Lemon Balm Products
This fascinating herb has many mythological, religious connotations and magical beliefs that surround it. The story of Lemon Balm originated in Turkey before spreading upward throughout southern Europe. At Indigo Herbs we prize plant lore and have added Lemon Balm to our ever expanding range of herbs of ancient origin.
The story of Lemon Balm starts in the Ephesus (ancient Turkey) religious culture where it was considered to be the favourite food of bees. The bee was very important in the cultures that worshipped the Earth Goddess in the forms of Artemis, Demeter and Persephone and featured heavily in Greek cosmology. Seen to be the perfect model of life, with the Queen Bee being the goddess herself, the bee hive was observed to be a symbol of the natural order of things. The Latin name of Lemon Balm, Melissa (honey bee) officinalis, refers to this connection to the ancient religious thought with high priestesses of the goddess being called Melissai. Any plant that kept the Bees from swarming away from their hives was considered to be sacred and Lemon Balm was used in all the temples of the goddess in Greece. The Lemon Balm plant was considered to be the favourite food of bees that in turn bee products were a valued commodity of the community as honey and wax were important in commerce. Pliny the elder attributed Lemon Balm with magical properties writing that it had the ability to stop the flow of blood to someone wounded in battle if Lemon Balm was wrapped around the blade that caused the wound.
Lemon Balm comes from the same family as mint and the leaves look very similar. Native to Europe, this plant is now grown all over the world. Deeply crinkled leaves with a lemony scent are its characteristics along with either a deep green or even yellowish colouring. If the plant is not maintained it can reach heights of over 2 feet. Light yellow flowers grow from the apex of where the leaf meets the stem.