Try saying ‘lemon balm’ aloud. What do you imagine? Something sour, fragrant, or fruity? Lemon balm is fragrant and tastes a bit like lemon, but it isn’t particularly fruit or sour. In fact, lemon balm belongs to the mint family of plants. While it may not replace a lemon slice in your water, it does offer a refreshing lemon smell and taste, along with a little help relaxing and calming your nerves.
While many people rely on lemon balm extract or supplements for potential health benefits, you’d be missing out if you didn’t try to get your lemon balm fix with a cup of tea. Many lemon balm tea recipes are delicious and they include lots of potential benefits, too.
Lemon balm is one of those natural remedies that has been around for thousands of years. It was used for its calming effects as far back as the Middle Ages, as doctors believed lemon balm could promote sleep, aid digestion, reduce stress, and improve appetite. Turns out, those doctors’ instincts were good as modern research backs up many of these claims.
If you’re interested in trying a lemon balm tea recipe (or another form of lemon balm, such as an extract or supplement), here are some potential health benefits that might be in store for you:
- Heart – Many researchers have explored the link between lemon balm and heart health. A Journal of Nutrition study found that using lemon balm (also called Melissa oil) can actually help maintain healthy triglyceride levels already within a normal range. An animal study found that lemon balm may promote a healthy heart rate and blood pressure already within the normal range, plus support the structure and support of cardiovascular tissue.
- Mood – If you struggle with mood swings, a lack of concentration, or difficulty sleeping, then lemon balm may help to provide temporary relief from these occasional issues. Research indicates that when lemon balm is ingested with food, it may support a better mood and promote cognitive performance. Another study found that lemon balm may promote sleep, especially in women who experience sleeplessness as they age.
- Digestion – While there isn’t a lot of research to back up the claim that lemon balm aids digestion, it has long been used as a home remedy for constipation and other digestive discomforts. Although more research is necessary, some research has found that lemon balm (along with peppermint and angelica) may help ease constipation.
How to Make Lemon Balm Tea
While there are plenty of lemon balm teas available for purchase (including this selection from Natural Healthy Concepts), you can easily make lemon balm tea at home with just a few quick steps. Just try this simple lemon balm tea recipe:
To make a cup of lemon balm tea, all you need is 2 tablespoons of dried lemon balm and a cup of boiling water. However, you can customize your cup of lemon balm tea by adding any of the following ingredients:
- Orange peel
- Dried lavender
- Dried Peppermint leaves
- Fresh lemon juice
- Dried mint leaves
When you’re ready for a cup of tea, simply take the following steps:
- Boil water.
- Add 2 tablespoons dried lemon balm to a teacup, along with any other add-ins you’d like.
- When the water is boiling, fill your teacup, cover, and let the tea steep for 20 minutes.
- When the tea is ready, adjust any sweeteners or flavorings to your preference, and enjoy!
While this lemon balm tea recipe is a delicious and relaxing way to add lemon balm to your diet, you could also try lemon balm supplements, extracts, or essential oils to reap other potential health benefits of lemon balm. If you use lemon balm at home, we’d love to hear more about your experiences in the comments below!