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Article: Balm: Lemon Balm

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gloria125
Greensboro, AL

April 13, 2010
6:25 AM

Post #7701967

I always wondered what to do with it! Lemonade! Of course!

irisMA

irisMA
South Hamilton, MA

April 13, 2010
6:27 AM

Post #7701973

Your article was full of fun as always. Living in a city suburb, we drank our lemonade 'straight'.
Elena
Middle, TN
(Zone 6b)

April 13, 2010
7:19 AM

Post #7702121

I think you might have just solved a mystery for me. I have several pots of what could be lemon balm. I have picked up plants at swaps for years and always seem to lose the tags or fail to put tags on them. I now have several mystery plants that look exactly like your photos. I will wait for a while until they bloom and see if that is what I have. We are tea and lemonade drinkers and I surely would enjoy a slight change in the taste of those drinks. I use my mint in them and now might start to use lemon balm if I am sure of what I have. Holding on and waiting until they bloom cause I don't want to poison anyone.
Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

April 13, 2010
7:20 AM

Post #7702125

Hi Ladies,

I still put a sprig of mint or balm in my teas and lemonade. Doesn't everybody? I'm sitting here right now looking at mint growing in massive numbers all over the back flower bed which hasn't been weeded yet. Some of it just has to go, so does some of the balm. But I'll leave enough to flavor my drinks. I just can't drink them 'straight'!

Good to hear from you, thank you for writing.

I'll share my wisteria 'tree' with you this morning...happy spring!

Thumbnail by Sharran
Click the image for an enlarged view.

postmandug

postmandug
Bardstown, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 13, 2010
7:51 AM

Post #7702201

Very pretty wisteria Cuz! Did the Christmas fern show up? How about the Mountain Laurel?

Doug
KyWoods
Melbourne, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 13, 2010
9:21 AM

Post #7702437

LOL, you dropped a 'bom' in the lemonade...sounds funny! But yeah, I can't wait for all my mints to grow out so I can drop a few 'boms', too. I like mine in sun tea.
I love all your writing, Shar, thanks for the chuckle again!
Yuska
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 13, 2010
9:35 AM

Post #7702467

Another great memory boost! I think of those long ago days when I went "scrounging" with my maternal grandmother Mai. "Poke" and "dock" in the spring - persimmons and sandplums in the fall. I grew lemon balm some years ago - not sure why I don't have it now. I'm sending off an order to Le Jardin du Gourmet right now! Thanks, Sharon.
Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

April 13, 2010
9:48 AM

Post #7702495

Hey Doug...
Here's a photo of the Mountain Laurel...the mimosa has leaves all over and the Christmas fern is peeping up. I lost something, or it hasn't made an appearance yet, but can't remember what it was...a tall thing in a pot, I think, not sure. But I keep watching for it. This Mt. Laurel photo was taken a couple of weeks ago, I'll get another one this evening. I can't wait for blooms.

Thanks KY...yup, gotta have that balm and mint!

Yuska...you get that lemon balm, and you put it in your lemonade...you'll love it! And I am so glad you have memories too. Even the poke sallet one!

Thank you all...it's fun to share memories with you.

Here's the Mountain Laurel, Doug...I'll get the others later today, you did real good, Cuz!...

Thumbnail by Sharran
Click the image for an enlarged view.

postmandug

postmandug
Bardstown, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 13, 2010
10:05 AM

Post #7702535

Looks to be very happy and healthy in the spot you've chosen! The missing thing wouldn't have been a Bracken Fern would it? I did bring some I know.

Doug
NanuBunny
Poquoson, VA
(Zone 8a)

April 13, 2010
10:17 AM

Post #7702561

Another enjoyable article, Sharon - "Bom" - LOL! I hope you didn't drop it in your milk, too. That does not sound very appetizing... I will have to try the lemon balm (bom) in my iced tea and lemonade (I have to grow some, first, though).

The Mountain Laurel is really beautiful, Sharon and Doug! I love Mountain Laurel - it's the state flower in Pennsylvania, and was all over the mountains where I used to live. June was absolutely breathtaking up there in the (appropriately named) Laurel Highlands. Wonder how it would do here? Probably not very well.

Thanks for an entertaining article (as usual)

Bonnie

postmandug

postmandug
Bardstown, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 13, 2010
10:41 AM

Post #7702612

Bonnie it might do OK there, won't hurt to try. The one I gave Sharon was not a typical native type Kalmia Latifolia though but it looks like it's doing very well there.

Doug
roseone33
Southern Mountains, GA
(Zone 6b)

April 13, 2010
12:53 PM

Post #7702893

Very interesting. I recently found a small but growing patch in m compost pile, not put there by me. It smells and looks nice but I have a strong feeling it's invasive. We'll see. But I hope to enjoy it in the meantime.
Thanks Sharran, for another good one.
oldkate
Hillsboro, OH

April 13, 2010
2:35 PM

Post #7703179

Elena, just crush the leaf of your plant that you think is lemon balm - if it's sort of oily and smells like a fresh-sliced lemon, it's lemon balm. It would be hardy in the ground in Tennessee; I have it here-and-there in my southern Ohio yard. Lemon verbena is a bit different. Sharran, lemon balm is one of the first plants I give to new gardeners - if they can't grown that, I don't give them more delicate plants, at least, right away. Thanks!
Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

April 13, 2010
5:00 PM

Post #7703495

Could be, Doug, I'm not sure. Neither of us...we didn't label them, now did we??
But I sure am happy with the laurel.

Hi Bonnie...they grew all over the mountains at home too. I love them!

Hi Rose, thanks!

Kate...I think your thumb is so green you can grow most anything up there!

Thanks, all of you...good luck with your 'bom'...

And no, Bonnie...I can't think of anything worse than lemon milk.
Elena
Middle, TN
(Zone 6b)

April 13, 2010
5:20 PM

Post #7703555

Kate, I will crush a leaf tomorow and see if it smells right. I don't know about the oily part as I can never remember a plant seeming oily. I will let you know.
gloria125
Greensboro, AL

April 15, 2010
10:05 AM

Post #7707545

lemon milk - sounds like it would curdle. In home ec class, we put lemon juice in milk to make fake buttermilk for biscuits.
Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

April 15, 2010
11:32 PM

Post #7709234

Ha...my grandmother used to do that. She baked the very best biscuits, too.
nogottarancho
Maricopa, AZ

April 19, 2010
5:57 AM

Post #7717493

outstanding wisteria; wish we could grow it in PHX area. your back yard is so green. bout all we got is Tombstone Rose and Saguaros. LOL

Thumbnail by nogottarancho
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

April 19, 2010
7:42 AM

Post #7717798

Oh but look at that Tombstone Rose!!

How pretty.

You are going to have to close your eyes and remember all those green springs you had in KY.
Good to hear from you, thanks.
gloriaf
Bainbridge, GA

April 19, 2010
11:48 AM

Post #7718482

Enjoyed the Lemon Balm article. I grow Lemon Balm every year along with other herbs. I love to pick a leaf off each of the herbs as I walk by and crush it, then smell the wonderful fragrance. There's nothing like using fresh herbs (and drying them for use during winter.)

Gloria
Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

April 19, 2010
3:52 PM

Post #7719047

You are right, Gloria.
Thanks for reading the article..
Happy Spring!

Sharon
Liquidambar2
Mount Vernon, KY

May 2, 2010
5:02 PM

Post #7758117

I have lemon balm, same start for years and years. I use to make tea and put lemon balm in it.
Then I started feeling bad, like my legs were like lead. One time I went into Wal Mart to get milk and it was just too far in the back for me to go!!! I was only 45!

Turns out it was my thyroid.

Now maybe my thyroid went bad for another reason, but in my herb book; it says if you have thyroid trouble do not drink or eat it. The herb book says that one of it's uses is for people that have an over reactive thyroid.

I know, there is always some one to throw a wet blanket over everything, that is me.

But with a wisteria like you have, Sharron, well some people might just get too uppity and all that.
I still keep my lemon balm though, because I still love the smell.
I also often wonder if lemon balm could slow an over active thyroid, then why is it that everyone that I know that has the problem with an over active thyroid gets radiatied?????

This message was edited May 8, 2010 4:04 PM
Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

May 2, 2010
7:42 PM

Post #7758655

I don't know that aspect of it, LA, first time I've heard of it. But if it is that powerful, you'd think it would be used for OA thyroid.

Strange.

Thanks for the information.

Here's Blue Kentucky Girl for you...

Thumbnail by Sharran
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Liquidambar2
Mount Vernon, KY

May 2, 2010
9:06 PM

Post #7758843

Why thank you Sharran;
That is a great shade of blue!!! and rare!!! I have not seen one of that color. Very beautiful! I like it when you share your garden. I guess your Columbines are all gone by now? Irises are blooming here now.

Oh I found this: Not much point in having books around anymore with the internet, except, I still think my herb books are pretty.

http://autoimmunedisease.suite101.com/article.cfm/lemon_balm_in_autoimmune_disease

It says toward the bottom that it is used in Europe to treat Mild Graves disease (over active thyroid).

I don't know if it was the cause or not of my problem. I had a lot of stress at that time and stress too can bring on a lot of problems. But I don't drink tea with it anymore. I use to love it too. Who would have thought????

This message was edited May 3, 2010 12:19 AM
Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

May 3, 2010
7:57 AM

Post #7759856

Interesting...who would have thought?

Don't take any chances...just be well.

The columbines are very nearly gone now, but the irises have taken over. (so have the weeds!)
gloria125
Greensboro, AL

May 7, 2010
6:34 AM

Post #7771691

Liquidambar: After surgery to remove a thymus gland last year I developed thyroid disease -- apparently from the stress of the surgery. I have both overactive and underactive thyroid -- cycling too fast and then too slow. As you probably know either one makes you feel really bad. I do not recommend radiation treatments for thyroid unless it is an absolute final resort. What you need is the best endocrinologist you can find. Do not try to self medicate. There are a number of things that affect thryroid function, but the best thing is to stick with the perscribed medication and go in for the six week or three month check ups without fail. This is nothing to fool with. Doing so can burn out your thyroid prematurely and you can be on medication for the rest of your life and not feeling well even with that.

There are a number of foods that interfere with thyroid function called 'goitrogens'.

They are discussed here:

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=fightdz&dbid=17

This message was edited May 7, 2010 8:38 AM
Liquidambar2
Mount Vernon, KY

May 7, 2010
11:26 AM

Post #7772599

Why thankyou Gloria for your concern.

I am not trying to medicate myself though. I have been going to doctors of 15 years for it. The docs do not seem concerned, they only check me out once a year, but then it is not their thyroid, now is it?

I have on several occasions drop 30 pounds (I thought I looked great) yes sir eeeee, I found a new way to lose weight. BUT then I only just as suddenly gain it all back and more (did not look so great then, and lost some of my interest in gardening - Gasp! that can't be - I would have to be dead, well feel dead anyway).

I started out take .25, then it was upped to .50 and last year they upped the synthroid to .75.

It is suppose to be an autoimmune thing that is destroying my thyroid, right???

I went on a low carb diet with my husband and son (such a diet is recommended for the aquired mitonchondria disorder my husband has and epilepesy my son had because of a vaccine induced stroke as a baby. Low carb helps with the immune system.

This year my thyroid has been good and maintained what it is suppose to do.

I am going to look at the other foods you suggest I avoid, and I apprieciate it. I am scared it will some day turn on and speed up instead of slow down and then they will radiate me.

I don't want to glow in the dark! But according to all the comic books I might get some kind of super powers from being radiated. If I had a choice I would choose a power were I could destroy all the apple-cedar rust in my area.

So cabbage family slows it down? Well!

Vitamin A to make it healthy. Plenty of vitamin A in sweet potatoes. We were allowed sweet potatoes on our diet (slow release carbs) but not white potatoes though. I had a bumper crop last year and we are still eating on them.

This message was edited May 7, 2010 2:34 PM
gloria125
Greensboro, AL

May 8, 2010
6:10 AM

Post #7774698

I think probably the most important nutrients for thyroid are minerals and most of them work in synergy with each other so its not a good idea to take one and not the others. Copper is especially inmportant and of course iodine for thyroid. Taking just one mineral as a supplement can throw all of them out of balance. The best thing to do is eat lots of fruits and vegetables -- and yes they are carbohydrates. Look for low glycemic carbs. A no carb diet can be dangerous because nearly all the essential nutrients are found in fruits and vegetables.

Yeah! I thought oh my. Lost 50 lbs in about 3 months. Bought new clothes. Then it all came back -- this time in the butt instead of around the middle where it was before!

Its called 'metabolic syndrome' and it sounds to me like you would feel better if you found a good endocrinologist. One thing hyperthyroid does is make you scatter brained. Its hard to stay focused on just ordinary thing.

Sorry to hijack your thread Sharran, but it is important for everyone to take good care of their health.
Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

May 8, 2010
7:00 AM

Post #7774835

My threads can't be hijacked, Gloria...you always provide important and excellent information. Feel free to just keep right on doing it.

I do hope you are well...
Thank you!
Liquidambar2
Mount Vernon, KY

May 8, 2010
1:32 PM

Post #7775636

Thank you again Gloria and Sharran.
I understand your warning for a low carb diet. but it is not what a lot of people think!

A modified Atkins diet for epilepsy is only 15 grams of carb a day - apple is 20 carbs. So it is strict. If you go with the low glycemic diet - if you are careful about your choice of slow release carbs you can eat 30 - to - 60 carbs a day.

But it has saved my husband's life. Probably my son's too, and my daughter's. We were on a very strict low carb diet for a while. We are easing up on it some now though. \

It is not such a bad diet. For example: Breakfast; A couple piecies of bacon and an egg. Dinner: baked salmon and a salad with blue cheese salad dressing. Supper: Green beans, half of a large sweet potatoe and a beef burger without the bun.

You don't get hungrey like you do on a high carb diet. But for some reason you crave chocolate. I never cared for it before I went on this diet. But Dr. Atkins must have known that because he has tons of suggestion, as well as recipes with chocolate in it. Semi sweet chocolate chips is allowed but limited. (but my family will eat a bag a day ) I limited them and for my efforts they call me the "kitchen nazi".

My favorite thing on the low carb diet is a zucchini pizza. My family loves it! It has zucchini, tomatoes, all the herbs that goes into it and of course the mozzarella cheese and parmesian cheese; all baked up together.

In the summer I shred tons of zucchini - I filled two freezer full and we ate it all!

But I have a question on lemon balm. I never put it in a salad, and now I probably won't, but how does it taste? Does it give the salad a lemony taste?

Oh, and I am not giving up cabbage in the spring. I still plan on steaming our cabbage up soon and fixing my corn bread (using whole wheat instead of white flour) to go with it. There are things I refuse to give up.
Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

May 8, 2010
2:02 PM

Post #7775675

It's hard to describe. When I used to bake fish, I often use lemon balm, fresh, sprinkled over the fish just toward the end of baking time. Sometimes I used fennel instead, but never together.

It is a lemony taste, but not as if you squeezed a lemon on it, more subtle than that.

I don't cook much, if any, meat or fish anymore, but if I did, I'd do it the same way. It's also good in a salad, fresh though, not dried. It adds the same perky flavor as when cooked. A tiny bit lemony.
KyWoods
Melbourne, KY
(Zone 6a)

May 8, 2010
2:14 PM

Post #7775687

Oddly, my lemon balm didn't come back this spring! The KY Colonel spearmint and the chocolate mint did. I had them all planted in the same bed...does that matter?
Liquidambar2
Mount Vernon, KY

May 8, 2010
2:54 PM

Post #7775754

Thanks Sharran, it really sounds great. I am beginning to think that maybe lemon balm is no worse than cabbage.

KY Woods: Did the mints crowd it out?
KyWoods
Melbourne, KY
(Zone 6a)

May 8, 2010
3:07 PM

Post #7775786

Could be--the chocolate mint is really vigorous!
Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

May 8, 2010
7:38 PM

Post #7776462

For some reason I think the lemon balm is not as aggressive as the mints, not sure, but seems I remember that. I keep mine potted, so I can't tell you for sure, but that might be why it didn't come back.

Sorry, KY, hope you get more.

You're welcome, LA! A little bit of a good thing occasionally surely can't hurt too much.
KyWoods
Melbourne, KY
(Zone 6a)

May 8, 2010
7:40 PM

Post #7776466

Good idea, Shar, I saw some for sale around here--I'll get it and keep it in a pot so I can bring it in over the winter. Thanks for the tip!
Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

May 8, 2010
7:42 PM

Post #7776473

You're welcome...nip it back occasionally and it gets really bushy and full. Pretty.
gloria125
Greensboro, AL

May 9, 2010
7:16 AM

Post #7777247

Liquidambar: There has been a lot of criticism of the Atkins diet for weight loss because it "throws out the baby with the bathwater" as far as carbs are concerned and has too much fat. It limits fruits and vegetables and whole grains that every one needs as well as the breads, pastas, desserts that no one needs.

However, the modified Atkins diet for epilepsy has apparently been very successful:

http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/press_releases/2008/01_28_08.html

I remember a girl in our class who had epilepsy and it must be such a scarey thing to deal with. My best wishes to you and your family for coming to terms with this disease.
Liquidambar2
Mount Vernon, KY

May 10, 2010
4:09 PM

Post #7781416

Thanks Gloria for the link. I have not been able to find it on the internet. We discovered it because it was in one of the articles of my son's yearly magazine for Epilepsy. It is so much better than the very hard to follow Ketgenic diet. That was mostly drinking a lot of cream and a MCT oil (derived from coconuts) use to be used in IVs during WWII and still used for brain injury patients needing IVs in the hospital.

Yes, epilepsy is scary, but the Atkin's diet is also being suggested for alziheimer's, autism, vasculitis, and other autoimmune disorders too.

Thanks for the link again
gloria125
Greensboro, AL

May 10, 2010
5:39 PM

Post #7781645

For additional information, go to:
http://www.hopkinsneuro.org/epilepsy/doc.cfm/expert/Eric_Kossoff
http://www.hopkinsneuro.org/index.cfm
http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/Press_releases/2005/12_05_05.html

These links were listed as additional information.

Sometimes the internet can really be a big help when trying to crack a problem where you don't like the existing answers!

Liquidambar2
Mount Vernon, KY

May 10, 2010
7:03 PM

Post #7781959

Wow Gloria;
You must be a real wizard with the internet. You found more articles! They were all very too.

And thanks again!
gloria125
Greensboro, AL

May 10, 2010
7:22 PM

Post #7782015

'twasn't nothin' --- those links were just at the bottom of the first article. I just wanted to be sure that you saw them. You can send me a d mail if I can help further. I find all this stuff fascinating.
Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

May 10, 2010
10:36 PM

Post #7782423

Fascinating, yes. Thank you, Gloria, from me too.

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