Sunday, May 1, 2011

Eating the Weeds - Lemon Balm

I’ve been sick since Friday morning.  Started with a little sore throat & I’m still aching like someone’s smacked every bone in my body with a baseball bat.  Earache on top of that.
Oh, and I can’t talk.  I can whisper most things right now, but basically my voice is shot.  Which for me, is a big deal.  You see, I’m a yeller.  I yell at the dog to stop barking, I yell at the goats to come for dinner, I yell at the chickens to get out of the raised beds.  I yell for Rhiannon when she starts to wander too far (or when she’s poking the dog in the eye with a stick).  I suppose I should take this almost-voiceless phase of my illness as a learning experience and see how I can lower my decibel level even after I recover my banshee-like vocal chords.
So, what does this have to do with Lemon Balm?  Well, I’ve been drinking a lot of it since I started feeling icky.  I go out to the driveway ditch, pinch off a handful of leaves and toss them in my teapot.  Boil some water, steep the tea, pour into cup & add a heaping spoonful of honey.  Lemon Balm is supposed to have anti-viral, anti-bacterial and other good-for-you properties so I was hoping it (along with a quantity of honey capable of putting a grizzly into a diabetic-induced coma) would help soothe my sore throat.  As the name implies, it has a nice lemon-y scent and flavor.  It’s also very easy to identify as you can simply pick a leaf, squish it between your fingers & if you smell Lemon Pledge, you’ve got yourself some Lemon Balm.  It also makes a really refreshing iced tea. 
There are about five or six patches of Lemon Balm in the ditch next to our driveway. 

I’ve never planted lemon balm, but the neighbor “up stream” from our driveway ditch has a huge patch and the herbs have made their way down here.  I’d like to dig up a few of them and transplant them to some tires for my used-tire-herb-garden.  Yup.  That’s about as hillbilly as you can get.  But we have access to used tractor tires and I’d like to keep the herbs in their own little area so they don’t take over the yard.  Well, that’s the theory anyhow.


  1. Thanks for the info! I used to have some lemon balm. I always wanted to know what to do with it. Now, thanks to you, I know. lol

  2. Good article. My wife is an almost herbalist and we always enjoy these types of articles. Thanks, and I hope you get to feeling better.

  3. I need to go find where my lemon balm went to seed at when I tossed it out. I would love to make some tea soon!

  4. I keep eying the lemon balm seeds in the catalogues, but never bring myself to buy some. I've just moved them to the top of my list, LOL. Nothing like someone's experience for a good endorsement.

  5. Not sure that tire will keep them in place! I had a small clump once...I can't count how many small clumps I have. It must be from seeds because some are quite a distance from others.

    I have never used it for anything....I will try some tea.

    Hope you get over the bug very soon.

  6. What a great weed to have around. The weeds I have around here aren't so useful.

  7. Hey - are you okay? We haven't heard from you for a while...just check in and let us know you're alive and kickin'!