Happy Summer, and happy Summer Solstice! We hope you’ve been soaking up the sun (or fog if you’re in SF) and finding ways to honor the playful, bright eyed energy of this summer season!
For this month’s offering, we decided to focus our attention on one of our favorite medicinal plants, Melissa officinalis, commonly known as Lemon Balm.
We love Lemon Balm for so many reasons, and had a strong feeling it was time to give them a microphone!
To begin our journey, we will first share a beautiful sound meditation that is 100% generated by one of our potted Lemon Balm plants.
Once you hit play, we encourage you to brew a cup of Lemon Balm tea if you can, and really take a moment to relax and get acquainted with this very special plant.
After our sound meditation, we will share some of our favorite medicinal uses of Lemon Balm, and explore a few of the special ways you can bring this sweet, playful medicine into your home.
Lemon Balm Meditation
If you have access to a Lemon Balm plant, try sitting beside it as you enjoy this meditation. Introduce yourself to the Lemon Balm. Touch and smell the beautiful leaves. Close your eyes. Take several deep breaths, and focus on exhaling anything that is no longer serving you. Know that the sweet medicine of Lemon Balm is here, helping you to slow down.
Can you sense the ways that Lemon Balm would like to show up for you?
What else doe Lemon Balm have to say?
Working with Lemon Balm
We so hoped you enjoyed your meditation.
One of the sweetest messages I receive from Lemon Balm, is that it’s ok to be soft and slow. It’s ok to be playful. It’s ok to stretch out beneath a shady tree on a hot summer day, turn off your phone, and just lay there.
This seems like a no brainer to some, but the energy of Summer can sometimes trick us into being overly social and hyper productive. It keeps us out a little longer, up a little later, and into the habit of saying an emphatic YES, when our bodies are begging for a re-charge.
Many people associate Lemon Balm with the light of the sun. I feel that energetic lift and brightness so strongly, but after one of my teachers, Rylan Sîan, shared his belief that Lemon Balm carries the light of the moon, I cannot shake this association.
To me, Lemon Balm is laying in a hammock on a warm summer night. You are weightless, swaying back and forth between two California Redwoods. The moon is illuminating and expanding your connection to the earth and your ability to hold all the moving pieces.
There is a childlike energy to Lemon Balm.
Picture catching fireflies or running through a front yard sprinkler. When you work with Lemon Balm you are connecting to your inner child. You may notice a softness in your heart, or extra bit of playfulness and creativity show up.
It is not surprising then, that Lemon Balm is a wonderful and safe remedy for children. It’s fantastic for children who are stressed, having trouble sleeping, or experiencing anxiety that manifests as tummy aches or any kind of issue with digestion. It can also be helpful for colds and flu.
Making a folk method preparation of a Lemon Balm Glycerite is a wonderful thing to do if you have little ones running around, or if you’d like something on hand that is not alcohol extracted.
To do this, simply fill a mason jar 1/2 full of dried lemon balm or 2/3 full of fresh lemon balm. Cover with 3 parts vegetable glycerine to 1 part water. Shake like crazy, then let sit for 4-6 weeks before you strain and enjoy! Make sure to shake it every day to get your wellness wish into your medicine, and to help with the extraction process! This medicine will be sweet and delicious.
I like the idea of new parents having this on hand, and creating a ritual of a spoonful for them and a spoonful for their little one when they are both needing a little support. Lemon Balm is such a fantastic ally for nervous exhaustion, burnout, and extended periods of emotional stress. Ideally you would have time to make yourself a cup of Lemon Balm tea for this, but sometimes the convenience of a glycerite or tincture is the way to go.
In addition to being a wonderful plant for children and parents, Lemon Balm cools the thyroid, supports the liver and digestion, lowers blood pressure, and has a general tonic effect on the heart and cardiovascular system.
It also has anti-viral and anti-microbial properties, is a remedy for heart disease (and heartaches) and is specifically indicated for folks with insomnia that is caused by grief or sadness.
In my clinical work, I have seen Lemon Balm be the life raft that pulls folks up and out of depression, insomnia, and feelings of extreme overwhelm.
If you have access to fresh Lemon Balm, we suggest you use the remaining summer months to cool off and chill out.
Try Lemon Balm infused water. Just pick a few leaves (if the plant says it’s ok!) and throw them right into your water bottle! You can also make sun teas! Try throwing in Lemon Balm with Hibiscus, Mint, or Lemon Verbena! Yum!
If you have access to dried Lemon Balm, know you are brewing a mighty, restorative tea that is perfect for this summer season.
We love this plant so much. We hope we have piqued your interest, and that you begin to deepen your relationship with this beautiful, medicinal plant.
Thank you so much for going on this Lemon Balm journey with us! We feel we have barely skimmed the surface, but trust all things will continue to deepen and unfold in their own sweet time!
We hope these last few days of June are full of the sweetest summer energy, and that you find moments to restore and re-balance as needed:)
If you are looking for a relaxing event this weekend, Josh is hosting another Sunset Meditation this Saturday June 29th at Fort Mason. We’ve been loving these Sunset Meditations! Check out the Happenings Tab at the bottom of our website to book your wireless headphones if you’d like to join!
With Much Love,
Nora and Josh