Yes, it’s Wednesday, not Monday, but life got in the way of me posting this any sooner. Since I have been back from my vacation, it has been difficult to get back into my routine, but I think I am almost there. Once my real self is back, there will be no stopping me!
Before I left for the UK, I attended the Toronto Herb Fair, where I did my demo on herbal food colouring. I picked up a flyer there with some very exciting news – there will be a new 22 month herbal medicine program in Toronto starting in September at the Institute of Traditional Medicine. I don’t have the financial details yet, but for those interested, I will post details here as I get them. The program director is Diane Kent, Medical Herbalist who is President of the Ontario Herbalist Association, and was my teacher at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition. I know the program will be excellent, because she is an amazing woman!
So I have been thinking about herbs, and decided to find out a bit more about lemon balm. To my surprise, this very herb has been chosen herb of the year by the International Herb Association, and the July issue of The Herb Companion magazine has an article about it, along with some recipes. From this article I found out that lemon balm is a member of the mint family, is an effective stress reliever as a tea or essential oil, and was dispensed as a “miracle water” elixir by Carmelite nuns in the 17th century! It has a long history of medicinal and culinary use. Of course after reading all this, I had to run out and buy a lemon balm plant of my own. From glancing at the recipes in the article, the idea of salad dressing and pesto is particularly appealing.
What about you – have you used lemon balm in cooking or medicinally? I would love to hear about your experience, or any other ideas you may have for using this herb!