Other Names: Lemongrass, Melissa officinalis, Melisa, Melisse
Botanical Information: It is a durable perennial herbaceous plant from the Ballıbaba family, growing up to 1 m. Its body has a rectangular cross-section, hairy and branching structure. Its oval-shaped, toothed and hairy leaves have a lemon scent. Its very light yellow or whitish small flowers, which bloom in clusters from summer to autumn, have two lips: dark brown, tiny and tear-shaped seeds are shiny. Since it is very difficult to grow from seeds, the plant is propagated either by division or by taking stem cuttings.
Places of Cultivation: It is a plant of the Mediterranean basin and is widely cultivated in Southern Europe. It grows in the Marmara, Aegean and Mediterranean regions of our country.
Known Composition: Contains essential oils including citral, stranellal, linalool and pinemia, as well as flavone and resin.
Collection – Storage: Leaves are collected before the plant blooms, and those collected again in September and November have a low smell and quality. Leaves should be collected without being crushed. Leaves that turn yellow and dark when crushed should be removed. They should be spread thinly in airy, shaded places and dried quickly. It can be artificially dried at 35′c. Dried leaves should be protected from light and should not be stored for more than 1 year.
Areas of Use: Young leaves are added to salads and some foods and drinks to give them a pleasant lemon scent. It is brewed as lemon balm tea and drunk with pleasure.
It is good for all cramps and gas bloating in the digestive system.
It has a calming effect and is used successfully against digestive problems that may result from fear and depression.
It strengthens the heart and blood circulation. It can reduce high blood pressure by dilating superficial blood vessels.
Due to its diaphoretic properties, it is useful in reducing fever in diseases such as flu.
It also provides relief from hyperthyroidism.
It has a soothing effect on the central nervous system.
How to use: Pour 1 glass of boiling water over 2-3 teaspoons of dry or 4-6 spoons of tender leaves and let it brew for 10-15 minutes, keeping it tightly covered until drinking. The tea prepared in this way is drunk once in the morning and evening, or as needed.