As those dog days of summer start to roll around, it's always nice to put your feet up and relax. You have probably been busy working on landscaping and gardening all season long. You deserve a break from all of the outdoor chores. Why not lay back in the hammock or sit on the patio with a nice, refreshing drink? What's more perfect than a delicious glass of stress relieving lemon balm and lavender iced tea!
This ice cold drink is easy to make, and you can pick the fresh ingredients right from your very own garden! It's always been a dream of mine to have my very own lavender field that perfumes the air around me. Until then, I've started my very own lavender patch that I'm hoping to build on each year.
Lemon balm is one of those herbs that is super easy to grow. It doesn't need any special care and will keep growing bigger as the years go by. Like lavender, it is a very fragrant plant. I love brushing against it in the garden and smelling it's sweet scent. Both of these herbs have wonderful benefits. Lemon balm calms the mind, boosts alertness and improves the appearance of your skin. Lavender reduces anxiety, alleviates headaches and improves sleep quality. This iced tea is both healthy and tasty!
A Little About Lemon Balm
Lemon balm tends to be one of the underdogs of herbs, in my opinion. Just like lavender, it has a lovely flavor. You can use it in teas, candies, dinner dishes and more. It is also considered a medicinal herb with an endless amount of benefits. It is a popular essential oil that is used to boost alertness and focus. Here are three reasons to grow lemon balm in your garden!
• Reduces Anxiety - Studies have shown that the properties in lemon balm can reduce anxiety and promote a better quality of sleep. It increases mood while boosting your alertness as I stated above. Just like lavender and chamomile, it is a calming herb that will put you in a relaxing state.
• Strengthens Memory - Lemon balm supports brain health and strengthens memory, thinking and mood quality. It has properties that have been shown to protect the brain from free radicals. It contains Rosmarinic acid, an anti-oxidant that is beneficial in protecting the brain.
• A Helpful Digestive Aid - This herb can help with nausea and promotes healthy digestion. When you drink it as a tea, it can help the body digest food more effectively. It can assist in decreasing and alleviating the painful stomach spasms associated with irritable bowl syndrome.
Lemon balm can help with headaches, anxiety, mild depression, nausea, hypertension and more.
I had a bit of trouble with growing lavender when I first started out gardening. I made every mistake in the book. I planted it in shade when it needed full sun, I overwatered a plant that prefers dry soil, and I even bought annuals thinking they were perennials. Once I got through the learning curve and did some research, I was good to go. ALWAYS do your research first.
I learned through my years of growing that lavender has many health benefits. It is excellent for respiratory disorders and helps relieve congestion. It can improve blood circulation and also reduce blood pressure. This medicinal herb can also boost your immunity, keeping your body resistant to diseases.
Lavender can help with indigestion, hair loss, skin health, muscle pain, healing and more.
My Top 3 Favorite Lavender Varieties
•Phenomenal Lavender (Zones 5 - 10) - This is my absolute favorite lavender for my freeze prone zone in New England! I received a plant from Peace Tree Farms at the Garden Bloggers Fling in Washington DC this year. I immediately came home and purchased more! Unlike other varieties of lavender, it doesn't experience the die back during harsh winters. It is hardy with silvery foliage and a mounding habit. You can purchase it at your local retailer or online from American Meadows.
•Platinum Blonde Lavender (Zones 6 - 9) - This is a truly unique variety of English lavender. It boasts beautiful broad grey-green and cream variegated leaves with purple-blue flowers. It is a compact variety, perfect for growing in containers, on a patio or a porch. You can find this variety at American Meadows.
•Provence Lavender (Zones 5 - 9) - This variety has a complex fragrance that will definitely catch your attention. It is one of the tallest hybrid varieties growing up to three feet! It features long, light mauve-purple spiked flowers and gray-green foliage. This variety is extremely heat tolerant and commonly used in perfumes, soaps and sachets. You can purchase it at American Meadows.
Make Your Own Lemon Balm & Lavender Iced Tea
- 2 cups of hot water
- 1/4 cup of lemon balm leaves
- 1 tablespoon of lavender buds
- 1-2 tablespoons of honey
- 2 cups of cold water and ice
- 2 slices of lemon
- Bring 2 cups of hot water to a boil in pot.
- Add both lemon balm and lavender to water.
- Remove pot from heat. Cover and steep for 5 minutes.
- Strain out leaves.
- Add cold water and ice.
- Add in honey and squeeze slice of lemon wedge.
- Serve over additional ice.
- Garnish glass with a lemon wedge, a sprig of lavender and lemon balm.
This is a very simple summertime drink that is worth a try! It's easy to make, and you can customize it by mixing in green tea or black tea bags. It is sure to help reduce the stress brought on by weeds and pesky aphids. I am speaking from personal experience! It is really yummy, and the fact that the ingredients are fresh from the garden makes it taste even better! What is your favorite summertime drink to sip on while you listen to those late August bugs hum? Tell me in the comment section below. Hope you all are kicking back and enjoying the last stretch of summer days!