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Shemhazai Library   Content managed by our Librarian, member      Damiane de Mereliot

TdA Member Contributed Articles
Balm: Rest and Be Soothed

by Anchille D'Aubigne
Balm House Adept






"Rest and be soothed."   This house motto is more than just a saying.  True to the very plant this house is named after, Balm in all its forms is known to help rest and soothe every fiber of our beings.  


Lemon and Bee Balm are the two most common species of balm. Rarer species include Balm of Gilead, Mountain Balm, and Balm Mint. 

Lemon Balm (melissa officinalis)

Folk Names: Bee Balm, Lea, Sweet Bamon Balsam, Melisslm, Sweet Melissa, Tourengane, Oghoul

General Description: This plant is from the mint family.  It is grown not only in herb gardens and to attract bees, but also for medicine, cosmetics, and furniture polish manufacturing. The plant grows up to two feet in height, sometimes higher if not maintained. In the spring and summer, clusters of small light yellow or white flowers grow where the leaves meet the stem.  If you rub your fingers on these leaves, your fingers will smell tart and sweet, like lemons. The leaves are similar in shape to mint leaves.

General Uses:  Lemon balm is considered a "calming" herb and was used as far back as the Middle Ages to reduce stress and anxiety, promote sleep, improve appetite, and ease pain and discomfort from indigestion, which is typical of any plant in the mint family. Even before the Middle Ages, Lemon Balm was steeped in wine to help lift the spirits, heal wounds, and treat venomous insect bites.  Today it is often combined with other calming and soothing herbs, such as valerian, chamomile, and hops to promote relaxation.  It has been used in creams to help with cold sores (oral herpes).  Some studies have found that lemon balm may help improve cognitive function and decrease agitation in people with Alzheimer's disease.

Gender: Feminine

Planet: Moon

Elements:  Water

Powers: Love, success, healing, and perseverance

Magical Uses: Arabian herb magic says that lemon balm can be used to influence love.  It is also used in magical healing. It can be used in spells to ensure success. If you keep bees, rub this herb on the hives; it will attract new bees and keep the old ones there.








Bee Balm (monarda didyma (red and purple), monarda fistulosa (pink)

Folk Names: Eastern Beebalm, Bergamont, Wild Oswego Tea, Horsemint, Monarda

General Uses: Bee Balm has been used for both medicinal and edible purposes.  As an edible plant, the American Indians and European settlers in America used the leaves to make "Oswego Tea," which was a staple in colonial households after the loss of English teas after the Boston Tea Party.  The parts of the plant that are exposed above ground are completely edible. The leaves and flowers are often used in salads and as tasty garnish for drinks (bergamot is the main ingredient in earl grey tea), and food (such as a rub or seasoning for meats). As a medicinal plant, Bee Balm is used internally to help with headaches, colds, gastric disorders, nausea, sore throats, menstrual pain, fevers, digestive problems, improving appetite, and relieving colic.  It can be used as an antiseptic and antibacterial.  Externally itís a wonderful aromatherapy herb. Just like Lemon Balm, Bee Balm is a part of the mint family.

Gender: Feminine

Element: Air

Power: Clarity

Magical Uses: Bee Balm, or Wild Bergamot, can be used to bring clarity and good working order to the surface of any situation. In a tea, it can be used to draw money and success. This plant could also be used to burn or add to mixtures for poppets and such for justice, wealth, and fortune.  


Learn more about Balm House.

If you're a member and have something that you would like to submit to our library, please send a private message Damiane de Mereliot.

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