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Grow Some Calming Mood Boosting Lemon Balm

Lift your spirits with the fragrance and refreshing flavor of lemon balm. This member of the mint family has long been known for reducing anxiety, calming digestion and improving one’s mood.

This perennial herb is hardy in zones 4 to 10. Unlike many of its mint family relatives, it spreads by seeds not underground rhizomes. So, remove the flowers before they set seed to prevent it from taking over your garden.

Grow lemon balm in full sun and moist well-drained soil.  Harvest the leafy stems as needed and when possible right before flowering for maximum flavor. Regular harvesting encourages new growth for future cutting.

Use lemon balm for flavoring soups, stews, fish, pork and egg dishes.  Save some for jams, teas and vinegars.

You’ll enjoy the best flavor when used fresh, but the fragrance remains after drying. 

A bit more information: Make lemon balm or other edible herb vinegars with at least one part washed herb leaf stems and blossoms with 4 parts of white vinegar. Allow the herbs to steep in the vinegar for three to six weeks. Test, and once you have the desired flavor, strain the vinegar and place in a decorative bottle.

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