Pulchritude: Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm (No Copyright Infrngement Intended)

Melissa Officinalis, commonly known as Lemon Balm, is a perennial herbaceous plant that is best known for its lemon scent and flavor, and striking resemblance to mint.  Lemon Balm belong to the same taxonomic family as mint Lamiaceae, along with commonly used herbs, such as basil, rosemary, and sage.  Native to the mediterranean region (Southern Europe, Northern Africa, and Central Asia), Lemon Balm can grow to be 28 to 59 inches tall.  The scent and flavor of Lemon Balm comes from its flavor constituents (terpenoids), specifically, citronellal (24%), geranial (16%), linalyl acetate (12%), and caryophyllene (12%).  Lemon Balm is often used in cooking as a flavoring agent in ice creams and teas, and can also be used as a pesto.  Lemon Balm is believed to treat gastrointestinal tract, bile, nervous system, and liver disorders.  Lemon Balm essential oil has been shown to have a calming effect in early scientific research.




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