Common name: 
Lemon Balm

Drought tolerant: Maybe

Other Uses: attracts bees

Flood tolerant: No

Zone hardiness: 9

Family: Lamiaceae

Genus: Melissa

Physical characteristics: Bushy

History: Cultivated in the Mediterranean region for 2,000 years. A definite bee attracting plant it was melisophyllon (melissa:bee and phyllon: leaf) to the Greeks. It was commonly rubbed on behives to encourage honey production.

M. officinalis 'Citronella', M. officinalis 'Lemonella', M. officinalis 'Quedlinburger', M. officinalis 'Lime'
5 - delicious
Melissa Officinalis

Infusion: Take for depression, nervuous exhaustion, indigestion, nausea, and the early stages of colds or influenza. Best made with fresh leaves.

Tincture: has a similiar but stronger action to the infusion. Best from fresh leaves. Small doses (5-10) drops are usually more effective.

Compress: Use a pad soaked in the infusion to relieve painful swellings such as gout

Ointment: Use for sores, insect bites, or to repel insects.

Safe for children and babies

Main action is as a tranquilizer. Calms a nervous stomach, bloating, colic, or heart spasms. Relaxing tonic for anxiety, mild depression, restlessness, and insomnia.

Lemon balm is mentioned in the scientific journal Endocrinology, where it is explained that Melissa officinalis exhibits antithyrotropic activity, inhibiting TSH from attaching to TSH receptors, hence making it of possible use in the treatment of Graves' disease or hyperthyroidism


Germination 7 to 14 days. Space: 2 feet (60cm.) Soil Temp: 70F. Soil: fertile and well drained (wet soil can kill the plant). Full sun or partial shade for fuller plants. Propagation: the thick root clumps can be divided with some effort, but it is easier to take cuttings or plant seeds. Prolific self-sower. Does not spread runners. Susceptible to frost and requires mulch before a hard frost in cool climates. Harvest before flowering.

The thick root clumps can be divided with some effort, but it is easier cuttings or plant seeds


Chevallier, Andrew. 2007. " Herbal Remedies" pg. 164.

Keville, Kathy. 1995. " Herbs A Complete Culinary, Cosmetic, Medicinal, and Ornamental Guide" pg. 125.

Ody, Penelope. 1993. " The Complete Medicinal Herbal" pg. 78