Healthy Habits; Lemon Balm
A member of the mint family, lemon balm grows fairly easily and is a wonderful plant to have in the garden. For instance, you may be out in the garden working and realize that you forgot to apply insect repellent. No need to run back into the house, because those lemon balm leaves will do the trick. Pick a leaf from your plant, break it up and spread the oils onto your skin.
Lemon balm also has many internal medicinal qualities, and there are many ways to include it into your diet. You can toss some of the leaves in with your salad, make a tea, or infuse the leaves into your homemade salad dressing.
You can also make your own tincture, oil or salve. A salve made with lemon balm, and other herbs such as calendula and comfrey will effectively treat bug bites and minimal abrasions.
If you’re not growing your own lemon balm, you may want to purchase it in tincture or capsule form. Make sure and choose non-GMO, Made in the USA, and organically grown. For external purposes, I recommend a good quality, therapeutic grade lemon balm essential oil that you can use to make your own products with. Cliganic Brand makes good essential oils that are reasonably priced.
When creating, for instance, your own bug repellant, you can add around 20 drops each of lemon balm, cedar and lavender essential oils to a small glass container of organic unrefined coconut oil, and voila! Store it in the fridge with a tight lid, and it will solidify.
For a homemade bug spray, you can make an infusion with witch hazel. Place fresh lemon balm leaves and other insect deterring herbs, such as fresh basil and peppermint leaves into a small glass jar, fill with witch hazel, place on the lid and let sit in a cool, dark area for 1-2 weeks. Strain the leaves out and pour into a small, dark glass spray bottle (the dark glass/cobalt glass spray bottles are best, because full sunlight can deplete the potency). You can add additional essential oils to your infusion, such as rosemary and lemon.
Here are some of the many possible health benefits of lemon balm: antiseptic, antimicrobial, reduces anxiety & tension, helps with managing heart problems, anti-oxidant, alleviates upset stomach, treats heartburn, eases stress levels, helps reduce fever, clears congestion, treats cold sores, promotes healthy digestion, treats headaches, treats wounds and naturally repels insects. practicalselfreliance.
Be Well and God Bless You.