Lemon Balm for Kids

By | January 15, 2014

Melissa officinalis

Lemon Balm for KidsThis is a great addition to children’s gardens. It grows to 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide. A member of the mint family, the leaves have a strong lemon scent, especially when rubbed between the fingers. Traditionally this herb has long been an ally for children due to it’s antispasmodic effects on the stomach. It’s gentle enough for very small children and is a favorite remedy for colic. It is also good for new mothers, helping to balance hormone levels and promote relaxed and easy lactation. The fresh leaves make a delicious tea that will soothe frayed nerves in children who are anxious or ill. Add a strong infusion of the fresh leaves to a bedtime bath to prevent insomnia. The fresh plant can be made into a tasty tincture that is easy for kids to take.

Add fresh leaves to salads or chop fine and use in place of lemon peel in recipes. Use long fresh sprigs to garnish iced beverages.

Like most mints, this plant is tricky to start from seed. Take cuttings from hardy plants or dig some up from a neighbor’s garden. Once established it grows quickly and makes a nice border plant. Cut back substantially in the fall to encourage strong new growth.

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