2,000 Years of History

[EDIT IN PROGRESS ] Lemon balm’s herbal use dates back over 2000 years The ancient Greeks and Romans used it medicinally, and information about the herb was recorded as far eback as 300B.C. in Theophrastus’s Historia Plantarum.

The plant likely originated in Southern Europeand was brought to Spain by the Moors in the 7th century; by the Middle Ages it was cultivated and used throughout Europe.

The genus name, Melissa,means “bee” in Greek, and the plant was likely named for its reputed ability to attract bees. First century Roman naturalist,Pliny the Elder,wrote that lemon balm planted near beehives would encourage bees to return, and Gerard later claimed that rubbing the leaves on a hive would “causeth the Bees to keep together
and causeth others to come unto them”

The specific epithet, officinalis,
means“used in medicine” indicating that the species had historic
medicinal uses. The common name is derived from the Greek word
balsamon
,which means balsam,or “an oily, sweet(smellingresin”(27).
Early herbalists and writers praisedlemonbalmfor
itsmedicinalandupliftingqualities.Eleventhce
ntury PersianphysicianandphilosopherAvicennawasane
arlyadvocatefortheuseoflemonbalmintreating

depression/melancholy


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