Lavender and Lemon Balm Lemonade

To Relieve Stress and Anxiety

For a few months now I keep seeing this post for Lavender Lemonade, and while I agree with the premise that Lavender essential oil has many clinically proven medicinal qualities and is excellent for relieving symptoms of headaches and anxiety I can’t help but feel that the actual recipe itself is lacking in applicability and potency.

Also, the image that is shown is of a distinctly purple lemonade. It’s a beautiful shade of purple that if I wasn’t so incredibly low maintenance (aka lazy) I would love to color my hair. However, water, honey, lemons and a drop of lavender essential oil and some sprigs of lavender for garnish will not produce such a lovely purple colored lemonade. Instead, I believe there is a bit of the color that would make it such a lovely hair dye in that pretty picture and therefore, probably not the lemonade that the recipe actually makes.

I also have issue with the recipe recommending ingestion of essential oils without really emphasizing both the issues of quality or the general rule of only ingesting essential oils that are derived from things you would already ingest. I don’t think the recipe is dangerous, as this recipe only calls for 1 drop of lavender essential oil in 12 cups of water, so it is pretty diluted and likely safe, it just overall seems misleading and not very effective. If you would like a good article talking more about the issues of quality in essential oils Here is an excellent one.

But for our purposes I want to give you a recipe for a Lavender Lemonade that is sure to be herbally potent and excellent for relieving headaches, stress and anxiety.

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is one of the most potent herbs for its relaxing and calming effects. It is helpful in dispelling depression and calming the nervous system during times of anxiety. It is excellent for headaches, and along with this lovely infused lemonade, putting a drop or two of pure lavender essential oil on your temples will especially help with tension based headaches.

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) has been used for hundreds of years, and modern science has shown it to calm the nervous and digestive systems. It is often used to ease depression and grief. It is said to help calm children that have ADD and ADHD. It is also delicious.

This recipe is adapted from Rosemary Gladstar’s book Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide.

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Ingredients:

  • 4 heaping Tbsp Organic Lavender Flowers
  • 4 heaping Tbsp Organic Lemon Balm Herb
  • 4 Organic Lemons
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cups of Raw, Local Honey
  • Water

Boil enough water to make a pot of tea. Add the organic lavender flowers to the pot if you have a built in strainer or put in a muslim bag or piece of cotton or cheese cloth to add to pot. Pour water over lavender in pot, cover and let infuse for at least 20 minutes.

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In the mean time, juice your lemons and strain any seeds and pulp.

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Begin boiling water for your pot of organic lemon balm tea.

Once your lavender tea is infused place it in a container that will not crack. It is still very hot, so you don’t want to add it to your lovely glass pitcher, believe me I learned this the hard way. I put mine in a pot on the stove to cool.

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Rinse out your teapot and repeat the infusion process using your organic lemon balm and tea apparatus of choice. Let the lemon balm herb infuse, covered for at least 20 minutes.

Add your strained lemon juice to the pot with your lavender infusion. You do not want to add your honey yet as it is still quite hot and honey looses many of its medicinal benefits when heated above 105°. My rule is if it is too hot to drink it is too hot for honey.

Add your lemon balm infusion to the pot and set the timer  for a final 20 minutes to cool. After cooled  you can add your honey starting with a half cup and increasing with taste. Add to pitcher and stir well.

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Fill some cups with ice and serve chilled. If you have a few lavender sprigs you can add them, but it is not the season for them here, so I did not.

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This lovely lavender lemonade is a bit reminiscent  of an Arnold Palmer (1/2 iced tea 1/2 lemonade) which is popular here in the south, but with a distinct lavender flavor.  Drink as many glasses as needed to relax, unwind and alleviate pangs of anxiety. I prefer mine on the porch on a beautiful fall day, rocking in my rocking chair or in the garden watching my seedlings grow before my eyes, but in the living room is just fine too. Enjoy!

 

 

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