16+ Different Ways to Use Lemon Balm

Lemon balm is one of the easiest herbs to grow. It’s a perennial plant that grows wildly in most gardens, and as long as you remember to harvest, you can find plenty of ways to use lemon balm.

My lemon balm plant is huge. It’s one of the earliest herbs that sprout in my garden, and it grows everywhere. One of the complaints people have is that this herb, which is in the mint family, spreads everywhere and is true. However, it is well worth adding it to your garden.

Whether you want to cook up some unique drinks or ease a belly ache, lemon balm is a useful herbal plant. If you want different ways to use lemon balm, keep reading!

Related: How to Make Calendula Oil & 10 Ways to Use It

What is Lemon Balm?

Lemon balm – Melissa officinalis – is a member of the mint family. It’s an easy, perennial herb to grow in your garden, knowing for its prolific growth. Gardeners grow it for its delicious taste and ability to attract all sorts of pollinators. Bees love lemon balm, so planting it throughout your garden is sure to attract butterflies and other helpful insects.

Lemon balm has a long history as a medicinal herb. Not only does it contain anti-viral properties, but it also helps with relaxation, gradually soothing your nerves and hyper children. Lemon balm was historically used to treat colic and an upset stomach. It’s safe for infants up to elders, so it’s valuable in your herbal garden.

16+ Ways to Use Lemon Balm

1. Make a Sleepy Time Herbal Syrup

One of the reasons why lemon balm is a popular medicinal herb is that it helps you relax and go to sleep. Making an herbal sleepy syrup is easy, even if you don’t have a lot of experience with making herbal syrups.

Here is what you need to do.

  • Gather lemon balm from your garden; be sure to wash the leaves well before making syrup. Put 3/4 to 1 cup of lemon balm leaves into a small pot on your stove. Add just enough water to cover the leaves.
  • Simmer while leaving a lid on the pot, partially covering the pot, until half the liquid is reduced.
  • After half of the liquid is gone, strain out the leaves with either cheesecloth or a fine-mesh strainer. Make sure to compost the leaves rather than toss them out.
  • Mix 1/2 cup of concentrated lemon balm tea with 1/4 cup of raw honey. It’s best to do this when the tea is warm so the honey fully mixes with the tea. You can always make larger batches, keeping a ratio of two parts lemon balm tea with one part honey.
  • Store this syrup in the refrigerator for three to five days. Give a spoonful at night to help you or your children relax. Since the recipe uses honey, it’s not ideal for children under one-year-old.

2. Kick a Cold with a Ginger and Lemon Balm Cold Syrup

Lemon balm contains antiviral properties that are great to tap into when you have a cold. You can combine it with ginger for an extra kick to help you beat colds.

Here is the full directions to create ginger and lemon balm cold syrup.

3. Make a Lemon Balm Tincture

One of my favorite ways to tap into the medicinal benefits of herbs is to create tinctures. Lemon balm tincture is great whether you suffer from stomach problems, a cold, or simply feel under the weather.

Making any tincture is easy; it only takes a few minutes.

  • Fill up a glass jar with three-quarters full of fresh lemon balm leaves, or fill a jar 1/4 to 1/3 with dried lemon balm leaves.
  • Add 80-proof (or higher) vodka until the jar is full. You can also use other types of alcohol if you have those available instead.
  • Put the lid on the jars and store the lemon balm tincture in a dark place for 4-6 weeks. Make sure you shake them regularly.

Adults take a dose of 1/4 teaspoon or 1mL at a time. You can mix it with honey to help the tincture go down better.

Related: How to Make Lemon Balm Tincture at Home

4. Make an Herbal Glycerite

Tinctures are undoubtedly one of my favorite ways to use medicinal herbs, but they aren’t something my little kids enjoy due to the high alcohol content. Glycerites are a great alternative for children; they taste far better. Herbal-infused glycerites are also great because you can use them as a base for herbal toners, lotions, and other recipes.

Making lemon balm glycerite is quite easy! You can use this base recipe with other medicinal herbs.

  • Fill a glass jar with fresh lemon balm leaves. Fresh is better than dried herbs, but you also can use dried if that’s what you have available.
  • Cover the herbs with three parts vegetable glycerine and one part water.
  • Allow the glycerin to sit in a dark place for four weeks longer before straining with cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer.
  • The normal dose is 1/2 to 1 teaspoon as needed for your child to relax and calm down.

Lemon balm glycerine stores well in the refrigerator for several months at a time!

5. Soothe Your Stomach with Tea

Do you have a stomachache? Relaxing, soothing lemon balm tea does the trick.

All you need to do is fill a cup with fresh leaves or put dried herbs into a cotton muslin bag. Pour hot water over the herbs and allow the herbs to steep for 10-15 minutes. Make sure to cover the top of the cup to prevent vapors from escaping.

It’s that simple! It’s how to make any herbal tea. All you need to do is sweeten to your taste and sip.

6. Add to Your Bath Salt Recipes

There is little more relaxing than a hot bath at the end of the day. We know lemon balm has relaxation properties, so try filling a cotton muslin bag with lemon balm leaves. You can also include other relaxing herbs like lavender, chamomile, or rose petals, and make sure you add Epsom salt to the bags as well.

If you have bath salts you already enjoy, mix some crushed lemon balm into the mix you already have.

7. Ward Off Bugs

Lemon balm has a strong scent, which wards off insects that want to take a bite from your skin. Undoubtedly, you will find all sorts of homemade bug spray recipes or bug ointments, but lemon balm is an essential ingredient, in my opinion.

It’s a great way to ward off insects and use up the tons of lemon balm your garden is sure to produce.

8. Create a Lip Balm for Cold Sores

One of the best uses of lemon balm is to get rid of cold sores. We typically don’t get many cold sores, but when we do, I always try to get rid of them fast.

You might not realize that cold sores are caused by a virus – Herpes Simplex Type 1. Roughly 60-80% of the population has been exposed to the virus, and once it’s in your body, you will never get rid of it entirely. However, keeping your body healthy and using lemon balm to improve symptoms is one of the best ways to shorten the duration of healing.

The process of making lemon balm lip balm starts with making lemon balm infused oil. You can see the full directions here.

9. Create a Lemon Balm Soap

Any herb can be used to create soap, mixed with or without an essential oil for added scent. Soap is made with a mixture of water and lye, but you can substitute the water with herbal tea.

Steep fresh lemon balm leaves in hot water, and use this as part of your soap recipe!

You can check out a cold process lemon balm soap recipe here!

10. Toss Leaves into Your Water for Flavor

You already know lemon balm leaves are strongly scented and flavored. So, on a hot day, grab some fresh leaves. Put some leaves and a slice of lemon into a glass of cold water. Refrigerate it for several hours before drinking to give time for the leaves to steep into the water.

11. Try Other Lemon Balm Drinks and Cocktails

Adding lemon balm to water may be the easiest way to flavor drinks, but if you want other ways to use lemon balm, try making creative drinks and cocktails.

You’ll love some of the drink recipes!

12. Cool Down with Some Frozen Lemon Balm Treats

Lemon balm is prolific during the summertime, and the minty freshness is perfect for cooling down on a hot day. So, it seems like the best idea to turn lemon balm into cold treats for your family.

Here are some lemon balm frozen recipes.

13. Add to Your Salads

If you’re looking for a simple way to use fresh leaves, try chopping the leaves and sprinkling them on your salads. It adds a minty bite to your salad, so consider how to use it best. Honey is a great combination when mixed with your dressings.

14. Make a Lemon Balm Vinegar

Flavored kinds of vinegar are great compliments to different dishes and salads. Adding lemon balm to vinegar creates a unique flavor profile, and while it is delicious to add flavor to salad dressings, it also works as a hair rinse or as an oxymel remedy.

Making lemon balm vinegar is so easy! The hardest part is waiting weeks for the vinegar to have the perfect lemon balm flavor.

Start by deciding how much you want to make. Since it takes quite some time to steep and infuse, make more than you think you need. What if you love it?

  • Fill a glass up to 3/4 full with fresh leaves.
  • Cover the leaves with apple cider vinegar and cap with a non-metallic lid. This is important because the vinegar can corrode the metal, causing the lid to rust shut.
  • Let the leaves steep for several weeks in a cool, dark place. After the weeks, strain, and it’s time to use the vinegar!

Lemon balm vinegar has a shelf life of nine months to one year, so you have some time to use it!

15. Cook Up Some Lemon Balm & Honey Butter

I love a good flavored bunny, and lemon balm & honey butter is perfect for slathering over a slice of hot bread or biscuits in the morning.

All you have to do is gather some fresh lemon balm (not hard to do in the summer!) and soften half a stick of butter. Finely chop the lemon balm and mix it with the softened butter. Then, add some honey to the flavor you like.

That’s it!

16. Whip Up Some Lemon Balm Baked Goods

Summertime may not be the best time to cook – who wants to heat up their house? – but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use lemon balm in baked goods. The minty flavor is perfect for baking.

Try some of these lemon balm recipes!

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