Herb Guide: Lemon Balm

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Learn the medicinal and culinary uses of lemon balm, how to grow it, and how to make your own traditional Carmelite water.

To get the best flavor out of lemon balm, shear it with scissors, cutting it down by half or more, at least once a month. You can safely harvest three-quarters of the plant every three to four weeks and not harm it.

Often when someone asks me what my most favorite herb would be, I enjoy the surprise on their face when they hear my answer: Lemon balm, I say, without any hesitation.

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) isn’t at the top of most people’s favorites list. Basil, parsley, and lavender are the most popular herbs in America, but lemon balm isn’t even on the top 10 list. But it is deserving of considerably more recognition.

Lemon balm is a perennial herb from the mint family (

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