Monday, June 2, 2014
Lemon Balm Tea by Joyce Lavene
By Joyce Lavene
Summer is nearly upon us here in the south. All around us are the sights and smells of another season of growth. Lemon balm is at its best right now. Time to make some tea!
Lemon balm is a large, perennial herb that grows like a weed here. The smell of it after a rain shower is indescribably good. You catch the strong lemon scent from it, and also hints of lavender.
The plant has been used as a tonic for thousands of years- thus the name balm. To have it growing in your yard is a blessing - and a curse - because it's a wonderful, healing plant but will also take over your yard if you're not careful.
I love making fresh tea from the leaves. One of lemon balm's qualities is that is raises your spirits. It has been known as a tonic and an anti-depressant for as long as it has been grown. Odes and songs have been written for it.
Summer is the time to make fresh tea. Lemon balm stays green here all year, but it has the best taste now.
Making tea: Add twelves leaves - washed and separated from the stalk - to a container. Then add one pint of boiling water. Let the leaves sit in the hot water for about ten minutes. Add sweetener, if you choose, and you have it. Wonderfully refreshing!