Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) , or Balm Mint, is a member of the mint family (Lamiacea)and can either be a delight or a pest in your garden. Native, like many other plants in our garden, to the the Mediterranean, Southern Europe, Central Asia, and has now naturalized itself within the Americas.

Medicinally, Lemon balm has a soothing effect on the mind and body much like other members of the mint family. Used internally with a tea may help with your gastrointestinal tract, bile, liver and nervous systems. The essential oils extracted from this plant may be used externally or in aromatherapy.

If you pinch the leaf of lemon balm and give it a sniff you will notice that lemon balm has a very unique sent that can be very pleasant. This has caught the eye of many people causing them to create pleasant dishes out of this herb. From teas, and candies to fish and pesto the list may go on.

Though knowing all this how on earth might one find this generous herb a pest? Well it comes down to the speed in which it grows and where it grows. This herb, if left alone can spread and engulf your other garden beds. Though at least you wont have as many mosquitoes, for this plant naturally repels them.

Lemon balm has proven itself to be a lovely plant with both many good and bad qualities. Its up to you whether or not it is a weed in your garden.

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