Melissa officinalis L.
Botanical characteristic. The family is labial. Perennial herb up to 80–120 cm tall. The stem is tetrahedral, branched at the apex. It has a strongly branched rhizome. The leaves are opposite, oval in shape. The flowers are small, pinkish-lilac in color, form spike-shaped inflorescences. The whole plant has a strong pleasant mint-lemon smell and a bitter-spicy taste. Blossoms in June – August; fruits ripen in August – September.
Spread. In the wild, it is found only in the southern regions of our country. It is widely cultivated in gardens and vegetable gardens as a spice and medicinal plant. He tolerates frosts poorly, needs shelter for the winter.
Used parts of the plant.
Leaves and tops of grass.
The strong lemon balm smell of lemon balm is due to the essential oil consisting of citral, citronellal, myrcene and geraniol. In the plant, mucus, resins, bitterness, ascorbic acid (up to 150 mg%), tannins, caffeic, oleanic and ursolic acids were found. Seeds contain up to 20% fatty oil.
Melissa infusions slow down breathing, reduce heart contractions, lower blood pressure and act sedatively on the nervous system.
Used for neurosis, depression, hysteria, migraine, increased sexual irritability and insomnia, with hypertension, atherosclerosis, dizziness, with tinnitus and with a heartbeat.
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 for female diseases and is called its "mother liquor".
Melissa, like mint, is added to salads, to side dishes of second courses, to the filling - meat or vegetable, for dumplings and stuffed cabbage.
As an external remedy, they are used for baths, lotions and enemas.
Contraindications The plant is slightly toxic.
1 tablespoon of the herb is infused with 2 glasses of boiling water (daily dose).
As external for aromatic baths in case of poor metabolism, and as strengthening for a general loss of strength, 20 g of lemon balm with the same amounts of yarrow, wormwood, oregano, peppermint, pine buds and shoots (collected in February-March), calamus swamp rhizomes are mixed. All this is mixed and boiled in a closed vessel in 10 liters of water for 30 minutes. Allow to cool, filter and pour into a bath with hot water. Bathe for 15 minutes. The temperature of the bath is 37–38 ° С.
As an insecticide, lemon balm is popular with beekeepers. A branch of lemon balm, laid at the bottom of the hive, expels or destroys pests - earwigs, ants and wax moth.