Melissa officinalis L.
Botanical characteristics. Family gibotsvetnye. Perennial herbaceous plant up to 80–120 cm high. The stem is tetrahedral, branched at the apex. It has a highly branched rhizome. The leaves are opposite, oval-shaped. The flowers are small, pinkish-purple color, form spikelike inflorescences. The whole plant has a strong pleasant mint-lemon smell and a bitter-spicy taste. It flowers in June – August, the fruits ripen in August – September.
Spread. In the wild form is found only in the southern regions of our country. It is widely cultivated in gardens and vegetable gardens as a spicy and medicinal plant. Poor frosts, needs shelter for the winter.
Used plant parts.
Leaves and tops of grass.
The strong lemon scent of lemon balm is caused by an essential oil consisting of citral, citronellal, myrcene and geraniol. Found in the plant are mucus, tar, bitterness, ascorbic acid (up to 150 mg%), tannins, caffeic, oleic and ursolic acid. Seeds contain up to 20% fatty oil.
Melissa infusions slow breathing, reduce heart rate, lower blood pressure and act sedatively on the nervous system.
Used for neurosis, depression, hysteria, migraine, increased sexual excitability and insomnia, with hypertension, atherosclerosis, dizziness, tinnitus and palpitations.
It is recommended for pain in the stomach and intestines, for poor appetite, for chronic constipation and flatulence, as well as for anemia and gout.
In folk medicine, lemon balm is used in female diseases and is called its “mother liquor”.
Melissa, like mint, is added to salads, to side dishes, to meat or vegetable stuffing, for ravioli and cabbage rolls.
As an external tool used for baths, lotions and enemas.
Contraindications. The plant is slightly toxic.
1 tablespoon of herbs insist with 2 cups of boiling water (daily dose).
20 grams of lemon balm are mixed with the same quantities of yarrow, wormwood, oregano, peppermint, pine buds and shoots (harvested in February – March), and calamus rhizomes as an external bath for aromatic baths with poor metabolism and strengthening with a general breakdown. All this is mixed and boiled in a closed vessel in 10 liters of water for 30 minutes. Allow to cool, filter, and poured into a hot water bath. Bathe 15 minutes. Bath temperature is 37–38 ° С.
As insecticide melissa is popular with beekeepers. A sprig of lemon balm laid on the bottom of the hive, expels or destroys pests - earwigs, ants and a wax moth.