Learn how to make lemon balm tincture, an effective herbal formulation that calms emotional stress and enhances mood. This potent and safe organic lemon balm extract may help you with insomnia and indigestion.
Use of lemon balm
This lemon-scented herb called Paracelsus, the “elixir of life” has been used to enhance mood and alleviate anxiety and insomnia for thousands of years. However, its medicinal benefits don’t stop there.
Melissa officinalis also called balm mint or honey plant, or heart’s delight helps with menopause or menstrual cramps. In addition, this member of the mint family may ease pain and discomfort from indigestion.
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Every time I am in the backyard, it delights my senses with its lemony fragrance that attracts honey bees. In fact, its Latin name Melissa means “honey bee,” and it was planted in ancient times around beehives to encourage bees to be happy and stay together.
Lemon balm is also a powerful antiviral that is also an effective remedy for cold sores
Make a lemon balm tincture recipe
Making lemon balm tincture is a great way to utilize (next to tea) herbs in your daily routine. They are concentrated herbal extracts in alcohol as a solvent. Soaking herbs in alcohol for several weeks enables extracting a high concentration of active substances in a few drops. The tincture is a great way of preparing and preserving herbs that can last up to 5 years of shelf life.
This is a folk method of making tincture, meaning there is no precise measuring involved.
Whether you grow lemon balm in your garden or you decide to forage, you will need to gather 2 handfuls of fresh herbs for this herbal preparation.
The best time to harvest lemon balm is early in the morning, as it helps preserve the volatile oil content of the plant. Also, collect the herb before it begins to bloom, as the volatile oils, and medicinal compounds in leaves are the most concentrated.
I have used dried herbs for many extracts in the past; however, when it comes to lemon balm, I suggest using fresh material. It is a fragrant herb with volatile substances at its best power when fresh.
Fresh lemon balm tea is a soothing and calming drink that warms you up.
Chop fresh leaves and stems of lemon balm to increase the surface area for the maceration and place it into a sterilized jar filling it to ¾.
Pour 80-proof vodka into the jar with a lid to cover the herb. You might have to push down the leaves a bit, and some may float, but that’s ok.
select alcohol 40% = 80-proof ethanol, like vodka, ethyl alcohol or grain spirit that doesn’t have any specific flavor or color. Pour the alcohol over the lemon balm to the very top of the jar.
Alcohol will extract and preserve most of the nutrients from the lemon balm.
I prefer to use a glass jar with a plastic lid however, if you have one with a metal lid at hand, use parchment paper in between to avoid any corrosion. Cover the jar and set it in a cool place that is easy to reach. You will need to shake it occasionally to help break the cell walls of the herb. Also, make sure that the leaves and stems are covered completely with alcohol as it may evaporate, and you will need to add it up. Let it infuse for at least 4 to 6 weeks.
Strain the tincture through a fine mesh sieve or a cheesecloth. Make sure there are no herbal pieces left in the extract, as they may lead to the development of mold and spoilage.
Store it in a dark place; use a dark bottle with a dropper. It can last up to 5 years.
Don’t forget to label it with the date you made it.
LEMON BALM TINCTURE BENEFITS
This melissa extract is handy when one needs to sleep at the end of the day. It may help relieve insomnia and restlessness. This study was conducted on children below 12 years of age that suffered from restlessness and dyssomnia. (a collection of sleep disorders). Researchers used a combination of lemon balm and valerian and significantly improved their sleep quality.
This simple lemon balm tincture may help to reduce stress and anxiety. In this double-blind experiment, 18 healthy volunteers received lemon balm extract and a placebo. Those participants that received lemon balm extract experienced mood improvement and stress resistance.
How does lemon balm help the nervous system?
The secret is in its lemony scent. The pleasant aroma of these volatile oils such as citral, geranial and citronellal helps you relax and forget about anxiety, calm down the muscle tension and help with indigestion that can come with anxious episodes.
This easy-to-grow herb that can be foraged is safe for children and is often used to calm a sleepless or hyperactive child.
Lemon Balm has been shown to improve memory, mood, and cognitive performance with age, and improve clarity and focus.
Moreover, these oils repel mosquitoes and make, therefore, an ideal ingredient for a DIY mosquito spray.
Leaves of lemon balm contain plant chemicals called terpenes and tannins responsible for lemon balm's relaxing and antiviral properties. Its antiviral effect is successfully used externally in lip balm or cream to heal cold sores caused by the herpes simplex virus.
Lemon Balm Tincture Uses
taking lemon balm If you are struggling to sleep.
This lemon balm preparation has an antispasmodic effect on the digestive system. Take some after large meals if you are experiencing indigestion, flatulence, or bloating.
Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is a wonderful remedy for nerves. It is gentle and effective.
Add a few drops to hot water as a sort of tea to encourage sleep before bed.
Lemon balm may be used to treat cold sores in children by applying it directly to the skin. Ask your child's health care provider what the appropriate dosage is for your child's age. It may be irritating to the skin, so better to apply it in the form of cream or lip balm.
Lemon Balm Tincture Dosage
The recommended dosage is between 15 and 30 drops one to three times daily. The research suggests a dose of 60 drops daily has shown to have beneficial results.
If you don’t like its taste, you can drop between 15 and 30 drops into cold water or a cool drink.
Who Should not use Lemon Balm Tincture
Lemon balm is safe in general, however, there are some risks associated with lemon balm.
Lemon balm may potentially interact with thyroid medications thus who suffer from thyroid problems should avoid using lemon balm
Similarly, if you are taking any sedatives, you should also avoid using the lemon balm, and you should discuss it with your doctor.
Lastly, there are chances that lemon balm may interact with antiretroviral agents used by HIV patients so if you are taking medication of this origin, avoid the use of lemon balm.
A lemon balm, like many other herbs, has not been widely studied for use in pregnant women, so it is best to avoid it.
It is not recommended to drink alcohol and use lemon balm at the same time. They are both sedatives and can cause sleepiness.
As with other herbal remedies, please consult with your pharmacist, healthcare provider or healthcare practitioner before using herbal products. Herbal remedies have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition.
Lemon balm is effective when applied topically for cold sores. However, better to apply in the form of oil or balm or cream to avoid any skin irritation
If you want to make an alcohol-free version use glycerine or apple cider vinegar as a solvent instead.
If stored properly in a dark and dry place away from direct sunlight, like a kitchen cabinet, it can last up to 5 years.