Melissa officinalis

Family: Lamiaceae (Mint family)

Deities: Freya, Ochosi

Element: Water

Balm (aka Lemon Balm) has long been associated with the Moon and bees.

Medicinal Uses: Balm fights some infection causing bacteria (including Streptococci) and contains anesthesizing compounds so it is used to help heal wounds. This perennial herb is also an anti-viral and is used to treat mumps and the herpes simplex virus. Like many mints, balm soothes the digestive tract. It may also bring menestruation. The oil of balm shows antihistamine activity and may relieve allergy symptoms. The chemical compounds in balm are much stronger in the fresh herb than in the dried.

Spiritual Uses: Balm has been used by European and Arabic herbalists for centuries to find love and spiritual healing. Because of their love of balm, the plant works well with anything having to do with bees, including honey.

Native to Europe, balm was brought to the New World and now grows wild in the Eastern US. With its hairy, branching stems and ovate leaves, balm can grow up to 3 feet tall. The white or yellowish flowers grow in loose bunches at the base of the leaves.