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Biofarming Lemon Balm from Pegasus-bio Hyper Foods


Scientific Name: Melissa officinalismelissa 5

Part used: Leaf and essential oil

In a word: Nerve tonic and skin healer

Uses: Depression, tension, anxiety, problem skin, and where these two worlds meet: herpes sores!

This plant soothes the body! Balm. Even the word is soothing. Lemon balm is a comforting substance. It smoothes the mind and the lips! Since antiquity, lemon balm has been used in healing, particularly healing the mind and the lips.

Have you ever encountered a mintlike plant that emits a lemony smell when you crush it? That’s lemon balm. The plant has been around so long that no one is quite clear where it started out, but today it grows all over the world, partly due to its reputation as a panacea, partly due to its vigorous growth.

A relation of the mint, lemon balm is perhaps one of the most widely used herbs outside of the United States. A hundred years ago, Americans used it medicinally too. A classic blood purifier was made out of lemon balm, yarrow, saffron, and mountain rush. The ingredients were boiled together for a tea said to clean the body of impurities and restore health. Today, we don’t do this anymore, and Americans treat lemon balm like it’s another weed.

In looking backward to discover forgotten information, a traditional concept we see over and over again is that illnesses are caused by impurities in the body and that if the body can be cleansed, health will return. Though we tend to dismiss the old health ways as ridiculous, we are starting to learn scientifically that this idea is not far from the truth. Exposure to and absorption of toxic material, whether chemical or viral, causes illness.

Though we have confirmed what everybody knew 100 years ago about internal body cleansing, we are only starting to learn what they also knew about which plants would do the tidying. Lemon balm was one of these plants.

Contrary to popular belief, lemon balm is not the plant referred to in the Bible as the Balm of Gilead. The biblical balm comes from the sticky buds of a Near Eastern poplar tree. The ancient Israelites apparently didn’t know about lemon balm, and that’s a pity. However, the Arabs of today are quite familiar with it. They make it into a delightful tea, which they serve sweet and find to be an antiviral, antispasmodic, and stomach-toning agent. The most interesting property is its antiviral action, but hold on to your seats, we will get to that later.

The Spanish are quite fond of lemon balm. Like people around the world, they feel that it is a calming plant. Today we believe that a big part of staying healthy is being kind and gentle to one’s self. The Spanish second the motion and recommend boiling a pot of lemon balm, adding the juice to a hot bath, and sitting in the warm water to rest the body and mind. When they moved into South America, they brought lemon balm along with them. The Venezuelans feel that the plant aids in digestion and helps overweight people shed a few pounds. The plant is also applied to any skin problems, including wounds, sores, and skin ulcers.

Like their Spanish ancestors, South Americans use lemon balm to treat a wide variety of nervous complaints and symptoms of stress. They feel that balm tea or, better yet, balm tea drunk during a balm bath defines soothing. Whenever tension enters the scene, South Americans reach for lemon balm the way North Americans reach for aspirin, one important difference being that lemon balm won’t burn the stomach and aspirin will.

Now let’s get to some scientific facts. Newcastle disease, mumps, herpes, simplex, and vaccinia have all suffered at the hands of lemon balm. The polyphenols contained in the plant are said to be the active ingredients in this process, but who really cares what little chemical does the trick? The fact is that the plant is antiviral, and most viruses cause downtime.

The plant has also proven to be antibacterial along with having antihistaminic and antispasmodic properties. The antibacterial effect is quite interesting in that one of the oldest uses for lemon balm is as a paste to prevent the infection of wounds. Along these lines, Gerard had a few choice words:

Smiths Bawme or Carpenters Bawme is most singular to heal up green wounds that are cut with iron; it cureth the rupture in short time; it stayeth the whites. Dioscorides and Pliny have attributed like virtues unto this kind of bawme, which they call iron wort. The leaves (say they) being applied, close up wounds without any peril of inflammation. Pliny saith that it is of so great virtue that though it be but tied to his sword that hath given the wound, it stancheth the blood.

Gerard also praised lemon balm as a mental-health plant, asserting that, "Bawme drunke in wine is good against the bitings of venomous beasts, comforts the heart, and driveth away all melancholy and sadness." To think that our lawn-care companies have developed a special herbicide just to kill lemon balm is shocking!

The Shakers, who were quite fond of lemon balm, grew and sold it in great quantities in the mid-1800s. The plant has both a lemony scent and a distinctly lemony flavor, and when crushed in water and sweetened, it makes a very relaxing summertime drink. If lemons weren’t so good for you, I would suggest that we trade in traditional lemonade for the kind made with lemon balm, which, it could be argued, is even better for the body. Apparently, the Quakers like to take rest breaks from the summer’s heat with a cooling toddy of lemon balm and honey.

Culture after culture has used lemon balm to stimulate healing, healing of the mind and healing of the skin. What people have found is that this is one soothing substance, whether applied to skin sore from gardening or taken internally after a really long hard day. When soothing and smoothing is required, lemon balm is of service.

melissa 3Practitioners’ Advice

Lemon balm leaves can be ground and applied to sore skin and an immediate effect is felt. The skin feels better. Today, with contemporary technology, the essential oil of lemon balm is available. This oil seems to be the root of its affect on the skin. As such, the easiest way to use this is by using the essential oil or products that contain the essential oil. All manner of unhappy skin can be made happier with its application.

One of the very specific actions is as an anti-herpetic, that is it can be used to reduce the incidence or the severity of herpes outbreaks. Applied to the lips or where ever else the outbreaks occur, essential oil of lemon balm will take the heat out. This oil should never be applied directly, it should be diluted, one drop of essential oil to 9 drops of massage oil, before it is applied. Many people with terrible herpes outbreaks have been helped with this magical oil.

On the nervous system front, the best way to use lemon balm is in tincture form. A good tincture, taken three times a day, will greatly help the nervous system bear up to the onslaught called the modern age.



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