Lemon Balm: A Translation from the Garden of Blossoms


From the genus of fragrant herbs, and there are many types of it. With a fresh scent, it is found in gardens. It is formed of many creeping branches that spread widely across the soil. It has a white blossom and the leaves are similar to that of marjoram.

There are two main types: one with a small leaf, known to the people of Fes as clove herb, and one with a larger leaf, known as the barbaris herb. Its name in Farsi means that of royal scent, and it is known as the one that brings joy to the sad-hearted.

Its Nature:

Hot and dry in the first degree.

Uses and Characteristics:

It brings joy. Its leaves make a poultice which is useful on scorpion stings, spider bites and dog bites, and the leaves can also be decocted and poured onto bites. It aids the flow of menstrual blood, and is good for the teeth when chewed. When drunk, it is useful for internal blockages and intestinal sores. As a bandage with salt, it cleans sores and can be used on warts.

Translation from The Garden of Blossoms, by al-Wazir al-Ghassani. A 16th century pharmacopeia written in Fes. Translated by Miriam Hicklin.

2 thoughts on “Lemon Balm: A Translation from the Garden of Blossoms”

  1. So lovely to hear this. Reminding me of the orange blossom water we distilled together.
    And yes, lemon of course is another beautiful, uplifting scent. Thank you Miriam.
    It cheers me just to think of it!


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