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Lemon balm - Fresh Herbs Israel

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LEMON BALM

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), is a perennial herb in the mint family Lamiaceae, native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean region. It grows to 70-150 cm tall. The leaves have a gentle lemon scent, related to mint. During summer, small white flowers full of nectar appear. These attract bees, hence the genus name Melissa (Greek for 'honey bee'). Lemon balm is often used as a flavouring in ice cream and herbal teas, both hot and iced, often in combination with other herbs such as spearmint. It is also frequently paired with fruit dishes or candies. It can be used in fish dishes and is the key ingredient in lemon balm pesto. It has been suggested that it might be a better, healthier preservative than beta hydroxy acid in sausages.


Melissa (Lemon balm) Photo (cc) Georges Jansoone

Lemon balm

Lemon balm photo (cc) Georges Jansoone
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Agriculture in Israel facts
The area of irrigated farmland has increased from 74,000 acres (30,000 ha) in 1948 to some 460,000 acres (190,000 ha) today. Israeli agricultural production rose 26% between 1999 and 2009, while the number of farmers dropped from 23,500 to 17,000. Farmers have also grown more with less water, using 12% less water to grow 26% more produce.

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Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization.


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