Melissa officinalis

MELISSA MEDICINAL (Melissa officinalis L.)Perennial essential oil and spicy herbaceous plant of the labiatae family (Labiatae), with a highly branched rhizome. The whole plant is soft haired. Stem branched, tetrahedral, up to 120 cm in height. Leaves are opposite, cordate-ovate, coarsely serrated, petiolate. The flowers are pinkish or white, collected 3-5 in terminal false umbrellas located in the axils of the upper leaves. The fruit is large, consists of 4 ovoid nuts, black, shiny. The weight of 1000 seeds is approximately 0.62 g. Seeds remain viable for 2-3 years. Blossoms from the second year in July – August, fruits ripen in September – October. Propagated by seeds and vegetatively (by layering, dividing bushes, segments of rhizomes, seedlings). It is found in the Caucasus, Crimea, Central Asia and the southern regions of the European part of the CIS.

COLLECTION AND DRYING OF RAW MATERIALS

For medicinal purposes, leaves and tops of shoots are used, which are harvested during flowering and quickly dried in special dryers with active air circulation at a temperature of 30-35 ° C or in the shade with good ventilation. The shelf life of raw materials is 2 years. Seeds crumble easily, so their collection begins when the lower fruits turn brown. Plants are cut, tied into sheaves and ripened in dryers.

PHARMACOLOGICAL PROPERTIES

The plant has antispasmodic, analgesic, sedative, hypotensive, diuretic, carminative effects, improves digestion. Infusion of lemon balm slows down the frequency of breathing, contributes to the slowing down of heart contractions, lowers blood pressure.

APPLICATIONS IN MEDICINE

Aboveground part. In folk medicine, infusion (inside) – for diseases of the nervous system, atony of the stomach, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, tachycardia, bronchial asthma, insomnia, melancholy, as well as a diaphoretic, stimulating digestion and relieving hiccups. In addition, it is used for toxicosis of pregnant women, migraine, anemia, gout, with overexcitation of sexual function and as a lactogenic. Juice – to stimulate appetite, improve the activity of the digestive system, with constipation, flatulence, anemia, gout; as an analgesic for all kinds of neuralgia, severe headaches and stomach pains; with dizziness, fatigue, fainting, rheumatic pain; in severe debilitating diseases to restore strength; with insomnia, skin rashes, hysteria, heart neuroses, increased sexual excitability, atherosclerosis, tinnitus, painful menstruation, to relieve shortness of breath, with biliary and renal colic; externally in the form of enemas – with exacerbation of hemorrhoids, chronic constipation; in the form of poultices and compresses – with boils; in the form of rinses – with inflammation of the gums. Leaves. In folk medicine – infusion, decoction, tincture, gruel from fresh leaves – for furunculosis, gout, polyarthritis, paralysis, bruises, ulcers. Juice – similar to the aerial part. In the past, in Lithuanian villages, an infusion of lemon balm mixed with marjoram was used to enhance memory. gruel from fresh leaves – with furunculosis, gout, polyarthritis, paralysis, bruises, ulcers. Juice – similar to the aerial part. In the past, in Lithuanian villages, an infusion of lemon balm mixed with marjoram was used to enhance memory. gruel from fresh leaves – with furunculosis, gout, polyarthritis, paralysis, bruises, ulcers. Juice – similar to the aerial part. In the past, in Lithuanian villages, an infusion of lemon balm mixed with marjoram was used to enhance memory.

DOSAGE FORMS, METHOD OF APPLICATION AND DOSES

♦ Melissa herb infusion: pour 1 tablespoon of raw material into 200 ml of boiling water, leave for 1 hour, then filter. Take 1/2 cup 3 times every day before meals.♦ Lemon balm herb tincture: insist in a ratio of 1:3 in 40% alcohol or vodka for 7 days. Take 1 tablespoon 3 times every day. ♦ Juice from the herb or lemon balm leaves: squeezed from the fresh part of the plant or only the leaves collected before flowering. Take 40-60 drops of juice with 1 teaspoon of honey in milk 5-6 times every day. Outwardly (in the form of enemas) apply at the rate of 1 teaspoon of juice per 200 ml of warm water. CONTRAINDICATIONS AND POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS: lemon balm herb should not be used for arterial hypotension. The plant is slightly toxic.

APPLICATIONS IN OTHER FIELDS

The leaves are suitable as a spicy seasoning. Fresh and dry, they are added to spring salads, green borscht, etc. Leaves are also added to vinegar, spices when pickling tomatoes, cucumbers instead of allspice black pepper, and also for flavoring tea, drinks, liqueurs. Dry leaf powder is sprinkled on meat and fish dishes before eating. The essential oil is used in perfumery and confectionery. A decoction of the herb repels flies and worms from meat and fish. Honey plant, gives up to 150 kg/ha of honey. Honey has a pleasant aroma and taste, belongs to the best varieties. Lemon balm leaves rub a new hive, and the bees willingly settle in it, the aroma of lemon balm attracts bees during their swarming. Cultivated.

ELEMENTS OF AGROTECHNICAL CULTIVATION

Melissa prefers light loamy soils, well lit and protected from cold northern winds. Does not tolerate acidic and structureless soils. Elevated areas are most suitable. The plot is chosen outside the crop rotation, lemon balm grows in one place up to 8 years. Fertilized fallow and row crops are considered the best predecessors. Melissa is grown by sowing in the ground, seedlings (the most common method), cuttings of stems and green cuttings, dividing the bushes into parts. The latter method is most convenient on plantations of the first year, where there are traditionally many creeping shoots. Landing is traditionally carried out as early as possible so that the plants have time to take root well and do not freeze out in winter. Propagation by green cuttings also gives good results. It must be borne in mind that lemon balm seeds are characterized by reduced germination (within 60%).2 . Seeding depth – 1-2 cm. Row spacing – 60 cm. In spring, the plot is harrowed and 15 g of ammonium nitrate, 30 g of superphosphate and 15 g of potassium salt per 1 m 2 are added before sowing seeds.. Sowing is recommended to be mulched with peat and compost. When forming 2-3 pairs of leaves on the stem, the plants are thinned out, leaving 30 cm between them. In the second and subsequent years of the growing season, lemon balm is fed 2 times a year with mineral fertilizers: 15 g of each type. The first top dressing is applied in the spring, at the beginning of the growing season, the second – after cutting the green mass. With the seedling method of propagation, the seeds are sown in the spring in a prepared greenhouse or hotbed. Shoots are found in 2-3 weeks. When the first pair of true leaves appears, the plants are thinned out, leaving a distance of 5 cm between them. Seedlings are fed twice with mineral fertilizers (50 g of superphosphate, 20 g of ammonium nitrate, 18 g of potassium salt per 10 l of water). 45-50-day-old seedlings are planted in rows in a permanent place with row spacing of 60-70 cm.

TASTY TIPS

Melissa seasoning.

Prepare dried lemon balm powder, mix it with stinging nettle powder in a ratio of 1:2 and use for ready-made soups at the rate of 1 teaspoon per 1 serving of soup.

Melissa tea.

Take dried chopped St. John’s wort (1 part), lemon balm (1 part), linden flowers (1 part), mix thoroughly and use for brewing. Store in a dark dry place.

Pouring with melissa.

Prepare sugar syrup (100 g of sugar per 300 ml of water). Boil lemon balm leaves (20 g) in water (100 ml). Strain the syrup and broth, pour into vodka (0.5 l) and mix thoroughly. Serve chilled.

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