posted on Aug, 18 2009 @ 11:48 AM
Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)
Another useful member of the mint family, lemon balm is native to the middle east and mediterranean basin but can be found growing wild in many places
as an escapee from the gardens. It has the square stem and paired leaves of the other mints, with clusters of flowers that may be any color from pink
through yellow, to blue-white. The whole plant has a lemony scent when bruised, and is a favorite of bees.
One of the oldest medicinal herbs, lemon balm is important in medical alchemy (spagyrics), and the preparation of an alchemical tincure of lemon balm
is one of the first tasks set for beginning alchemists in many present-day schools of the Hermetic art.
Balm is well-used in conditions of chest congestion and colds which settle in the lungs. It has also been used in mild cases of influenza as it
generates warmth and induces perspiration. It is excellent in the treatment of mild feverish conditions. In the middle ages, it has a reputation as
a mild stimulant for cardiac conditions but the introduction of other herbs led to its primary uses as a diaphoretic, carminative and mild
I am preparing a tincture of lemon balm (brandy) for use this fall in case of an influenza outbreak (swine or otherwise). The recipe I am using
recommends up to 2 teaspoons per day which can be mixed with water, in your coffee or tea or taken alone.
The tincture itself is created by harvesting approximately 4 cups of fresh lemon balm leaves (growing in my garden) chopped finely and mixed with a
bottle of fine brandy. The ingredients are stored in a dark mason jar, and need to be shaken once a day for about 6 weeks. At the end of six weeks,
strain the leaves through cheese cloth and discard them. The resulting mixture is now a medicinal to be used as stated previously.
I have more faith in my home remedy of which I know the ingredients and properties of. Good luck everyone.
Sources: The Master Book of Herbalism and The Encyclopedia of Natural Magic.
[edit on 18-8-2009 by Hazelnut]