Lemon Balm Magic: Soothing the Oppressed Spirit

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Lemon Balm, aka Melissa, is particularly good for folks who suffer from anxiety and or depression that results from feeling oppressed. Angry outbursts, feeling like no one understands (or cares), and anxiety or feelings of foreboding that may not be clearly connected to a specific event are all signs Lemon Balm may be in order…If teenagers jumped immediately to mind, then you’re on the right track.

A few years ago, I was inspired to plant Lemon Balm right in front of my front window. At the time, we were renters, so most of the plants I could put in the ground needed to be ones that I could easily take with me when I left or that my landlord could easily remove (his aesthetic in the garden was far more sparce than mine, so I know he’d pretty much return the beds to the empty woodchip spaces they were when I moved in). Then, I hadn’t reckoned on buying the place and staying on longer. Lemon Balm was a perfect, sunny and soothing plant to have growing near my front door.

This year, I’ve been making use of that sunny, soothing energy to nurture my own inner teen. Lemon Balm’s got a way of restoring that idealistic, innocent, hopeful outlook on life that teens have through the good times. It’s perfect for me, a parent raising a teen, too.

Have any of your parents ever felt (secretly, of course) like your kids are sucking the life out of you? Like you cannot do what You want to do because of this role you need to play for them? Like if you have to hear one more story about how hard life is and how school is a prison and how you’re forcing them to do something they don’t want to do you might just lose your temper for reals?

Yeah, that’s the exact kind of oppressed feeling that Lemon Balm loves to soothe. This week, I added a couple of bruised sprigs of fresh Lemon Balm to my water for that exact magic. I slipped some into my boy’s water, too. I was looking for some relief from the depression and mild anxiety we were both feeling. It helped me shift my own thoughts from the dark, doomsday path they’d been traveling to one filled with more hope and a dose of lightness akin to the innocence of earlier days when matchbox cars and crayons were the major concerns of our days.

For the afternoon, I remembered that this place he’s in is temporary, as is mine in the drama. I remembered that Although parenting through this age is tough and often feels like being at the mercy of a giant toddler who cannot be controlled and who has an amazing capacity to wreck your sandcastles without warning, it’s just a phase and I don’t have to accept today’s drama as indicative of the next few decades. I also remembered that my adult troubles (like paying the mortgage and finding clients) are also passing zephyrs in a life that’s mostly pretty darn good. My boy slept and woke feeling less ornery, too. Lemon Balm was a real breath of fresh air!

Other Lemon Balm Ideas:

  • Lemon Balm spritzer for moody days – Essential oils of Lemon Balm, Atlas Cedarwood or Juniper, and Myrtle in a bottle of spring water or Tulsi hydrosol.
  • Lemon Balm hydrosol – with or without additional essential oils, to help quell anxiety and ease depression.
  • Lemon Balm bouquet – add a few sprigs of Lemon Balm as the leafy part of your spring bouquet for a lightness of spirit in keeping with Springs energy of renewal.
  • Bitters for digestion – Include tincture of Lemon Balm, Cardamon, and Chili Pepper or Ginger to stimulate digestion and ease colicky concerns.
  • Nerve Soothing tea–Fresh lemon Balm with fresh Tulsi leaves steeped in boiled water, covered, for 10 minutes.

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