Lemon Balm and cleaning out old energy!
Ah, it is the days of opening windows and rocking on the front porch watching the trees bud. I love this time of year, especially with all the “shedding of winter” vibes happening. I also love to clean the home and hearth from top to bottom. Bringing in the outside with bouquets, herbs and natural material to cook with and decorate my home and altars is a great way to celebrate spring and new life.
Through the winter, I save my organic orange pieces and put them in a good white vinegar to save for cleaning and let them steep a while in my pantry. I strain the brew after a few weeks and place in a large spray bottle. I usually add rosemary twigs and sage leaves from the garden into the spray bottle to add more cleaning power. I spray down the door frames and window frames to cleanse the area but also to wipe away unwanted energies that might have entered the home and to allow fresh new energy to enter. Once dry, I spray the door and window frames again with a spray that I have made with peppermint herb or a good peppermint essential oil and water. It repels ants, spiders, mice and all the unwanted critters I’d rather stay outside! We sweep out with our besoms, an old European word used for house broom, all the cobwebs and stagnant energy lurking in the corner spaces. We sweep the front porch and keep it tidy. Sometimes, I will even use the same peppermint spray on my besom with a little song, “ Sweep out evil, sweep out ill, where I do the Goddess’ will, Besom, Besom, Goddess’ broom, sweep out darkness, sweep out doom”. It is always more fun with a song.
So many beautiful spring herbs are popping up everywhere, I love to bring them in for all sorts of springtime fun. One of my favorite herbs that grows incredibly well here is Melissa officinalis, aka Lemon Balm. This beautiful green herb is a calming mild sedative that’s safe enough for children. In fact, I like to add in a little Catnip with it for a calming, tummy taming tea at bedtime for my children. With its magical properties of good cheer and clear intentions, it reminds us that through simple steady measures we can nurture our home and family.
I LOVE to use Lemon Balm as a jelly, in an infused honey, as an herb butter, even add to your cleaning spray for more anti-viral cleaning power. To make Lemon Balm jelly you will need 1 cup of Lemon Balm leaves packed and roughly chopped, 3 cups of water, 1 lemon juiced, 1 box of pectin and 4 cups of sugar. Bring the water to a boil in a small pan and stir in the lemon balm. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to steep for 10 minutes. Strain the mixture making sure to squeeze the leaves to get every ounce of flavor out (I like to use nut bags for straining my herbs). Pour in the fresh lemon juice. You should have 3 cups of liquid after the lemon juice was added, if not, add more water til you get 3 cups. Now pour in the pectin and stir to dissolve. Over the highest possible heat, bring mixture to a boil and add sugar. When the solution returns to a hard boil, time it for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. After 2 minutes, transfer jelly to hot, sterilized jars and seal accordingly. You can have this amazing taste of spring over yogurt, toast, biscuits, or smoothies! You could even mix it up with other tasty wild herbs or cultivated herbs popping up in your garden. Other variations you could add could be Catnip, Nettles, Chickweed, Sage, Dandelions or Strawberries. Even bring them in and make a bouquet for the table or drop a few leaves in some ice water!
Start your spring cleaning today and get outside to enjoy the springtime popping up everywhere!
Many green blessings!