If you’re a fan of herbal teas, you’re probably aware that each variety has its own benefits and properties, aside from its own distinct flavor. And while teas like peppermint and chamomile are commonly known herbals, it’s worth looking into some lesser known types like lemon balm. While the name may make you think it has something to do with lemons, lemon balm is actually an herb in the mint family. The name comes from the Greek word “balsamon,” which means “sweet smelling oil” (via MasterClass). It does also smell a lot like lemons, and the plant’s small white and yellow flowers are fragrant and attract bees and butterflies.
So what do these beneficial bugs know what you don’t? Lemon balm is amazing. With a bevy of health benefits and a sweet, delicate taste, there are plenty of reasons to make this herb the highlight of your next cup of tea.
Health benefits of lemon balm
If you’re having a stressful day or a tough time drifting into a restful sleep, making a cup of lemon balm tea may be just the ticket to soothe your soul. It’s proven to reduce stress and even treat insomnia. It can also help alleviate tummy troubles, and if you mix it with peppermint tea, it’s a one-two punch to help smooth and improve digestion. Thanks to the caffeic and rosmarinic acid in lemon balm, it is both antiviral and antibacterial, which means it can help improve your immune system and beat back a cold. In fact, it can do this so powerfully that it has been successfully used to help treat herpes and its symptoms like cold sores on the lips (via StyleCraze).
Lemon balm is also rich in antioxidants, which help to reduce oxidative stress on the body. Their positive effects are wide-ranging from slowing aging to helping to slow the development of degenerative diseases (via WebMD). It can even help regulate irregular or uncomfortable periods and soothe colicky babies… basically, it’s a miracle!
So how do you use it in tea? You can buy the tea in some stores, or you can make your own by boiling water and adding two teaspoons of dried lemon balm. After five minutes simmering on low, it’s ready. You can add lemon, lime, or honey, and if it’s summer, why not let it cool off and pour it over ice? (via StyleCraze).
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