Motherwort is a plant that makes the heart and spirit happy
Lemon balm (or Motherwort) is a rather neglected plant today. Botanists used to recommend this plant to “clumsy” lovers, women burdened with various problems and losers of all kinds.
Motherwort (or mother’s violet, bee grass, honey grass) or, in Latin, Melissa officinalis is a long-lived branched plant. This plant has a height of 60 to 100 cm. It originates from the countries of the Mediterranean Sea. It is grown as a fragrant and honey-bearing plant.
Today, lemon balm is grown worldwide in suitable climates. It is grown in the same way as mint. The lemon balm should be harvested before flowering. The plant should be dried quickly in a strong gust of wind and immediately packed in boxes. The boxes are then stored in a cool and dark place.
Marigold blooms from June to September. The most pleasant smell and the most essential oil is before the first flowers appear. The plant was known and loved since ancient times. Bees are called by the same name (melissa) in ancient and modern Greece. Because of its pleasant smell, royal jelly was placed in beehives made of wicker.
In ancient records, it was found that the Roman writer and tribune Pliny loved motherwort more than other plants. Pliny even gave the plant the name Apiastrum from the Latin word “apias” (bee).
Motherwort was especially valued in traditional medicine by the Arabs (Moors) in Spain. They used the plant in large quantities. Perfumed water made from water and fresh lemon balm was especially popular. Avicenna (a famous Arab physician and philosopher from the 11th century) believed that the plant “joys both the heart and the spirit”.
Lemon balm is used in cooking and as an addition to aromatic liqueurs
Lemon balm is used for cheese production in Switzerland. In rural homes, it is used as an addition to salads, omelettes and as an addition to summer drinks.
The tea drink works mildly and pleasantly against flatulence, helps in the digestive process, against insomnia, against neurasthenia, hypochondria, strengthens the nerves. The tea drink also solves headaches and migraines, nausea and vomiting. The tea is also recommended to pregnant women to relieve nausea.
Essential oil of lemon balm has an antiseptic effect when used externally. It is used in neuralgia and rheumatism. This oil is valued in the production of perfumes.
Melissa syrup was especially popular in the 17th century. Every home had this syrup in their kitchen supplies. It was used to calm stomach problems.
Tea against insomnia – equal parts of Valerian, hops and lemon balm are mixed. Make tea from this herbal mixture. A spoonful of tea is poured over a quarter liter of boiling water and drunk, preferably in the evening.
Boiling water is poured over a cup of lemon balm. Leave it short. Add to bath water.
Royal jelly tea for bees – A spoonful of tea is poured over a quarter of a liter of boiling water. Pour the tea into shallow containers and leave in front of the hive. This tea is very healthy for bees.
Lemon balm water is used for poor digestion, anemia, memory disorders, excessive sensitivity. It can be used for external use (lotion, compresses) but also for internal use. In a liter of brandy, put a handful of half-dried lemon balm leaves, the peel of one lemon, 10 cloves and a little cinnamon. Leave for 7 days in a cool place. Strain. Pour into an airtight bottle. For internal use, adults use one spoon diluted with water (milk or honey), twice a day. Children use 15 drops on a sugar cube once a day. For external use, it is used in the form of a liquid for massages or anointing the legs, hands or other painful parts of the body.