Anti-oxidant Tea with Lemon Balm

December 4, 2013  |  Blog

Did you know that many herbs contain more anti-oxidants than berries? Lemon Balm is one such herb.

Lemon Balm (Melissa Officinalis) is a plant in the mint family. Lemon Balm has a delicate leaf with a very subtle lemon floral flavour. The plant is also prolific making it a productive member of a home garden.

Lemon Balm was a sacred herb in ancient times. By medieval times it was an ordained part of apothecary gardens.  By the 19th century lemon balm became “old fashioned” and fell out of favour. Today it is barely known.

Despite this, Lemon Balm’s pedigree includes the potent anti-oxidant, rosmaric acid, the master anti-oxidant, glutathione, and the mast-cell stabilizer, Quercetin making it an invaluable addition to a low histamine, low amine, diet.

Recent studies have indeed shown Lemon Balm to be an adaptogen that works as an anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, sedative, calmative, anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-microbial, and neuro-protective remedy.

Lemon Balm can be used as a berb in the same way as mint, parsley, chives, and dill.

A medicinal strength herbal tea with Lemon Balm can be made by taking a china or glass teapot (not a metal one), putting 100 grams of fresh herbs (50 grams of dried) into the teapot, and pouring 1 litre of boiling water into the pot. For full potency leave the tea to steep for 20 – 30 minutes. When cooled store in the fridge.

For a variation, a mixture of 2/3rds Lemon Balm, and 1/3rd Geranium leaves, makes a divine tea. This concoction also marries well with Vitamin C rich, Rosehips, to provide a divine anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-histamine, tea.

By Alison Vickery

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