|Lemon Balm is a member|
of the mint family
As common as this plant may be, Lemon Balm essential oil is among the absolute priciest, and, oddly, also quite difficult to source. This is one of the reasons I have never worked with the essential oil. Come to think of it, I've never even smelled the essential oil. My years of experience with Lemon Balm is solely with the hydrosol, which has a wonderfully crisp-green-lemony scent and is reminiscent of the taste of the leaves. (They're quite refreshing. You'll find them adorning your dessert in trendy restaurants.)
Multifunctional and Safe
The fact that the 'Melissa' name is followed by 'Officinalis' means this plant has a history of medicinal use, and there are several documented effects. Aside from helping towards relieving anxiety and having an overall calming effect, Lemon Balm also assists towards sharpening mental focus. It is gentle enough to be put into baby products and safe for use during pregnancy. For skin, it offers excellent antioxidant properties, and is effective towards clearing up problem skin, calming rashes and even fighting skin infections. I've seen good results with it for combination skin.
Although I love the way this hydrosol functions on it's own, I have found it does even better as part of a mix. I've pretty much tried blending it with every hydrosol I use, and it has never disappointed. Lemon Balm adds a summery-sweet freshness to just about any blend, and often seems to 'anchor' a mixture (read: the scent remains uniform through the duration of the products use). It has functioned exceptionally with Cornflower and Sage in this weeks hydrosol mix.
Some Documented Properties of Lemon Balm
- mood and mental performance improver
Additional Properties (undocumented)
- mosquito repellant (although I think citronella and lemongrass have this market cornered, it could be worth doing a mix of these 3 next summer to test as a natural mosquito-repellant spray)