Reduce Stress with Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm to relieve stress

Did you know stress can be reduced with lemon balm?  When I brought this herb home several seasons ago I had no idea the value this herb offered.  I was on a journey to increase my herb garden because living a natural healthier life makes me feel alive and cleanses my brain at the same time.

I love lemon in general and growing a plant that radiates that wonderful scent sounded like an idea not to overlook.  Since then this herb has grown wild which led to trimming, drying, propagating and enjoying in ways I never thought possible.

I’m basically a lemon fanatic.  I love the scent, taste, color and the energy a lemon gives forth. There is always this sense of calm that filters through the air just by bringing a vase of this fresh cut goodness inside during moments when stress rules my life.

Stress is normally referred to as an action, something we over think due to lack of trust.  When I look back to some of my stressful moments there was a lack of faith and trust on my part and if I was being completely honest sometimes I still fall short.  Eventually I had to learn out of control situations eventually work themselves out.

So how does Lemon Balm fit into this sense of reducing stress?  Let’s find out!

How to Reduce Stress with Lemon Balm

Lemon balm is from the mint family and with no big surprise referred to as a calming herb. It was used during the Middle Ages to reduce anxiety, promote sleep, improve appetite, and ease discomfort from indigestion.

Bring Cuttings Indoors

Take clipping from the main plant and bring cuttings indoors is the best way to enjoy lemon balm. I do this all the time and it fills the air with such goodness. The following list includes some of the ways I’ve used this herb, the possibilities are endless.
  • Add to hot or iced tea
  • Beautiful in floral arrangements
  • Boil in a pot of water for fresh lemon aroma
  • Add to infused drinking water
  • Add to a salad – this is wonderful
  • wonderful in types of salad dressing
  • tasty over grilled salmon
  • Makes a wonderful serving garnish
  • Dry and add to potpourri
  • Enjoy it with floating candles

My Favorite way to enjoy

My favorite is to take small cuttings, sit down and breathe it in.  I know this sounds a little crazy but this is so relaxing and I try to do it every time I go to the garden. The scent is like heaven and it’s very “in the moment” calming.

Essential oil from lemon Balm is also wonderful; the oil is extracted from the greenery of the plant. I use the oil for aroma therapy, the scent freshens and calms the air for a more direct application.

I wouldn’t say lemon balm is going to relieve all stress but it will help. Releasing stress is really a decision that happens by redirecting our thinking to positive thoughts and action. This is something I’ve learned over the years and it’s wonderful to know that lemon balm is also part of the process.

Use Lemon Balm to Relieve stress

Begin with Planting

Add lemon balm to your garden or flowers beds with a new plant from the nursery or get one propagated from a friend. Make sure the soil is fertilized prior to planting and give it plenty of room to grow because it will take over a space in less than a month, especially during the spring.  Lemon balm grows outward, up and will bloom a very pretty white flower during the summer.

After it blooms trim back the entire plant which is normally in the early fall here in the south.  This herb will also push out new sprouts nearby and because the birds also like it many times they’ll reseed in nearby planting spaces.  Here are some key tips for best planting results.

  • Plant in fertilized soil with good drainage.
  • Plant with room to grow.
  • Plant in direct sunlight.
  • Trim in the fall after it blooms.
  • Propagate each season to keep from taking over a space.
  • Enjoy all it has to offer.

Are you the least bit intrigued to grow this beautiful herb in your garden?  Lemon balm has been a positive addition to my garden, it’s helped relieve a little stress while appreciating that lemony goodness.

Discover how Lemon Balm can Help Reduce Stress



  1. Patti says:

    Hi Carole,

    I used to grow this lovely herb at my last house. It smells wonderful and grows really well here. Thanks for reminding me. It’s now on my list to buy and add this year.

    1. Carole says:

      Well if you lived closer I’d be giving you a plant to take home. It’s out of control so I’ve been busy propagating but the thing is you can’t even tell I’ve done that so I think today it’s time to bring a bouquet indoors to enjoy.

  2. mickie mclaughlin says:

    Carole…greetings from Maryland. When I first opened this blog today I automatically read “lemon ade” not lemon balm…..ha ha I got this plant two years ago and I too love just pinching off some and breathing it in. You are right in that it will spread happily and requires NO special treatment. You will need to control it or plant it where that is okay. I love your idea of snipping sprigs to bring into the house and treat like fresh flowers. Will definitely do this as this plant has such a refreshing smell. BTW…your photos are beautiful….love your herb bed with the lemon balm mint and an unidentified red plant. what is it? Also I see lambs ears…mine never survive a season….how about a post on herb gardening—-just an idea.

    1. Carole says:

      Well I like lemonade too. LOL
      I’m going to miss this herb bed it’s been a favorite space in the garden that makes me smile and think about healthy living. So I’ve been propagating so I can get my new herb garden started this summer. The frames are already built too, just need to finish clearing so I can get it fenced in. So look for more herb posts this summer and I do have an herb garden post here you may enjoy. >>

      That red plant is Salvia – I trimmed it way back during our light winter and it’s exploding too – guess this garden just loves all those llama droppings and direct composting. Love it when you share ideas so appreciated. Hope you have a great weekend!

  3. Tammy says:

    I have lemon balm in my herb garden and have for years. I love it. In fact, I use it just like I would my mint. Garnish desserts, muddle it in drinks (teas and water), I love the way it smells and it is such a beautiful plant. It does” spread out” easily, so I have mine in a huge pot. You are so right, it is a wonderful plant. I love the idea of putting it in floral arrangements. I can’t believe I haven’t tried that. Thanks for the tip!!!!

    1. Carole says:

      You’re welcome Tammy – it doesn’t last that long as a fresh cut so make sure to cut in when it’s cool – early morning or late evening. It may droop at first but will recover quickly.
      Lemon Balm makes me happy..

  4. Karen says:

    I love lemon balm too, and can’t resist taking a big whiff each time I’m near it. It really does give a sense of calming just to smell it.
    Like Tammy, I grow mine in a pot too. It controls the growth and keeps it from spreading, but I’m a tad envious of that gorgeous big plant of yours. I was thinking as I read through your post of all the areas in my yard and where I might be brave enough to transplant mine so it can look as nice as yours!

    I appreciate the list of ways to enjoy it – a few I’ve never tried. My first new way to try it is going to be boiling it in water to release the fresh fragrance in the air. Thanks for sharing your inspiring post. Every time you write about an herb or plant, I get all reinspired about it!

    1. Carole says:

      You are so sweet Karen – my life would be so empty without you. Make an herb Startle Garden bed and I’ll feature it in my new book. Seriously would be awesome! I’m propagating this week just did a lemon balm plant for Jemma (Ssshh she doesn’t know it yet) So when I come visit you just maybe I’ll surprise you with some propagated plants too. Seriously I’m coming to visit you!!

  5. Jemma says:

    Good Morning Carole,
    I am so glad that you shared these facts and thoughts on Lemon Balm. You know I think I have just the right space for this lovely herb and that would be in our front flower bed. We have a very large empty spot close to our bathroom window and I am thinking that this would be a perfect spot. I love the idea and of clipping it and placing in vessels throughout the house too.
    Another inspiring post by such a creative and talented gardener!

    1. Carole says:

      Good Morning! I love this plant and I have one for you – course you probably saw that in my reply to Karen. It’s nice and cool today so I’m thinking of propagating more this evening. A lot of people grow it in containers but I like it in the ground because it has the opportunity to reach it’s full potential each season. It’s a wonderful herb and you’ll enjoy the little white flowers in the summer.

  6. Andrea says:

    I love lemon balm tea but hadn’t thought of all the other uses. I bet it would smell nice in homemade cleaners too!

  7. Heidi says:

    Oh, I love Lemon Balm! I wish more people realized how great it is for your nervous system! Combined with Feverfew and Spearmint in equal parts, it makes a lovely tea or tincture that helps with migraines and anxiety too!

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