Melissa officinalis is a lemon-scented perennial in the Lamiaceae family with serrated heart-shaped leaves. For centuries, lemon balm has been used for its beneficial properties and has been highly esteemed for its emotional and spiritual effects. Melissa has traditionally been used as a gentle nervine and in baths to support healthy skin. It is often used to promote a sense of calm and can be brewed into a citrusy lemon balm tea, incorporated into other herbal tea blends, and included in body care recipes.
Used since ancient times to calm the heart and the body, lemon balm with its delicate lemony flavor uplifts the spirit and any culinary dish it is added to. It has been used to sweeten jam, jellies, as an addition to salad, and as a flavoring for various fish and poultry dishes and liqueurs. Further, lemon balm is used for making perfumes, in cosmetics, and in furniture polish manufacturing. It is often found as a tea in combination with other relaxing herbs such as valerian, as an essential oil, and also in ointments for topical applications.
Native to the Mediterranean and various regions in N. Africa, Asia, and Europe, lemon balm is a lemon-scented, aromatic, perennial with serrated heart-shaped leaves and whorls of small blue, yellow, or white flowers typical of many members of the Lamiaceae family. It is widely cultivated and naturalized throughout the world in temperate areas.