Melissa officinalis - a perennial herbaceous aromatic plants of the family Lamiaceae, reaching a height of one meter. It belongs to the most popular of aromatic and medicinal plants known to mankind for centuries. Two thousand years ago it was grown in ancient Rome and added to food to whet your appetite.
Branching rhizomes and stem - a highly branched slightly pubescent tip. Melissa ovate, rounded leaves are dark green on the upper side and paler underneath. Melissa Blossoms in June-August with small white or pink flowers, gathered in the axils of the upper leaves.
Melissa has a strong lemon scent, especially pleasant to bloom, which gives it the essential oils. It is because of the smell of lemon balm is used as a culinary spice, along with plants such as sage, peppermint, oregano and rosemary. Lemon scent attracts bees, making the plant got its Latin name - "Bee Star".
Homeland lemon balm is considered the Eastern Mediterranean, but now it is cultivated in almost all countries of the world.
The composition of lemon balm
Melissa has many useful properties, which are determined by its constituent:
- Essential oils (from 0, 1 and 0, 3%) of the more than two hundred different compounds, the most typical of which are geraniol, citral, citronellol, nerol and citronellal;
- Flavonoids, including kosmosiin, apigenin, tsinarozid, izokvertsitrin, ramnotsitrin and luteolin;
- Macro- and micronutrients, including potassium, calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, selenium, chromium, vanadium, molybdenum, nickel;
- Phenol carbonic acids.
The therapeutic use of the beneficial properties of lemon balm and
Due to its medicinal properties have long been a balm used in folk medicine of different countries.
In Arab countries balm used in the treatment of mental diseases, epilepsy, lethargy, apoplexy and melancholy. She also was part of the preparations of various "elixir of life".
One of the known beneficial properties of lemon balm is its calming effect. It is used in case of complaints during pregnancy, menstrual disorders and hysterical seizures, which are characteristic of mainly women.
As an analgesic, antispasmodic and calming the nervous system means balm is used in folk medicine in Bulgaria. Traditional healers in this country, thanks to the healing properties of lemon balm, use it:
- In the treatment of migraine, nervous weakness, insomnia, skin rash;
- To whet your appetite;
- As an antiemetic;
- To facilitate colic, which caused a delay of gases;
- Poultices and compresses for the treatment of boils.
French scientists who have studied the beneficial properties of lemon balm, revealed that the plant has sedative, antispasmodic, strengthens the heart muscle, and central nervous system stimulant properties.
In Poland, lemon balm, generally used as an analogue of valerian root as a sedative.
In Central Asia a decoction of the leaves is used as a diuretic, as well as pain in the stomach, indigestion, gout and anemia.
Avicenna, describing the healing properties of lemon balm in the "Canon of Medicine", wrote that it "helps with brain blockage, invigorates and strengthens the heart and eliminates bad breath." Often balm prescribed as an adjunct therapy to strengthen the heart muscle and attacks of tachycardia.
Infusion of leaves and flowers of lemon balm are taking when shortness of breath, poor digestion, asthma, insomnia, various neuralgia, painful menstruation, anemia, as well as a diaphoretic and laxative.
Melissa of the few plants that can be used in the treatment of children with arterial hypertension, diabetes, cholecystitis, pyelonephritis, children's neuroses, obesity and rheumatism.
Traditional medicine also uses the healing properties of lemon balm. Available in a variety of means in the form of aromatic waters, medicinal teas and infusions, as well as pharmaceutical preparations containing lemon balm (for example, Persia, New Pass Nervofluks).
The use of lemon balm in cooking
With soft refreshing taste and aroma of lemon balm is widely used as a spice for cooking many dishes. Fresh leaves of lemon balm are added, finely chopped, in salads. Dried leaves of lemon balm can be added together with other herbs to meat, vegetable, mushroom and fish dishes. It is organically combined with dishes containing lemon juice.
As a spice balm is often used in home canning pickled vegetables at (tomatoes and cucumbers).
Melissa - an indispensable component of various drinks. The dried leaves are brewed as a tea, flavored their home kvass, and also added to fruit drinks. Fresh leaves improve the taste of homemade wine and beer.
When using herbs like lemon balm should be borne in mind that it quickly loses its flavor, so it is advisable to add a few minutes before the end of cooking or sprinkle it ready-made meals.
Melissa, as well as preparations containing this herb is not recommended if you are hypersensitive and hypotension.