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Homemade Lemon Balm Tea

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I have a lot of lemon balm in my garden.

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Like, a lot.

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No really, a LOT LOT.

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So much so, that I included a little video at the end of this post of me attempting to harvest lemons in the lemon balm patch. Because that’s how it totally works, right? Oh.

Have you ever seen or smelled or used or loved or touched or held or cradled lemon balm before? Well, for starters, it grows like a weed. It IS a weed, actually. Not to be confused with, “it is weed actually.”

It kind of looks like mint, and will take over your entire life if you don’t watch out. It has a soft lemon flavor that’s not overpowering, and I just find it luverly.

A few years ago when we started gardening, it randomly appeared in this one section of our garden bed. Just appeared out of nowhere, like a sign from the ancient Lord of the Gardening . . . Rings. So we kept it and let it do its thing. And now I’m afraid it’s going to swallow me whole.

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But not until we make some tea first, cheelahs!

You already know how to do this, I know. I just thought it would be a fun little dain-TEA (don’t paper cut me) adventure for us to take together on this pleasant Frawdee morning.

In my instructions I give you two ways of making tea. One for hyperactive impatient freaks (me), and another for the rest of you who possess the ability to know how to be calm and balanced in your life.

I guess this is why I need this tea. To be like the rest of you. Even though it’s completely hopeless. (said like Sebastian the crab in The Little Mermaid.)

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The quickest way to do this is to keep it fresh. So fresh and so clean clean.

You pick the leaves, rinse the leaves, pat them dry, stick them in your tea ball or infuser and that’s all she wrote.

OR, she could write a little more and you could dry them. You can either hang them in the sun (like two photos up), or lay them between paper towels and keep them in the oven on a very low temp for a while, until they’re crispy and dark and dry, just like the corners of my soul.

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Tea time!

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I feel calmer already. I think. Wait, do I? Or is it mental? OMG IS IT ONLY MENTAL? SOMEONE HELP ME.

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You just want to see my silly video, don’t you?

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Get tea’d!

Homemade Lemon Balm Tea:

What it took for about 4 cups of tea, I think:

* a garden that has lemon balm in it
* I’m just kidding, 6 to 10 cups lemon balm (or a big ole bunch)
* boiling water

For the impatient person (me), just snip a bunch of balm from wherever you can find it. Rinse the leaves of any dirt, bugs or boogie monsters. Pull the leaves from the stems and pat them dry.

Boil water. Stick the leaves into your tea vessel of choice. Vessel is kind of a gross word.

Steep for about 20 minutes. Done!

Now, for those who have patience (not me), there are two ways you can dry them. One is to hang them outdoors for a few days, until dark and crispy. And dry.

Another is to preheat your oven to 200. Arrange the (rinsed and pat dry) leaves in a single layer on a paper towel. You can keep layering and stack up to 5 paper towels if you want. Put the stacks on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Then turn the oven off and leave them in there for seriously a long time. Overnight if you want.

Crumble the dried leaves and store until you’re ready to steep!

I apologize for what you’re about to endure. To actually hear the video (which is even worse), just click the little sound button in the upper left hand corner. Ugh.

Are we still friends?

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54 Responses to Homemade Lemon Balm Tea

  1. Tieghan May 24, 2013 at 7:53 am #

    You are too cute! seriously!

    Love this recipe and it sound so refreshing and perfect for summer!

  2. claire @ the realistic nutritionist May 24, 2013 at 7:53 am #

    You’re so cute i can hardly stand it.

  3. Katie May 24, 2013 at 7:57 am #

    How is your garden already BURSTING?!! I am so completely jealous. I have like…2 sprouts in mine. Womp womp. I’m going to come hide in your lemon balm and live there.

    • b May 25, 2013 at 1:26 am #

      Grab those 2 sprouts quick and yank them out of the ground and throw them in a pot! I started with 3 seemingly harmless little sprouts. It is a monster weed that takes over EVERYTHING!! Seriously I cannot have flowers in my flower garden because this stuff sends shoots to the moon and back! It destroyed my fancy Iris collection, my tulips everything. Then it decided to migrate to the back yard as well :( Here in the south we have Kudzu that takes over everything. I am convinced the both of these plants are alien life forms.

    • Farrah January 11, 2014 at 5:36 am #

      I understand…my
      mom tries to do a garden not much
      grows but I want to grow tomatoes, mustard,
      and other things indoors, and I am only eleven,
      but we have no pots.

      • Sara P. April 21, 2014 at 2:28 pm #

        Things like margarine containers with a couple of holes poked in the bottom work very well for pots, just keep your plants in an east or south-facing window and water when you can stick your finger about an inch in the soil and your finger comes out dry(no wetness is on your finger, even if the soil still feels damp). Water enough that you can see some coming out of the bottom into a drip tray and then stop as soon as its visible. A nifty trick if you can find containers big enough is companion planting, tomatoes and onions grow really well planted in the same pot, and cucumbers and sunflowers do too(sunflowers provide a natural trellis for your cucumbers while keeping the bugs out). A farmers almanac has an extensive list of companion plants and you can also find some online. Good luck and may your growing season be mild and fruitful

      • Anonymous May 11, 2014 at 3:51 pm #

        I’ve got some of my plants growing in salsa jars, peanut butter jars, even an old tea kettle.

    • Curtis September 1, 2014 at 2:30 pm #

      This year it should have come back with a vengeance. All mine did not look good this year. Now I have it growing everywhere. I planted it in the shade, in the sun, in soil that is silty and in good soil. It did not care. It will take over if I let it.

  4. Julie @ Table for Two May 24, 2013 at 8:11 am #

    LOL you’re awesome. you were MADE for video & vine.

  5. Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch May 24, 2013 at 8:51 am #

    Cute!!! Impressed with that bounty of lemon balm!!!

  6. Shelly (Pastry Shells) May 24, 2013 at 9:16 am #

    I want a garden! All I will get this year is basil… pesto here I come!

  7. JulieD May 24, 2013 at 9:21 am #

    So beautiful, Bev!! And the video…amazing! :)

  8. dixya| food, pleasure, and health May 24, 2013 at 10:36 am #

    you posts always make me smile. Please do the video more often – possibly on a Friday please, I am dragging today and the idea of tea is calming me a little bit. totally mental but it works :)

  9. Abby @ The Frosted Vegan May 24, 2013 at 11:19 am #

    Ahahahah I love this!!

  10. Angie May 24, 2013 at 11:37 am #

    New to your blog and I love you already!
    Definitely trying this. Thanks!! :)

  11. Arthur in the Garden! May 24, 2013 at 11:41 am #

    Lovely!

  12. Kim @ Soliloquy Of Food & Such May 24, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

    OMG it only mental!! I do the same with Rescue Remedy…4 drops at a time.

  13. Jackie @ The Beeroness May 24, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

    This is totally the balm

  14. Brian @ A Thought For Food May 24, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

    And then you put booze in it, right? Obvs.

    Oh… and is lemon balm similar to lemon verbena? This is the first I’ve heard of it, so I’m totally intrigued.

  15. Chelsea May 24, 2013 at 4:39 pm #

    hallelujah! oh thank goodness you posted this!! I have a lemon balm plant my sister gave me awhile back to help tackle an ant invasion in our place (supposedly anything lemony/citrusy is an ant repellent??). ANYWAYS…it’s been sitting around and I’ve just been picking out and throwing away all the dead, dried leaves. big waste! now I know what to do with them.

  16. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. May 24, 2013 at 11:16 pm #

    I have never had lemon balm! And also, I need that teapot! Where is it from?!

  17. madscar May 25, 2013 at 4:14 am #

    Love it! Thanks for recipe :)

  18. Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl May 25, 2013 at 10:05 am #

    Love lemon balm tea and love your vine video. This is a winner!

  19. Tracy | Peanut Butter And Onion May 28, 2013 at 6:27 am #

    I have never made tea form leaves I’ve grown before…. Yay

  20. Kelly Senyei | Just a Taste May 28, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

    Haha! I absolutely love this, Bev (both your excitement AND the recipe)!

  21. Nutmeg Nanny May 28, 2013 at 9:03 pm #

    I love this :) you are so funny! Also, I love that teapot, so adorable!

  22. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen May 30, 2013 at 2:56 am #

    I’ll gladly take some off your hands, oh and that pretty teapot too while we are at it. ;-)

  23. allison_bt June 3, 2013 at 10:08 pm #

    just found your blog today- love it and your lemon hunting! also, i didn’t know it was this easy to make tea. total duh, i guess but thanks! usually i just mix lemon balm in with my daisy arrangements to try and improve their smell. it doesn’t actually work so i think i am better off with the tea.

  24. Sydnie June 8, 2013 at 10:49 am #

    Not only can we be friends but, I kinda want to be your best friend. And I just found this blog today. Creepy?

  25. katarina June 22, 2013 at 8:56 pm #

    do you sell it. i need organic lemon balm. its not mental . lemon balm is power calm :)
    please email me.

  26. Laurie July 24, 2013 at 10:08 am #

    As dark as your soul! :)

  27. Anonymous August 10, 2013 at 4:39 am #

    good article, and a beatifull lady.

  28. REA September 4, 2013 at 9:36 am #

    I love the smell of lemon balm. I’m growing some as well. I planted them with mint in a planter box. Lemon balm has many good health benefits.

    http://LivingItUpAlternatively.blogspot.com

  29. Eric September 20, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

    This year I grew lemon balm for the first time and love it. Mix it with mint leaves and make a tea that it just great! So I had the idea of drying the leaves for winter so I can still enjoy it, and put a batch of them in my dehydrator. But the tea made with them have a funky greens taste to it. Think lemon balm with green beans tea… Not good.

    I made some tea then with fresh leaves and it tasted fine. So it’s not the plant messing with me. Any thoughts? Maybe I need to try dehydrating them in the oven?

  30. A. Different Eric September 24, 2013 at 11:53 pm #

    I’m going to make it for the first time, I’m glad I googled, thanks for posting. I did not you could use it fresh. Could I dry it by just leaving it out on a cutting board?

    • Bev Weidner September 25, 2013 at 7:44 am #

      You could dry it out on the counter, but it would take a verrrrryyyy long time. I’d put them in the oven for an hour or so, on a really low temp, just to get them crispy! Let me know how it turns out!

  31. Shayna October 21, 2013 at 9:15 am #

    I was just skipping around the good ole internet looking for lemon balm recipes when I pleasantly tripped into your blog.
    It’s boss.
    Totes boss.
    For reals.
    Amazeballs.
    Amazeballs popping out of amazeballs on crack.
    Ha.( I do not really talk like that, but was trying to relate to today’s youth culture in case they are reading)
    You are my blog mother. Darth mader.
    I was so inspired reading your blog to be my silly, weird self when I blog(not that you’re weird, but maybe…) because I instantly connected with your humor. And all of this from just trying to find a lemon balm recipe! I not only found a kick a** recipe(and many more) but I found laughs, I found the meaning of life, the fountain of youth, references to old Disney movies and Outkast songs, each of which are more precious than gold.
    Thank you dear, sweet Bev, for welcoming me into your lemon garden.
    Be my friend.
    Or I won’t sit next to you at lunch anymore. :)
    I look forward to spending the next several days camped out on your blog!
    All the best,
    Shayna

    • anon September 17, 2014 at 11:44 pm #

      Reading your comment was like trying to decipher what a severe downs syndrome patient is trying to say.

  32. Tracey @ Cooking with Love January 30, 2014 at 7:46 pm #

    I love this!! I was just watching Dr. Oz today and he was suggested a cup of lemon balm tea before bed for deep sleep. Don’t know about the deep sleep though since tea before bed makes me have to go to the bathroom all night. :-) Anyway, homemade sounds so luxurious!

  33. M May 3, 2014 at 4:13 am #

    hi! not only is the first method the easiest, but tastiest! Lemon balm tea is best made fresh. So if you can have a plant (or two or more) fresh year round, don’t even bother drying…

  34. Joy June 8, 2014 at 9:04 am #

    Hi there! You are fabulous. Started my day with a smile because of you. :). Thanks for the info. I’m only growing minimal herbs….scared to death of snakes. If I saw one in my yard I’d have to move out if my house….literally.
    Back to herbs….does this drying method work for all herbs? That seems like a silly question to me, not I’ve been wrong before….usually right after NOT asking the question nagging me.
    Thanks again. :)

  35. J Kaikan Boyd June 10, 2014 at 5:37 pm #

    You’re too funny…

  36. Winnie June 16, 2014 at 5:11 am #

    To control lemon balm, cut it back by 1/3 twice
    during the growing season! If you let it flower
    and go to seed, it will spread like crazy.
    It is said that, in England, no one lives to 100
    without one cup of lemon balm tea a day!

  37. Morgan June 20, 2014 at 5:43 pm #

    I was wondering if you think I could use the lemon balm I have ground into a powder to make tea? I’m fairly sure I can, but I wanted your input.

    • Bev Weidner June 21, 2014 at 8:11 am #

      I’m sure you could! As long as the powder was in a little bag or something, so your tea would keep from being grainy. Let me know how it works!

  38. Deborah July 3, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

    Enjoyed reading it almost as much as I enjoyed my tea of lemon balm. Witty, light, fun! Thanks for giving me food for the soul.

  39. Mal R.Bourgeois August 2, 2014 at 7:13 pm #

    Bev, wow a friend of mine published on her page about Lemon Balm Tea and when I thought goggled it to my amazement I got this plant from a flea market in Biloxi Miss I was looking for Mint which I got to have every year I just Love to smell Mint and the lady sold me a pot full of organic herbs and Lemon Balm was one never had saw it before but I keep ii and planted it in a pot along that plant grew so much the roots were circle I put wooden sticks in the pot and it wrapped itself all around the stick then my husbands planted it in the ground and man oh man it took over everything he had to remove it and then I just liked the way it smelled because I was so hooked on Mint but I wish I can dive head first in you Lemon Balm now I know what it used for as you get older you get wiser,, happy gardening, I will be on the hunt for another plant now still stuck on Mint and missed the prize..

  40. Addie August 27, 2014 at 8:33 am #

    These are awesome instructions thanks! I’m excited to make some tea!

  41. anon September 17, 2014 at 11:45 pm #

    what drugs are you on?

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