Hi, my loves and welcome to WiccaNow. Recently I’ve been sharing guides to all of my favourite magickal herbs and plants, like this post all about the magickal properties of comfrey. I’ve also shared a post about daisy magick, another all about elderberry, a guide to using fennel in magick and most recently a post about the magickal properties of ginger. Today I want to continue in this vein by sharing a guide to the magickal properties of lemon balm with you.
Lemon balm has been revered as a medicinal plant for centuries. It was prized for its calming effects and was even called the “elixir of life” by various famous herbalists. The magickal properties of lemon balm include love, success, longevity and healing among others.
Disclaimer: Any medicinal benefits given here are a product of my own research and as such should not be taken over the advice of trained medical professionals. If you are ill, please go and see a doctor. Always make sure that anything you consume is 100% safe. If you are pregnant, consult your doctor or midwife before consuming something you haven’t tried before.
If you enjoy reading about the magickal properties of different herbs and plants, check out this gorgeous plant magick grimoire we’ve created! It contains 29 beautifully illustrated pages for all our favourite plants. The best bit? This version comes as a digital download, so you don’t have to wait through pesky shipping times or delays. What’s not to love? Check it out below or keep scrolling to read all about the magick of fennel!
Table of Contents
History of Lemon Balm
Lemon balm, also known as Melissa officinalis, is a member of the Lamiaceae family which also contains mint, sage and lavender among many others. It’s native to south-central Europe, Central Asia, Iran and the Mediterranean Basin but is now naturalized all over the world.
Lemon balm is an old healing herb which has been used medicinally for over 2000 years. It’s mentioned in “Historia Plantarum” by Theophrastus which has been dated to sometime around 300BC.
Virgil and Pliney the Elder both wrote about lemon balm and considered it a great food for bees. They both reported that rubbing the leaves onto a new beehive will entice bees to colonise the new hive as they are attracted to the strong aroma.
Lemon balm was introduced to Spain sometime in 600BC, after which it quickly spread through all of Europe. It was widely used in the Middle Ages and many herbalists called it the “elixir of life”. The Charlemagne (742-814AD) ordered that it be planted in every monastery garden becausehe loved its calming effects so much. During the 900s, Middle Eastern physicians are noted to have used lemon balm to fortify the heart and to treat melancholy.
During the 1600s, the Carmelite Nuns made a famous tonic named Carmelite Water. The main ingredients of this water were lemon balm, lemon zest, nutmeg, angelica root and coriander. This tonic was sold for 100s of years under the name “Eau de Me’lisse de Carmes” and was mainly used to treat nervous disorders. You can still buy it in some places in Germany under the name “Klosterfrau Melissengeist”.
In Europe, lemon balm was used to freshen the floors in rooms and was often strewn between pews in churches to keep the air smelling fresh and clean. This was common all the way until the 1800s.
Lemon balm was introduced to North America by early colonists and it was one of the herbs which were cultivated and grown in Thomas Jefferson’s garden. It was predominantly used to make tea, attract bees and in potpourri. It was also used to substitute lemons in jams and jellies.
Today lemon balm is often found in herb gardens and is a common tea. It’s planted as an insect-friendly plant to encourage pollination of other plants because bees love it, as do hummingbirds and butterflies.
Fun Facts about Lemon Balm
- Lemon balm is a vigorous grower and you need to be careful where you plant it or else it will overtake your whole garden.
- Lemon balm can be grown both from seed and vegetatively, meaning that it will produce clones as well as genetically different plants.
- The name “melissa” comes from the Greek word “melitta” meaning bee, which is derived from “meli” meaning honey.
- Lemon balm is a common ingredient in furniture polish.
- The Greeks believed that planting lemon balm next to a beehive would prevent the bees from leaving the hive.
- Legend has it that Louis XIV had a physician who really believed that lemon balm was the elixir of life. He tried out his theory on an older chicken which had stopped laying. According to his records, after giving the bird the lemon balm tonic for a few days, it grew shiny new feathers and started laying eggs again.
- There was a Welsh prince who reportedly lived to 108 and believed this was because he drank at least one cup of lemon balm tea a day.
- You can rub lemon balm directly onto your skin to make an instant insect repellent.
- Any herb or plant which is given the name “officinalis” is recognised as having significant medicinal benefits. It means “used in medicine”.
Medicinal Uses of Lemon Balm
Lemon balm is considered safe to consume in reasonable amounts. It’s commonly drunk in tea form but also comes as a balm, in capsule form or as a tonic.
Please be aware that long term or excessive use of lemon balm can have adverse effects including dizziness, increased body temperature and stomach pain among others. Minimise the effects on your stomach by taking lemon balm with food, and preferably consume no more than 2gms of it per day.
If you have any serious health conditions or are pregnant, always talk to a qualified doctor before trying any new herbal treatments.
- Skin irritations
- Helps sooth insect bites
- May ease feelings of stress
- May help with symptoms of anxiety
- May aid digestion
- May boost brain function
- May help to relieve insomnia
- May help to treat cold sores
- May help to treat nausea
- May help to relieve menstrual cramps
- May relieve headache pain
- May lessen tooth pain
- Can relieve itching from insect bites
Magickal Properties of Lemon Balm
Harness the magickal properties of lemon balm by drying the leaves and adding them to love sachets and amulets. If you want to increase the love you hold for your friends, you can place some lemon balm in wine for a few hours. Share this wine with friends to cement your bond.
Hanging lemon balm in the home is ensures that you always choose the right path to go down while also inviting love into your home and life. Use lemon balm in healing magick and sachets.
If you want to manifest your dreams, write whatever it is that you want to manifest onto a piece of paper and wrap this paper and some lemon balm root in a piece of fabric and carry it with you until what you desired has manifested.
If you worship the goddess Diana, use this herb in your workings with her. It’s believed to be sacred to her and is an appreciated offering. If you are working with the moon, lemon balm is always useful.
If you want to purify your home or any ritual tools you are working with, burn some dried lemon grass and use the smoke to perform a smoke cleansing. Carrying lemon balm on your person will help if you suffer from anxiety.
Other Magickal Properties of Lemon Balm
- RenewalLearn all about the magickal properties of lemon balm along with its history, medicinal benefits and its magickal associations and correspondences.
Magickal Associations of Lemon Balm
Deities – Aphrodite, Diana
Magickal Correspondences of Lemon Balm
Zodiac – Cancer, Leo and Pisces
Planet – The Moon
Element – Water
Gender – Feminine
So, my lovelies, I hope this guide gives you all the information you were looking for about the magickal properties of lemon balm! May your days be filled with calmness, you life filled with love and your life long and healthy.
Until next time,