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Lemon balm is grown for its aromatic heart-shaped and toothed leaves. When simply touched, pressed or bruised they releases an intense lemon fragrance. Fresh leaves reveal a sweet lemon zest taste with a hint of mint. During summer months the plant matures and small white flowers full of nectar appear. This nectar is harvested by bees for honey making. Lemon balm honey produces citrus flavors with mint undertones, much like the leaves it is derived from.
Lemon balm is available during the summer months.
Lemon balm is an aromatic herb belonging to the mint family.
The extract of lemon balm has high antioxidant levels. Lemon balm has calming properties; thus it is used in herbal tea remedies and lemon balm oil is often used in aromatherapy.
Lemon balm is a strong, aromatic herb used commonly to infused oils, teas, syrups and sauces. It may be prepared fresh, or dried and crushed for rubs and dry seasoning. Pair the strong flavor of lemon balm with more mild tastes such as seafood, honey, citrus, summer squash and cucumber. Keep cool and dry until ready to use.
Lemon balm's scientific name is Melissa officinalis, "Melissa" being a Latin derivation of the Greek word for honey bee; "officinalis" indicates that the plant is medicinal in nature.
Native of South Europe, especially in mountainous situations, but is naturalized in moderate regions throughout the world, lemon balm is a common garden herb. It is an easily cultivated, non-discriminating plant that can be grown from seed, self-seeding or cuttings in virtually any soil.
Recipes that include Lemon Balm. One is easiest, three is harder.