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Melissa and mint are well-known and beloved plants. They are used as additives to tea, they are used to flavor desserts, decorate various dishes.
Due to their composition, which includes essential oils, acids, minerals, these two herbs are therapeutic agents that are widely used in both traditional and official medicine.
In our article, we will tell you why lemon balm and mint are combined with each other, when to collect plant data for drying and freezing, as well as other useful nuances.
Features of the compatibility of these plants
For a medicinal plant to retain its beneficial properties, it must be properly dried.
Often mint and lemon balm are dried together. This is due to the fact that both plants are perfectly combined with each other and have approximately the same properties. Both herbs contain a huge amount of nutrients and minerals, essential oils and vitamins.
Mint has a specific pronounced menthol aroma and taste... The scent of lemon balm is much weaker and has a lemon note. Drinking tea made from these herbs in combination with each other will not only allow you to enjoy the wonderful lemon-mint aroma, but will also help:
- freshen up in the summer heat;
- calm and relax the nerves;
- lower blood pressure;
- normalize metabolism;
- improve immunity;
- cheer up.
What varieties are best for joint harvesting for the winter?
Despite the fact that there are about 25 varieties of mint in total, including Chocolate, Field, Menthol Cat, Fragrant, Water, Curly, Wild and others and more than 10 varieties of lemon balm (Pearl, Isidora, Quadrille Lemon flavor, Golden and others), the most Peppermint and lemon balm remain popular. It is these plants that are mainly dried together.
Also good in unity with lemon balm Mint Field and Forest, Apple and Long-leaved... These combinations are mainly used in cooking.
When to collect?
Plants are harvested from May to August, throughout the summer. The exact collection time depends on the region. It is best to harvest plants before flowering during the bud formation period.
For tea, use delicate leaves, the collection takes place on a sunny day in the morning. For the preparation of infusions, leaves with stems are collected, which are cut off with a sharp knife or sickle. It is believed that harvesting should be done with the growing moon, since at this time all medicinal plants contain a maximum of useful substances.
Is it necessary to wash?
Before you start drying mint and lemon balm, you need to do some steps:
- Rinse the branches with running water.
- Spread out on a towel to glass the water.
- Place on fabric until leaves and stems are completely dry.
- Separate and remove damaged parts of the plant.
How to prepare and dry?
The bunches of plants are hung upside down or laid out on pallets. For proper drying, the following conditions must be met:
- the room must be well ventilated;
- the grass should not be exposed to direct sunlight;
- the air temperature is maintained not lower than 20 and not higher than 35 degrees.
If the weather is dry and sunny, after a week the leaves will begin to easily break off the stems, and the workpiece can be sent for storage.
The herb is stored in glass jars or cloth bags until next season in a dry, dark and cool place. Under such conditions, the mixture will retain all its medicinal and beneficial properties.
We suggest watching a video on how to prepare lemon balm for the winter in a natural way:
Using a stove or special apparatus
Greens are laid out in a thin layer on a tray of special equipment, a baking sheet in the oven or on a plate in the microwave. The desired temperature regime is chosen, as a rule, this is the minimum, since the grass does not need a lot of heat to dry.
Properly dried leaves:
- have a natural green color;
- they are dry and break when pressed lightly;
- have a specific aroma;
- retain a hot, spicy taste.
The dried herb is stored for one year; with longer storage, it gradually loses its properties.
You can freeze any varieties of lemon balm and mint... For this you need:
- bunches of grass in any quantity;
- plastic bags;
- ice molds;
- boiled water.
As with drying, plants are washed, dried and sorted, placed in containers or bags and placed in the freezer. You can freeze shredded grass or whole leaves.
To obtain cubes with lemon balm and mint, the plants are placed in molds, poured with cold boiled water and sent to the freezer for several hours. The cubes are then removed from the containers and placed in freezer bags. If desired you can grind the grass with a blender and freeze the mint and lemon balm in the form of mashed potatoes.
Whole leaves and shoot tops are useful for brewing tea and making other aromatic drinks, compotes, alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails. They can be added to stewed vegetables, meat, chicken, salads, dessert soups, cottage cheese and cereal casseroles, cheese cakes.
Cubes are also perfect for a refreshing drink and cocktail. Puree is added to baked goods, sauces, salad dressings.
How to use after salting and in what dishes can you add?
Mint and lemon balm have found their application in conservation... They are added to jam and compotes, vegetables are salted and pickled with them: cucumbers, tomatoes, cabbage. The herb gives such dishes aroma and spicy taste, saturates them with vitamins and minerals. It is even used for salting meat and fish.
When pickling cabbage and other vegetables, spread mint or lemon balm in layers. It is also possible to combine these herbs with dill, basil, marjoram, rosemary, oregano, parsley, thyme, black currant leaves, and cherries.
Plants are added, both fresh and dried. After conservation the herb can serve as a decoration for dishes and used in salads.
Can I freeze for tea and other features
We talked about the possible joint harvesting of mint and lemon balm, we emphasize once again that these two plants complement each other perfectly. And tea from a mixture of these herbs will simultaneously tone and relax the nervous system, strengthen the heart and blood vessels.
Since mint contains a high concentration of tannins, bitterness and essential oil, only 2-3 fresh leaves are added to a cup of tea when brewing, but more lemon balm must be taken, therefore, when these plants are dried together for tea drinks, the proportion of lemon balm in the collection should be greater than mint.
The easiest way to preserve plants is to freeze them., while the herbs retain more aroma and taste than when dried. However, with prolonged freezing, both plants change color, and their taste also deteriorates.
When preparing dishes, the main thing to remember is that it is necessary to add spices a few minutes before the end of cooking or stewing, then the grass will transfer its aroma to the food.
Delicate spicy mint and lemon-scented lemon balm are different plants, each of them has its own advantages, in its own way has a beneficial effect on the body. Dried together or frozen in a container, they will create a unique feeling of freshness and vigor even in winter and fill a person with positive emotions.
We suggest watching a video on how to harvest mint for the winter: