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Apr Herb of the Month
Herb of the Month Lemon Balm
Botanical Name: Melissa officinalis

Common Name: Lemon Balm, Balm Mint, Melissa, Sweet Balm

Family: Mint (Lamiaceae)

Parts Used: Leaves

Uses: Lemon balm has been used to support the nervous system for centuries, even before the middle ages! In the minds of herbalists, lemon balm has become synonymous with the word uplift.  It also acts as a mild sedative that can help you if you*re struggling to stay asleep all night. Multiple studies have shown lemon balm*s effectiveness at boosting feelings of calm and improving negative moods.
Summary: One of my favorite uses of Lemon Balm is to aid digestive upset * this herb calms the digestive system and eases indigestion, especially when upset is caused by anxiety. Enjoy sweet melissa as an herbal infusion, tincture, or carry it with you as a gentle, uplifting reminder to help soothe your troubles.    *Truly a balm to the spirits, Melissa soothes anxiety, nervousness, and depression; it gladdens the heart and brings light where there is darkness and softness where there is tension.* ~ The Herbal Academy

Actions: Antiviral, Antispasmodic, Antidepressant, Antioxidant, Carminative, Anxiolytic, Nervine

Taste: Refreshing, sweet, astringent, lemony

Energetics: Cooling + Drying

Safety: Lemon Balm is a very gentle herb that can be used by most people. There are some studies pointing to constituents in Lemon Balm interfering with thyroid hormones, but there have not been clinical studies on humans confirming this potential effect.

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We have just entered into the first quarter of 2019, and with Easter around the corner, if your like me, I am excited for the warmer weather.  We have already had such irrational weather for the first of the year. 

Spring is always the promise of new things, and this month we are featuring our Pendants and Talisman jewelry.  You can find a list of the new items on page 5 of this newsletter.

Our herb this month is Lemon Balm, AKA Melissa, this herb is a wonderful herb for so many things,  Please find those uses and benefits on pages 2 and 3.
Wishing you a glorious, joyful Easter, 

Until next month,
The Editor

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Lemon Balm title
Lemon Balm
1. Calms the Mind
Lemon balm has been used for centuries to care for wounds and quell sleeplessness. Some attest that the pure, sweet aroma of the oil promotes a feeling of relaxation. Most sweet oils are said to provide the same benefit.

2. Encourages Restful Sleep
Lemon balm encourages restful sleep, especially for those who have trouble falling asleep. In one study, parents reported their children slept more peacefully throughout the night with lemon balm supplementation. It doesn't only benefit restless children and their sleep-deprived parents. A placebo-controlled trial found that menopausal women suffering from interrupted sleep reported much better rest after taking a lemon balm and Valerian extract.

3. Improves Skin Appearance
The first cosmetic use of lemon balm goes back to the 14th century when the Queen of Hungary reportedly used it to erase years from her face by softening wrinkles. Today, it's still recommended for boosting the appearance of skin and reducing the appearance of fine lines. Lemon balm also contains volatile components, such as caffeic acid, p-coumaric acid, and rosmarinic acid, that work together to support the body's natural response to the harmful organisms that cause lip blemishes]

4. Boosts Alertness
Although lemon balm calms the mind, it certainly doesn't dull the mind. In the right serving, it does the exact opposite. An Australian study reported improved alertness in participants who took the herb. The reported side effects, if you can call them that, included calm feelings and a positive mood.

5. Sharpens Memory and Problem Solving
Studies like the one above observed improved memory and problem-solving in test subjects, regardless of age, after taking lemon balm. Young or old, those taking lemon balm supplements displayed improvement in problem-solving skills and recall.
Though preliminary, some studies have examined lemon balm and its relation to brain health. When combined with acupuncture, eugenol, a powerful antioxidant in lemon balm, helped test subjects recover memory-related functions.[4] Another study showed participants had significant improvements in brain function after 16 weeks of administration of a lemon balm extract containing 500 mcg of citral - a component of lemon balm oil.
Another study reported that lemon balm helps stimulate memory and enhance mood. A phytochemical found in lemon balm suppresses the enzymes that break down the neurotransmitter responsible for memory and thought.

6. Powerful Antioxidant
Lemon balm is loaded with antioxidants that protect cells from free radicals. Studies on eugenol and rosmarinic acid show they support healthy brain aging. The list of powerful antioxidants includes ferulic acid, caffeic acid, and quercetin.

7. Supports the Liver
The liver detoxifies dangerous compounds from the body and, over time, can become tired and sluggish, especially if you follow an unhealthy diet. Animal studies have found that lemon balm is effective at protecting the liver from some of the negative effects of an unhealthy diet.  Lemon balm also supports the liver's production of two important antioxidants -glutathione and superoxide dismutase

8. Supports Normal Blood Sugar
Many herbs that provide antioxidants also promote balanced blood sugar. Although preliminary, research suggests that lemon balm may encourage normal blood sugar levels.

9. Protects Brain Cells
Beyond the positive effects on memory, thinking, and mood, research suggests lemon balm supports brain health. Antioxidants like eugenol detain free radicals before they can attack brain cells.
Rosmarinic acid, a key compound in lemon balm, is beneficial in this regard. If the brain doesn't get enough blood, it can quickly become an emergency that affects brain function. Animal models show that, when provided shortly after such an episode, lemon balm appears to protect the brain.

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Recipe Corner title
Lemon Balm title

LEMON BALM TEA - Make a therapy tea by steeping a heaping teaspoon of dried leaves or a large tablespoon of fresh for about 15 minutes. Mix with some honey and this is a great tea for children over 2 years old that have a fever or a cold. Of course, it's good for us adults also!

HOT WATER INFUSIONS - Lemon balm infusions have been used historically to treat Newcastle Disease, herpes and even the mumps! To make a hot water infusion fill a glass jar (a canning jar works but I love my coffee press for this!) 1/3 full of the dried lemon balm leaves or about 3/4 full of fresh. Fill the jar with boiling water, cap and let steep for at least 4 hours. The long steeping time brings out much more of the medicinal qualities of the herb.

LEMON BALM TINCTURE - I love making tinctures or extracts as they're sometimes called! A teaspoon of lemon balm tincture added to either warm or cold water is a quick way to make tea without steeping. They last for years and are a great addition to your herbal medicine cabinet! Learn how to make tinctures here!

LEMON BALM POULTICE - Using the leaves as a poultice can help heal small wounds, insect bites and cold sores. In Germany, lemon balm cream is a common over the counter treatment for cold sores! Learn more about making poultices here.

LEMON BALM MOSQUITO REPELLENT - Crush a handful of fresh leaves and rub them on your skin for a natural mosquito repellent! Here's a page dedicated to the pests!

LEMON BALM LEMONADE - This lemon balm recipe makes about 6 cups and has only about 36 calories per cup! Of course, you can add more honey if you like it a little sweeter but that will up the calories. You'll need:

    3 cups loosely packed, fresh lemon balm leaves (or about 1 cup dried)
    6 cups hot water
    Juice of 4 fresh lemons (around 1 cup)
    3 Tablespoons honey (I wonder how pure maple syrup would taste in this?

Put the leaves in the bottom of a 2 quart pitcher. Lightly crush the leaves with a wooden spoon or plastic potato masher. Pour the hot water over the leaves and let it steep around 1 hour. After an hour, strain the leaves then add the lemon juice and honey.

Stir it well before serving. Add a small sprig of lemon balm as a garnish if your feeling fancy:) This refreshing tea is wonderful either hot or cold!


Get creative and make your own lemon balm recipes! Lemon balm can be used in any recipes that would benefit from a soft lemon flavor. Just remember to chop it finely. Here's a few ideas:

    FISH - Add about 1 Tablespoon of minced leaves to about 1/2 cup of mayonnaise or tarter sauce for a mild lemon zing.
    FRUIT - Add about 2 teaspoons fresh, minced leaves per 1 cup of fruit. Great for any type of fruit salad!
    SALSA - Add a teaspoon or 2 to your favorite salsa recipe for something a little different.

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We are well into 2019 and some major cosmic events have happened thus far. The days are going by quite fast and with that, the energies are building.

There is an energetic shift underway. The universe is preparing to make changes and as the celestial world works its magic, you might be feeling quite tense. During this time you should push yourself to really spread your wings and allow your roots take off in ways the normally would not.

Right now you are probably feeling like you are much more aware of your own emotions. You will be learning to really differentiate from your stream of consciousness and the collective you*re connected to. The next few weeks are going to go by extremely fast and you might get knocked off of your feet for a good second, be prepared.

You are moving into a period of learning that you most likely are not quite prepared for. Do your best to shift towards a more open mindset and see where things take you. We will all be stepping up the ladder that reins in the new year quite quickly whether we realize it or not.

Many people are noticing the energies before them and some have begun really doing their best to make sure they are working with them properly.

Astromark reported as follows regarding the shift we are currently feeling:

    Big decisions and the beginning of big changes are in store for you. Starting back in 2017, astrological energy started shaking you up as they build towards a planetary alignment in 2020. Shifts that happen every 84 and 50 years teased us in 2018, and they are now ready to gain traction to revolutionize your life.

    Jupiter encourages you to open your belief system to something larger, to take a risk on yourself to manifest your goals and dreams. Uranus is like a lightning rod sparking you to innovative new ways to live your life.

This pointing out that while there have been minor shifts throughout the years, the one before us is going to be quite big. You might be going to bed early and feeling exhausted all the while.

You are through this going to be working within to do a lot of healing during the first few months of 2019 which is going to help you set the best mood for the months to come.

Many people will be waking up during this time period and there is no slowing down once the new year is brought in. If you*ve been sitting at the sidelines waiting for life to pass you by, now is the time to jump back in and ride out the waves before you.
Your expectations are not going to be compromised now, you can and will get where you need to be if you apply yourself properly.

World Healing Academy wrote as follows on the energies we're facing this week and the weeks to come:

    This week the Energy you feel is calling you into your heart and Soul. You may not know specifically why you feel drawn to spend some time in Nature, alone meditating or doing deep breathing with the *Universal Divine of your Heart* reflecting and re-energizing*.but I can tell you that you should trust your intuition right now.

Because the energies shifting before us are so intense you may feel a bit of confusion here and there but if you surrender to these energies willingly everything will begin to make sense. You are going to lose your ego and find yourself in 2019 whether you want to or not.

This year is going to bring you through a lot and the shift that we are facing right now is the very beginning of that. Start questioning more and challenging your state of consciousness.

The first Mercury retrograde is right around the corner and Uranus will enter Taurus for the first time in 84 years! Your emotions are going to be all over the place, so it is important that you give yourself the time to breathe.

Do your best to come into the moment and be here in the now. You only get one life and what you do with that life is up to you. Become as awake as you can and see where this wave of positivity takes you. While energetic shifts can be scary, this one will be a
piece of cake.

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