Melissa, also know as lemon balm, is a member of the mint family and native to Western Asia. Later introduced to Central and Southern Europe, the Greeks called it “melisophyllon”, from Melissa (meaning honeybee) and phyllon (meaning leaf).
The herb’s citrus flavour and fragrance is complemented by a gentle lemon sweetness.
Much like lavender, melissa can be used to soothe an anxious mood and many people recommend it to those suffering with stress or insomnia. Melissa tea has a reputation for being a rejuvenating tonic and even the Prince of Glamorgan and King Charles V of France were known to rely on its health benefits. It is also a highly effective and 100% natural insect repellent, so no need for harsh chemicals.
Much like the rest of the mint family, melissa is a welcome addition to meat and fish dishes, root vegetables and refreshing side salads. For a quick and delicious way to relieve moments of stress throughout the day, add hot water to a generous handful of the herb and enjoy a comforting melissa tea.