Parts Usually Used
Balm is a perennial plant; the stem is upright, hairy, quadrangular, and branched and grows as high as 3 feet. The leaves are opposite, ovate, long-petioled, somewhat hairy, bluntly serrate, and acuminate. The bilabiate flowers grow in axillary clusters and may vary in color from pale yellow to rose colored or blue-white. The flowering time is July and August.
When bruised, the whole plant smells like lemon.
Antispasmodic, calmative, carminative, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, stomachic, febrifuge, sedative, antidepressant, nervine.
Volatile oil (including citronellal), polyphenols, tannins, bitter principle, flavonoids, rosmarinic acid
Balm is a remedy for common female complaints and is useful for all sorts of nervous problems, hysteria, melancholy, and insomnia. Use balm tea to relieve cramps, dyspepsia, flatulence, colic, liver, spleen, bladder troubles, chronic bronchial catarrh, and some forms of asthma. Try it also for migraine and toothache, and, during pregnancy, for headaches, tension, and dizziness. The warm infusion has diaphoretic effects. An infusion of the leaves added to bath water is also said to promote the onset of menstruation. It is a cooling drink for feverish colds fever, and flu. Use the crushed leaves as a poultice for sores, tumors, swellings, milk-knots, and insect bites. Balm promotes sweating, and is a valuable stand-by when fever is present. Balm is also used in herb pillows because of its agreeable odor. Experimentally, hot-water extracts have been shown strongly antiviral for Newcastle disease, herpes, mumps; also antibacterial, antihistaminic, antispasmodic, and anti-oxidant.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 March 2010 11:56|