Despite the name, this isn’t your typical citrus balm. This leafy plant is actually a member of the mint family, with a lemony taste and aroma that adds a light note to perfumes, a zesty flavour to oral care products, and contains powerful antibacterial properties that cleanse and deodorise.
Officially known as Melissa officinalis, lemon balm is native to Southern Europe, but due to its popularity is now grown all across the world.
Its medicinal properties have been reported as early as the Middle Ages, where doctors would prescribe the mint to aid sleep and heal wounds. It proved so helpful that in the 14th century, Carmelite monks used extracts of the herb to create a citrusy alcoholic beverage that helps to relieve stress, nausea and fatigue. It can still be bought in some pharmacies to this day!