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Lemon balm is a perennial herb that belongs to the mint family, and it has been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments. It is widely known for its calming and relaxing properties, making it a popular choice for relieving stress, anxiety, and insomnia. Lemon balm has also been used to alleviate digestive issues, including bloating and gas. It is also known for its antiviral properties and studies show it to be effective in treating cold sores caused by the herpes simplex virus. One of the best ways to harness the medicinal benefits of lemon balm is by making a tincture.
Tinctures are liquid extracts made from herbs that have been steeped in alcohol for an extended period of time. They’re a popular way to consume herbal remedies because they’re easy to use and can be stored for several years. Tinctures can be taken on their own or added to drinks or food. They’re also highly concentrated, meaning that a small amount can be very effective.
Harvest your lemon balm in the morning when the leaves are dry. Pick the leaves and stems and wash them thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris. You can use the leaves, stems, and flowers in your tincture.
Take your glass jar and sterilize it with hot water. Make sure the jar is completely dry before adding the lemon balm.
Take your clean and dry lemon balm and chop it finely. Add it to the glass jar, filling it about two-thirds full.
Pour the high-proof alcohol over the lemon balm, making sure to cover it completely. Use a spoon to press the lemon balm down to ensure that it is fully submerged in the alcohol. The ratio of alcohol to lemon balm should be roughly 2:1 (alcohol to lemon balm by volume).
Example: For 1 cup loosely packed chopped lemon balm leaves, you will need about 2 cups of alcohol.
Place the jar in a cool, dark place such as a pantry or cupboard. Shake the jar once a day to ensure that the lemon balm is fully infused in the alcohol. Let the tincture sit for about four to six weeks to allow the alcohol to extract the medicinal constituents from the lemon balm.
After four to six weeks, strain the tincture using a cheesecloth or a fine-mesh strainer. Squeeze the lemon balm to extract all of the liquid. Use a funnel to transfer the tincture into amber glass dropper bottles. The amber glass will protect the tincture from light and help to preserve its potency.
Label the tincture with the date and the name of the herb. Store the tincture in a cool, dark place. A tincture can last for several years if stored properly.
When it comes to dosages for herbal tinctures, it’s always best to consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner or herbalist who can help you determine the appropriate dosage based on your individual needs and health status. However, here are some general guidelines for adults using a lemon balm tincture:
For general relaxation and stress relief: Take 2-3 ml (about 40-60 drops) of lemon balm tincture up to three times per day. This can be added to a small amount of water or taken directly under the tongue.
For sleep support: Take 2-3 ml (about 40-60 drops) of lemon balm tincture about 30 minutes before bedtime. This can be added to a small amount of water or taken directly under the tongue.
For digestive support: Take 2-3 ml (about 40-60 drops) of lemon balm tincture before or after meals to support healthy digestion.
This information is general and for educational purposes only. Your personal health and individual needs should be determined by you and your healthcare provider.
While lemon balm is generally considered safe for most people when consumed in reasonable amounts, there are a few contraindications to keep in mind:
Hello and welcome! My name is Kate and I am an herbalist and backyard farmer. If you are a beginner herbalist or just looking for information on plants, I write about gardening, natural remedies, and herbalism.