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I don’t grow lemon balm in my garden, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t get to enjoy it’s lemony goodness. I found a really nice patch growing wild along a trail while out walking one day. So I can harvest enough for lemon balm iced tea just about any time I like.
I’m pretty passionate about gardening, but I think that I like to forage even more. I love the surprise of what I might find and almost always come home rejuvenated, and with a handful of plants I want to identify.
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Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is a member of the mint (Lamiaceae) family. Like other members of the mint family, it has a square stem, opposite leaves and is aromatic. The leaf is slightly hairy. Pick one and crush it; if it smells lemony, you have lemon balm.
Making lemon balm iced tea is easy. Boil water, let the herb steep, sweeten.
Don’t limit yourself to lemon balm when making iced tea. Try mint, rose hips, or even lavender.
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- 2 quarts water
- 1 large handful fresh lemon balm
- 1/3 cup raw honey
- Boil 2 quarts of water in a 3 quart or larger pot.
- Add the lemon balm and allow to steep for about an hour.
- Remove the lemon balm by straining.
- Be sure the temperature of the tea is below 110°F and add the raw honey. Mix thoroughly.
- Serve chilled.
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