Need a Soothing Cold Beverage? Try Calm and Cooling Lemon Balm Lemonade!

  • Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) has been used for centuries for calming the nervous system. It can be used as a tea, tincture, in capsules, added to fruit salads, or as in this case, as a wonderful, refreshing, and flavorful additive to lemonade.
  • Lemon balm is really easy to grow at home in your garden or just a pot on your patio. It likes well drained soil and lots of sun. Keep pinching it back by 1/3 to 1/2 every 3-4 weeks and it will grow more flavorful by the day. However, it can turn into a pesky ‘weed’ as it spreads easily by seeds but if you keep it trimmed back, it won’t form seeds and won’t take over your yard. I keep lemon balm under control simply by pulling up extra starts in the spring. If you do let it flower, your local bees will thank you.
  • Here’s a simple recipe for lemon balm lemonade that comes from Mother Earth Gardener: Slice 1-2 large lemons and place in a heat proof pan or bowl. Add about 1/2 cup shredded or crushed fresh lemon balm leaves, plus 1 cup boiling water and let it all steep for awhile. Strain and squeeze out the juice in the lemon balm and lemon slices into a pitcher. Add the juice of 1 – 1/2 lemons, some lemon slices, plus 2-3 cups of cold water. Add sweetener to taste – either Sweet Leaf brand stevia or honey or maple syrup will do the trick!

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