoghurts and sauces with these herbs, when grilling or as a spread. For fish, it is best to cook the melissa in the oven so that the aroma is retained. It tastes most intense when you sprinkle the shredded leaves over the fish just before serving.

Melissa tea

For one liter of tea take two handfuls of leaves. Then pour hot but not boiling water, cover the jar and let it steep for 20 minutes. Melissa tea tastes warm, but is ideal as an iced tea in summer. There is hardly anything more refreshing. You can also make a mixed tea and add peppermint leaves to the melissa. A lemon balm harmonizes well with apple juice.

Melissa tea not only tastes delicious, it can also dip an envelope into it and apply it to insect bites, skin abrasions or other inflammations of the skin. With a sore muscle or to prevent this, also helps such an envelope. In addition, the skin smells freshly lemony afterwards.

Melissa tea not only tastes delicious, it can also be used to treat insect bites, skin abrasions or other inflammations of the skin externally. (Image: Karina Baumgart / fotolia.com)

melissa milk

The insider tip among sleeping pills. Put three large dried lemon balm leaves in a cup and pour hot milk over them. They cover everything and let it draw ten minutes. Before falling asleep drink the warm milk.


The range of recipes, in which Melisse finds use, is extremely large and creative minds are set here in the kitchen barely limits. From drinks, sauces, appetizers, main courses to dessert, the range of possible applications is sufficient. Subsequently, some examples of retakes are listed.

Lemon balm and carrots

Slice one pound of carrots and fry them in butter. Add salt and sugar, quench with apple juice, cook at low temperature, bind with cream and add three tablespoons of fresh lemon balm leaves at the end.

Melisse pesto

Instead of basil, you can also use 100 g lemon balm leaves in a pesto. Mix them with 100 ml olive oil, 20 g pine nuts and a little salt, puree everything in a blender - ready.

lemon sorbet

For a sorbet of lemon balm you need 400 ml of water, 2 hands of lemon balm, 150 g of sugar and 1 lemon. They boil the water with the sugar to a syrup. As it cools, add the lemon balm. Everything is now moving one day. Then pour off the liquid and add juice to the lemon. You freeze this now in the freezer. You can serve the sorbet with lemon balm leaves as a decoration. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)