Tasty Members of the Mint Family

We have 2 inspired ingredients this week from Springdale Farm… lemon balm and perilla leaves. Have you heard of either of these?

Lemon balm is an aromatic herb of the mint family that has a mild lemon flavor. Its sweet smell attracts bees and is a welcome addition to any garden.

With a reputed effect on vigor and longevity, lemon balm has a history of ceremonial and medicinal uses for the last 2,000 years. It has been traditionally valued for its anxiolytic, sedative, antioxidant and antiviral properties. It is used to treat cold sores, reduce stress and anxiety, increase concentration, and relieve insomnia. Recent studies have shown it to be effective in treating Graves’ disease and hyperthyroidism.

For more information about lemon balm, click here.

Another member of the mint family is Perilla (pictured above) also known as beefsteak plant, sesame leaves (though they have nothing to do with the sesame plant) or shiso in Japan. This aromatic herb has a slightly spicy flavor. It originates from the Himalayas and southeast Asia and is known as a superfood in these parts of the world. Medicinally, it is used as an expectorant, to alleviate nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, treat food poisoning and common indigestion, and can stop bacterial growth. It is antioxidant, antiviral, and antibacterial in nature. They are used in dishes as a natural food preservative and sterilizer.

Perilla leaves are nutrient rich in calcium, phosphorous, iron and vitamins A, K and C. They also contains omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids.

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