Lemon balm – Sitruunamelissa
Lemon balm leaves are serrated and oval. They are pale bright green and about 2 to 6 cm long. Its flowers are small and white or blue-red, located in leafy whorls. Its stem is upright, square-edged and branched.
Lemon balm grows naturally in the Mediterranean region. However, it has spread to Central Europe, North Africa, West Asia and North America. Lemon balm is a perennial, but in Finland it does not necessarily overwinter in very cold winters.
The herb smells and tastes like lemon. The lemon balm leaf has been especially used as a dessert decoration. Fresh lemon balm leaves make good tea. Lemon balm is used in salads, herbal mixes and soft drinks and alcoholic drinks. In addition, lemon balm is used a lot in cosmetics, perfumes and natural products. Lemon balm calms and improves sleep. It strengthens the nerves and prevents depression. By distilling lemon balm, a volatile oil is obtained. The aroma is preserved better by freezing than by drying.