Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tea-licious with Lemon Balm

It's official, today is the first day of summer and what better way to celebrate than with a glass of iced herbal tea made with Melissa Officianalis, aka...Lemon Balm.
I've been making this tea for some years now and we all enjoy it during the summer.  This isn't just a delicious tea though, Lemon Balm has long been used as a general health tonic.  The list of ailments it has been used to treat over the centuries is amazing.  Everything from anxiety/depression, ADD, fever, colic, digestive issues, to bee stings; this herb is a must in everyone's herbal garden.
We just love to drink it.  I figure it is good for the body as well as the senses, so here's a look at how I make it into a tea known as my "Summer Tea."

Lemon Balm
I grow this herb on the sunny south side of our house.  It gets pretty hot there and the soil isn't too great.  That's probably a good thing, because this is one herb that loves to spread.  So, if you plant yours, give it full sun and room to grow.  You'll appreciate it's health benefits and well as its summery flavor.

I only use the very tops of each branch.  These have the best flavor.

I make a dry mix base for my Summer Tea.  I use Green Rooibos which is mineral and antioxidant rich.

I also add (from top left, down to right) rose hips for flavor, hibiscus and lemon grass.  These give it a fruity citrus taste and the hibiscus gives it a pretty ruby color.

I use equal parts of all the ingredients except for the green rooibos, I use 2 parts for that.  So, in other words, one cup of rose hips, one cup of hibiscus flowers, one cup of lemon grass and 2 cups of green rooibos.

Add a half of a cup to the dish you'll be steeping your lemon balm.

Let steep for at least 20 minutes to get the maximum health benefits from the balm. 

When done steeping, strain your tea into a one gallon sun tea jar container.  If the tea water is still hot, I add cold cold water to my sun tea jar (about half way filled) so the jar won't crack with the hot water.  Top up the sun tea jar with fresh cold water and wha-la!  You have a gallon of Lemon Balm Summer Tea!  Add ice and sweeten (I use Stevia, another great herb with health benefits) and drink delicious and so refreshing AND it's great for you!

It's tee-rific!  Okay, no more tea puns, but seriously, you'll love it!  Blessings!

Check out Frugally Sustainable for more great ideas!  Their link is here.


  1. This sounds great! Now to get my hands on some lemon balm...

    1. If you can find a friend that has it, I'm sure they'll share. It's spreads easily! Happy gardening!