Monday, March 28, 2011

Lemon Balm...One of My Favorites

I am a fan of the citrus scents. Some people prefer floral scents, or musky scents, but I really like the clean, crisp, freshness of the citrus scents. One of the very first plants that went in to my yard when we bought our house was a transplant of lemon balm given to us by a friend. Since that time it has thrived and has become one of my most favorite plants.  Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) which was sacred to the temple of Diana, used by the Greeks medicinally 2,000 years ago, has also been called the "elixir of life" by the Swiss physician Paracelsus. It is reputed that the fragrant herb was among the regular teas drank by Llewelyn, Prince of Glamorgan, who lived to be 108, and John Hussey, of England, who ,lived to be 116. The leaves can be used in a variety of ways in the kitchen, including lemon balm tea (which I also drink). It is widely used to counter depression in  aromatherapy, but I just enjoy the relaxing feeling it gives me.  It's also good for headaches and menstrual cramps, among other things. It's very attractive to bees, which makes it a great addition for the garden, I also make a natural air freshener with it, which is what today's project is.

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