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Lemon balm, leaves (Melissa officinalis, herba)

Lemon balm, leaves

(Melissa officinalis, herba)

       An odorous perennial herb, 0.30.9 m high, usually with several stems, lemonscented on bruising. Stems obtusely quadrangular, furrowed pubescent. Leaves 29cm long and 15 cm wide, ovate to obovate-oval, base cuneate truncate or cordate at the base, densely pilose on both surfaces, petiole 0.23.5 cm long. Corolla white or pinkish; infundibuliform tube 812 mm long; stamens inserted deep in the tube; bracteoles oval-oblong, about 1.5 cm long, pubescent; calyx 59mm long, pubescent outside, pubescent inside (with very short hairs), densely pilose in the middle. It is used externally, for symptomatic treatment of herpes labialis. Orally as a carminative for gastrointestinal disorders, and as a sedative for treatment of nervous disturbances of sleep.

       Leaves oval, cordate, up to about 8 cm long and 5cm wide, with more or less long petioles; lamina thin, lower surface has conspicuous, raised, reticulate venation; margins roughly dentate or crenate; upper surface bright green, lower surface lighter in colour. Odour: aromatic, lemon-like; taste: aromatic, lemon-like.