Things to do with Lemon Balm: Stop Stomach Cramping

Earlier this week, I woke up at 4 am to the sound of “Mom” and other noises I won’t describe.  My daughter had contracted the dreaded stomach bug  (also known as Gastroenteritis) which is currently running rampant through her school. The abdominal cramps have been terrible and she is having to be watched closely to make sure she is drinking liquids to prevent dehydration.

However, when you have an herb garden even a stomach bug can be fun (sorta…) when you can use your plants as medicine. Lucky for me, I currently have lots of fresh Lemon Balm was just what this Dr. Mom ordered!

Lemon Balm

Things to do with Lemon Balm: Make a Medicinal Tea for Stomach Cramps

I am not clinical herbalist but I am an avid researcher.  I turned to two of my favorite books written by herbalist Rosemary Gladstar and German herbalist Melanie Wenzel.  Both cite medical studies backing up the efficacy of Lemon Balm and relaxing stomach cramps.

Why does Lemon Balm work for stomach cramping and spasms?

  • This herb contains the volatile oils citral and citronella which triggers antispasmodic actions in turn calming the nervous and digestive system (Gladstar, pg. 157).

That’s great and all…but I needed to see is whether my sweet daughter gets relief after having a refreshing cup of tea.  I’m happy to report it worked like a charm. Here’s my method:

I harvested approximately 12 T of  Lemon Balm which is growing in a large container on my back patio. This herb is happy as long as she has room to grow (she will take over) and the soil stays somewhat moist (she is a member of the mint family).

Click Here for more growing tips.

Lemon Balm

To make a medicinal infusion, you need 6-8 T of fresh herb per glass quart jar.  I made enough to last all day so I opted to make two glass quart jars worth.

Lemon BalmI poured  almost boiling water over the herbs until the jar was filled and let it come to room temperature which is around 45 minutes.  I strained the herbs out and put them in fresh jars.

One jar, I kept for warm cups of teas I sweetened with honey and some fresh lemon juice.

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With the other, I made an ice cold tea I sweetened with the herb Stevia kept in the refrigerator.  Currently, I do not have any fresh Stevia so I used a liquid tincture.

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Here is my tea cooling off which I gave to my daughter whenever she needed more fluids.  Lemon Balm tea taste great and sweetened becomes a special treat.  In her eyes, it’s way more appealing than water.

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In summary: two ways I used this herb.  A nice infusion of warm tea to immediately stop cramping (as needed)and a delicious sweetened tea to drink throughout the day to stay hydrated.  I must grow more of this herb next season.  It’s so tasty!

Lemon Balm Tea

I’m happy to report the stomach cramps did subside after the tea and she stayed fully hydrated with one of her favorite beverages.  We got through this together…one mug of Lemon Balm Tea at a time!

 

References:

1.) Syracuse University Health Services, http://health.syr.edu/Education/stomach-bug.html

2.) Wenzel, Melanie. The Essential Guide to Home Herbal Remedies.  2014.  Robert Rose Inc.

3.) Gladstar, Rosemary. Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide.   2012.  Storey Publishing.

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