Lore and Legend from "The Good Herb" by Judith Benn
Early Greek and roman herbalists prescribed lemon balm leaves steeped in wine for relaxation and against the bitings of venomous beasts. Arab herbalists used the same brew to strengthen the heart. Shakespeare knew about the healing properties of lemon balm. In his Merry Wives of Windsor, lemon balm appears as a strewing herb, tossed on the floors before parties so that its aroma would make the guests merrier.
Lemon balm tea is supposed to aid in digestion and help relieve stress. 2 different farmers market customers have told me they buy lemon balm and throw the whole bunch into their bath: I tried it and it was great. (from Julia)
Lemon Balm Tea, from J. Benn Hurley
Steep a tablespoon of bruised fresh lemon balm leaves in a cup of warm, not hot, water. Cover and let steep for 20 minutes, then strain
Lemon Balm Tea, from Julia
Pour boiling water over a bunch (or less) of lemon balm. Let steep 5-15 minutes. Drink hot or cold, with or without honey. (In my standard tea pot I stuff half a bunch or more of lemon balm and fill it with boiling water...)
Lemon balm lemonade
zest and juice from 3 lemons
1 cup sugar or 1/2 cup honey
5 cups water, divided use
1 bunch lemon balm(set aside a few sprigs for presentation)
Boil sugar or hone with lemon zest and 1 cup of water until
the sugar is dissolved. Let cool. Boil 2 cups of water and pour over washed
lemon balm bunch, let steep 30 minutes or until cool.
Combine both liquids (strained) with remaining water (or more, to taste) with the lemon juice. Garnish with a few fresh lemon balm or mint leaves. Chill and impress your friends.
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