Lemon balm is a peppermint plant that grows in Central European and Mediterranean regions. Its scientific name is Melissa officinalis. The genus name is “melissa”, which comes from the Greek since its white flowers attract the honey bee. It is also known as balm, common balm, or balm mint. It can grow up to 70-150 cm. It is a durable perennial herbaceous plant from the family of Lamiaceae.
Its body has four corners, hairy and branched structure. It has an oval shape, toothed edges and hairy leaves and lemon scent. Its very light yellow or whitish small flowers that open by forming inflorescences from summer to autumn have two lips. Dark brown, tiny and teardrop-shaped seeds are bright. Since it is very heavy to grow with its seed, the plant is reproduced either by dividing or by taking stem cuttings.
It is a plant of the Mediterranean basin and is widely cultivated in Southern Europe. It contains essential oils containing citral, stranellal, linalol and pinemia, as well as flavone and resin.
In Greek mythology, the angel named Melissa discovered honey and fed the baby Zeus. The feeding of these angels, which are said to turn into bees, fed by honey, became stronger and became the king of the gods. Dioscorides (40-90 AD), father of pharmacognosy, stated in his work Materia Medica that decoction obtained from the leaves of the plant is effective in scorpion and spider stings or dog bites. He also stated that it can be used to regulate the menstrual flow in the form of a bath, toothache in the form of mouthwash, and in the treatment of dysentery in the form of suppository or enema. It is registered in Materia Medica, where the decoction prepared from its leaves is used in fungal poisoning and severe abdominal pain together with potassium nitrate, in shortness of breath when used in the form of syrup, and in the treatment of ulcers and in combination with salt.
The founder of medieval modern science, the author of the work named El-Kanun Fi’t-Tıb, which is known as the leader of physicians and has been used as the main source of work for seven centuries in medicine, and all sputum diseases of Melissa officinalis plant in his work. and that it is effective in the treatment of serious diseases. It is also among the information recorded in the work that it removes congestion and shortness of breath in the brain, refreshes the heart and has a positive effect on bad breath. With the introduction of its use in Morocco to Spain in the seventh century, both its use and its cultivation spread to Europe. The suggestion that Paracelsus (1493-1541) could revive a person about the plant and be used in diseases caused by nervous system disorders was also effective in its medical use.
Melissa in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance Period; It has been prescribed for many ailments, including insomnia, toothache, menstrual problems, digestive disorders, headache, anorexia, fever, and anxiety. Due to its soothing scent, sprinkling the plant into churches has become popular and was found on church floors until the 19th century. M. officinalis has been used in many fields in traditional medicine. French priests, nuns, and Paracelsus prepared and used tonics called “life potion,” which included M. officinalis, also known as lemon balm. British author John Evelyn (1620-1706) described this herb as the “brain ruler” as mind-strengthening and melancholy-relieving. Essential oil is called “leader of oils” in Hebrew.
The most common use of Melissa is in the form of tea. As a result of the scientific studies and applications carried out today, we can list the benefits of Melissa tea as follows: As it shows antiseptic properties, it provides rapid healing of herpes and intraoral wounds. Thanks to its antiseptic properties, it is a solution to many problems such as eczema, fungus that may occur on the skin or scalp. It is also effective in insect and fly bites since its germs have a lethal feature. It also helps itching and rashes pass quickly.
Melisa tea also shows sedative properties, thus creating a calming effect on the body. Thanks to this feature, it provides problems such as stress, tension and depression. It also removes the insomnia problem caused by stress. Melisa tea supports the digestive system to work healthily, and supports the solution of many stomach problems. The balm tea, which runs to the aid of those living with gas pain, helps regulate bowel movements.
Balm tea, which is known as a natural pain reliever and antipyretic, thus provides rapid recovery of diseases such as flu and cold. It supports those who have high blood pressure problems, helps balance blood pressure. In this way, it also minimizes the risk of many heart and vascular diseases that may occur in the long term. It strengthens memory and increases concentration, thus reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, which can be seen especially at older ages. Thanks to its positive effects on the digestive system, it speeds up the weight loss process.
Due to the fact that melisa tea acts as a natural pain reliever, men who have had painful periods during their period also relieve their pain. The balm tea, which also positively affects the health of the skin, facilitates cleansing the pores and ensuring the moisture balance in the skin. Thanks to this feature, acne and blackheads disappear more quickly while acne formations are minimized. Finally, let’s not go without saying that balm tea also protects our skin from the harmful effects of the sun.
It can be grown in any kind of natural soil in the pH range of 5.5 – 8, not too acidic and not too alkaline. Natural humus soil is best. Because both its organic nutrition is high and its pH is around neutral. You can also grow ready-made bag soils. In summer, the soil should be watered without waiting for it to dry completely. The soil should never be dry. Watering too often is not good. After Melissa has rooted well in the soil, she is able to withstand thirst in the dry summer, but do not leave her thirsty for a good development.
Nutrients and fertilizers are not required at all. A good, healthy soil is sufficient. But if you want melis to grow faster, then the best food is plant food from fish. If it can receive direct sun for up to 4 hours a day, it can also be grown at home. No matter what type of soil you need to grow at home in pots, you should add pumice stones to the soil by a quarter. Thus, it can also be grown in the home. Those grown at home should be watered when the soil approaches to dry completely, and not watered more often. As Melissa grows, when you take the branches off, it sprouts again and develops constantly.
You can reproduce it by breaking it from the branches and rooting it in water, removing it from the root and seeds. Although it is a little difficult to grow melissa from seed, the most fertile propagation method is with seeds. The seeds do not germinate early in the spring in the gardens. Waits for the weather to warm up. For him, you should not rush to sow the seed, wait for mid-April or early May. The place where the seeds are planted should be a place where the sun warms. Thus, the seeds germinate quickly with its hot effect. Or, in warm interiors, you will germinate towards the end of March. When watering, water the soil without mixing, such as fogging, without mixing. Remove the seedlings growing a few inches and plant them in their original place. When planting seedlings in their new places, you should leave a distance of at least 20cm between them. Good productivity starts in next years in seed-grown balms.