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Lemon Balm 101: How to Grow and Use this Herb Hydroponically for a Healthy Home

Freshly harvested lemon balm leaves

Are you looking for a new herb to grow in your garden or add to your collection? Look no further than lemon balm! Not only does it smell amazing, but it also has a wide range of uses and can be harvested and made into various things at home. Let's dive in and explore this wonderful herb.

What is Lemon Balm? Lemon balm, or Melissa officinalis, is a perennial herb in the mint family. It's native to the Mediterranean but is now widely cultivated in many parts of the world. Lemon balm has a pleasant, lemony scent and taste and has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties.

One of the most well-known benefits of lemon balm is its ability to calm the nerves and reduce stress and anxiety. It contains compounds that can help regulate mood and promote relaxation. In fact, some studies have shown that lemon balm may be as effective as prescription medication for anxiety and depression. Adding it to your bath water can be a great way to relax and unwind after a long day.

Lemon balm is also a natural sleep aid. Drinking lemon balm tea before bedtime can help you relax and fall asleep more easily. It can also help improve the quality of your sleep, so you wake up feeling more refreshed.

Another benefit of lemon balm is its ability to improve digestion. It can help relieve gas, bloating, and indigestion. It's also a natural remedy for nausea and vomiting.

In addition to its medicinal properties, lemon balm is also a versatile culinary herb. It can be used to flavor soups, stews, and sauces. It pairs well with fish and poultry, and can be added to salads and marinades. You can also use it to make a cool and refreshing lemon balm lemonade drink for this summer!

Growing Hydroponic Lemon Balm Can you grow lemon balm successfully in tropical climate countries like Singapore? Yes, you can! Lemon balm is a great herb to grow hydroponically because it can thrive in a variety of growing conditions. Here are some quick tips to get you started:

1. Choose a suitable hydroponic system: Lemon balm can grow in many hydroponic systems, including DWC (deep water culture), NFT (nutrient film technique), Kratky and drip irrigation.

2. Use a good growing medium: Some good growing mediums for hydroponic lemon balm include coconut coir, perlite, and rockwool.

3. Provide adequate light: Lemon balm requires at least 12-16 hours of light per day to grow properly. LED grow lights are a great option for indoor hydroponic systems.

4. Monitor water and nutrient levels: Keep an eye on the pH and nutrient levels of your hydroponic system to ensure that your lemon balm is getting the right balance of nutrients.

Harvesting Hydroponic Lemon Balm

Once your hydroponic lemon balm reaches a height of 6-8 inches, you can start harvesting it. It's best to harvest lemon balm in the morning, when the essential oils in the leaves are at their peak. Here are some 12 creative ways to use your freshly harvested lemon balm:

  1. Lemon Balm Tincture: Add lemon balm leaves to vodka or another high-proof alcohol and let it steep for a few weeks. Strain out the leaves and use the tincture for anxiety, sleep, or digestion.

  2. Lemon Balm Salad: Toss chopped lemon balm leaves with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, and a lemon vinaigrette for a refreshing summer salad.

  3. Lemon Balm Tea: Steep a handful of fresh lemon balm leaves in hot water for a few minutes, strain, and enjoy a soothing cup of tea.

  4. Lemon Balm Roasted Vegetables: Toss chopped lemon balm leaves with your favorite vegetables and olive oil before roasting for a fragrant and flavorful dish.

  5. Lemon Balm Essential Oil: Distill fresh lemon balm leaves in a steam distiller to extract the essential oil, which can be used for aromatherapy or as a natural bug repellent.

  6. Lemon Balm Pesto: Blend lemon balm leaves with pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and olive oil to make a delicious pesto that's perfect for pasta or as a spread on sandwiches.

  7. Lemon Balm Chicken: Rub lemon balm leaves under the skin of a whole chicken before roasting for a fragrant and flavorful dish.

  8. Lemon Balm Ice Cream: Add chopped lemon balm leaves to your favorite vanilla ice cream recipe for a refreshing twist.

  9. Lemon Balm Ice Cubes: Freeze lemon balm leaves in ice cube trays with water, and add them to your favorite drinks for a refreshing twist.

  10. Lemon Balm Bath Soak: Tie a handful of fresh lemon balm leaves in a muslin bag and add it to your bath for a relaxing and soothing soak.

  11. Lemon Balm Smoothie: Blend fresh lemon balm leaves with Greek yogurt, frozen berries, and honey for a refreshing and healthy smoothie.

  12. Lemon Balm Lemonade: Mix freshly squeezed lemon juice, honey, and chopped lemon balm leaves with sparkling water for a refreshing and flavorful lemonade.

Growing and using lemon balm at home is a fun and rewarding experience. With its fragrant aroma and versatile uses, this herb is a great addition to any hydroponic garden or kitchen. Sign up our regular newsletter for more professional growing tips and receive curated campaign offers for our personal garden and accessories.


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