Lemon Balm is Official Herb of 2007

Lemon Balm  Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L.) is a lemon-scented member of the mint family. A native to southern Europe, it is a perennial that will over-winter in hardiness zones 4 to 5.  

As it grows, the lemon balm plant develops multiple branches, growing to a height of about two feet. Leaves are often 2 to 3 inches long, oval to almost heart shaped, shiny and wrinkled texture with scalloped edges. Small light blue to white flowers appear in late spring through midsummer.

 

Lemon balm has a delicate lemon scent and flavor. It is often used as a culinary, cosmetic and medicinal herb.

 

Fresh sprigs are used as garnishes for cold drinks and on salads and main dishes.

 

Fresh or dried leaves make a refreshing iced or hot tea.

 

Dried leaves are used as an ingredient in potpourri.

 

Lemon balm essential oil is used in aromatherapy and in creating perfumes.

 

 

And more Home Gardening Info

 

More Horticultural and Plant Use Info

  

Medicinal Uses for Lemon Balm

 

History, Cultivation and Medical Uses

 

My favorite lemon balm recipe and an herbal leaflet for you.

Advertisements

Making Cosmetics and Preparations Using Herbs from Your Garden

scntd ger          Herban Renewal: Spa Recipes from Your Graden 

Anytime is a great time for personal renewal. Throughout the ages, herbs have been known for their refreshing and restorative qualities. Here are some wonderfully nurturing herbal spa recipes to enjoy…

 

 

Create your own personally-scented moisturizer with a drop or two of essential oil to unscented moisturizer.

 

Create your own personal massage blend for body, facial, foot & leg, by adding 3-5 drops of your favorite essential oil to 1 ounce of Sweet Almond oil.

 

 

 

Baths & Showers:

 

Enjoy an aromatic bath by adding 3 – 15 drops (depending upon oil) of essential oil into the running bath water.  (Not safe for children – for adults only-!)

 

 

 

 

Refreshing foot bath:

 

Add 2 to 3 drops essential oil to hot water; soak feet 10 – 20 minutes.

 

We recommend a Tea Tree and Lavender blend!

 

 

 

 

In the Shower ~

 

Place 2-3 drops of essential oil on bathing sponge or wash cloth, to rub over body.

 

 

 

Energizing
Bath

To bath water, add 5 drops rosemary oil and 2 drops lavender oil.

 

 

 

Invigorating
Bath

Combine in a drawstring muslin bath bag 1/4 cup each dried rosemary and sage, with 2 Tbs. oatmeal; ~OR~ Place fresh rosemary clippings (in a muslin bath bag), under the bathtub faucet.

 

 

 

Peppermint-Rosemary Facial Steam

To one gallon of boiling water — cooled slightly before adding — 4 drops each of peppermint and rosemary essential oils. Taking care in not burning yourself with the steam, cover your head with a towel, holding face over bowl for 10 minutes.

 

 

 

Rosemary Apple Cider After-Shampoo Rinse

 

2 sprigs fresh rosemary     1 Cup apple cider vinegar    3 Cups warm water

 

Chop rosemary, and place into glass jar; fill with apple cider vinegar, and store in a cool, dark place for one week, shaking it daily. Strain out rosemary, returning liquid to jar. To use: dilute  1/3 cup rinse with 3 cups warm water; into damp, freshly shampooed hair, taking care not to get it in your eyes. Rinse thoroughly and dry hair.

Making Cosmetics and Preparations Using Herbs from Your Garden

scntd ger    An Introduction to Making Preparations from the Garden Using Herbs to Make Cosmetics & Toiletries 

There are many ways to enjoy using herbs, and crafting cosmetics with them is one way to not only discover their delights, but also to derive the benefits intrinsic to the plant properties through use. Fresh or dried organic herbs and essential oils of the highest quality you can find, are recommended for these applications.

 

Enjoying the herbal benefits, along with the fact that the homemade formulations may be made to address specific health needs, the finished product may be much purer than similar purchased commercially made preparations, and with little no chemicals and additives. As we all live in a very “chemical” world today, this is the goal for many of us  who choose the herbal ways. Natural and organic in origin — with the finished product as close to the original ingredients which comprise it.

 

 

There are several ways to make herbal cosmetic preparations:

 

* Infused Oils                         *Essential Oils

*Salves                                   *Herbal Steams & Compresses

*Creams & Lotions                *Herbal Baths

*Other Skincare Items            *Hair & Nail Care

 

Based on desired results, and your research into the herbs called for in selected recipes, the first step is to gather fresh plants for processing into cosmetics.

Create an Herban Oasis at Home – Final Part of II

Spa      Herban Renewal: Spa Recipes 

Anytime is a great time for personal renewal. Throughout the ages, herbs have been known for their refreshing and restorative qualities. Here are some wonderfully nurturing herbal spa recipes to enjoy…

 

 

Create your own personally-scented moisturizer with a drop or two of essential oil to unscented moisturizer.

 

Create your own personal massage blend for body, facial, foot & leg, by adding 3-5 drops of your favorite essential oil to 1 ounce of Sweet Almond oil.

 

 

 

Baths & Showers:

 

Enjoy an aromatic bath by adding 3 – 15 drops (depending upon oil) of essential oil into the running bath water.  (Not safe for children – for adults only-!)

 

 

 

 

Refreshing foot bath:

 

Add 2 to 3 drops essential oil to hot water; soak feet 10 – 20 minutes.

 

We recommend a Tea Tree and Lavender blend!

 

 

 

 

In the Shower ~

 

Place 2-3 drops of essential oil on bathing sponge or wash cloth, to rub over body.

 

 

 

Energizing
Bath

To bath water, add 5 drops rosemary oil and 2 drops lavender oil.

 

 

 

Invigorating
Bath

Combine in a drawstring muslin bath bag 1/4 cup each dried rosemary and sage, with 2 Tbs. oatmeal; ~OR~ Place fresh rosemary clippings (in a muslin bath bag), under the bathtub faucet.

 

 

 

Peppermint-Rosemary Facial Steam

To one gallon of boiling water — cooled slightly before adding — 4 drops each of peppermint and rosemary essential oils. Taking care in not burning yourself with the steam, cover your head with a towel, holding face over bowl for 10 minutes.

 

 

 

Rosemary Apple Cider After-Shampoo Rinse

 

2 sprigs fresh rosemary     1 Cup apple cider vinegar    3 Cups warm water

 

Chop rosemary, and place into glass jar; fill with apple cider vinegar, and store in a cool, dark place for one week, shaking it daily. Strain out rosemary, returning liquid to jar. To use: dilute  1/3 cup rinse with 3 cups warm water; into damp, freshly shampooed hair, taking care not to get it in your eyes. Rinse thoroughly and dry hair.

Create an Herban Oasis at Home – Part I of II

Spa         Herban Renewal – Personal Spa & Treatments: 

Turn your bath into a spa where you can retreat to rejuvenate yourself and revive your spirit!  With a few herbal additions and simple indulgences, you can create a true Herban Oasis — here are some ideas to help…

Light a scented candle, to create a calming atmosphere.

Freshly brew and sip an herbal tea, to relax, and stay healthfully hydrated.

Aromatherapy helps to create the perfect bath-retreat:

Potpourri or amber-scented bars placed artfully in a lovely container, add a scent-imental touch.

  

  Create your own bath oil by adding a few drops of an essential oil to a nutmeg (whole) sized amount of light oil (ie, sweet almond or sunflower oil): perhaps 3 drops lavender and 2 rose geranium essential oils. Run bath water, then add oil. Keep door closed, to keep fragrance in bath spa area. Breath deeply! Enjoy…

  OR ~ Enjoy an herbal bath sachet (fresh or dried herbs tied up in a muslin bag (so plumbing  won’t clog), placed under the running faucet.

  Herbal soaps are a lovely touch to the bath — they come in a variety of forms —   glycerin and basic bars, to gels. They add color, texture and scent the bath!

If your hair is dry, or requires deep conditioning, apply a hair mask prior to bath. Here are some home spa hair treatments you can make and enjoy: Spa Hair Treatments Recipes

After a wonderful soak of at least 20 minutes in an herbal-infused bath, rinse off in a warm shower, dry off with a lush, warm towel. Soft towels are key to nurturing.

Using a complementary scented moisturizing lotion, take the time to lavishy apply and enjoy!

Slip into a terry or other after-bath spa type robe and slippers you’ve placed nearby.

A pedicure is part of a “spa” treatment – soak your feet first, adding a drop or two of tea tree essential oil to the foot soak. 

Herbal Homekeeping: Aromatherapy – Part III of VI

Rose Pnk     Be Careful with Essential Oils

 

 It should be noted that not all essential oils are beneficial to health — some are dangerous to use. Some are skin irritants, neurotoxic, phototoxic, can cause cancer, are abortive, or not to be used on children or during pregnancy. Before using, it is important to study further about essential oils and their properties.

 

Prior to using essential oils, be aware of any sensitivity. Never use them on or near the eyes, avoid mucous membranes or taken by mouth. Always skin test first (diluting a small amount with vegetable, sweet almond or grapeseed oil), and apply to skin on arm. Do NOT use if redness or irritation occurs. If at any time, redness, burning or itching occur, stop using the oil immediately. Some oils are irritating to the skin, some make skin sensitive to ultraviolet light, some should be avoided by those with epilepsy and high blood pressure — please be sure to read Essential Oils Precautions.

 

Because essential oils are highly concentrated, they must be treated with respect. It is important to be knowledgeable about them and their properties.

 

We recommend reading more about this fascinating subject and/or consulting a trusted aromatherapist to assist you, if you are interested in exploring aromatherapy.

 

 

Tomorrow we will cover: Important PRECAUTIONS & Considerations When Using Essential Oils.