You can make lemon balm tincture at home. Tincture is a concentrated medicinal form of the lemon balm herb that can be used to treat viral skin infections, prevent spread of viruses, treat insect bites, or to create a calm, relaxed mood. Lemon balm tincture can be applied directly to the skin, taken orally or added to a glass of water.
Preparing and Drying the Lemon Balm
The lemon balm must be harvested, rinsed well and dried before making tincture. Most tinctures can be prepared from fresh herbs, but lemon balm tinctures are best when prepared from lemon balm that is dried or dehydrated. Lemon balm is best dried in a commercial dehydrator at temperatures between 85 and 100 degrees.
Chopping the Lemon Balm
Chop the 1/4 cup of dried lemon balm leaves and stems using a food processor, coffee grinder, spice grinder or mortar and pestle. A coffee grinder works best for the small amount of lemon balm used in this tincture recipe. Well chopped lemon balm will infuse more of it's medicinal benefits into the tincture. Place the chopped lemon balm in a sterile glass jar.
Preparing the Lemon Balm Tincture
Cover the dried lemon balm with 1/2 cup vodka and 1/2 cup water. The vodka and water combination is called menstruum when preparing an herbal tincture. Seal the jar with a tight fitting lid.
Allow the dried lemon balm to rest in the menstruum for 2 weeks, shaking it daily. Shaking the herb is very important to ensure the medicinal components leach out into the menstruum from the herb.
Storing the Lemon Balm Tincture
After 2 weeks has passed, strain the lemon balm herb from the menstruum and discard it. Pour the lemon balm tincture into dark colored glass bottles and label it with the date of preparation and contents.
Using Lemon Balm Tincture
Use in lemon balm tincture orally in doses of 2 ml up to 3 times a day for adults. Lemon balm tincture can also be applied with a dropper directly to the skin.