It amazes me how plants can be so tender and vulnerable yet so powerful. They depend on us for nurturing and in return they nurture us. We plant, cultivate, and water. In return, flowers, vegetables, herbs, trees, shrubs - all nurture us in some way, either physically, mentally, or emotionally.
Lately I've been thinking about filling my life with more joy which has led me to lemons. Yes, lemons and all things lemony like lemon balm, lemon thyme, lemon verbena, and lemongrass. It shouldn't surprise me, I guess, that my search for things that bring joy would lead me to lemons. Even a lemony-hue can be cheery. Yellow daisies, Coreopsis, marigolds, sunflowers can brighten up a landscape or a bouquet. But lemons? The same fruit that can make us pucker, has a fragrance that can be uplifting! It seems like such a contradiction held in one plant.
As I dig deeper, I discover that lemons have a strong connection with mental health. The vitamin C in citrus have been found to lower levels of stress. It helps restore our adrenal glands when we are under too much stress. The smell of lemons can calm our nervous systems, help with anxiety and depression, and give us a boost of energy. Aromatherapy is definitely a super power of plants!
Here are a few ways to add lemon's uplifting essence into your day:
- Add lemon slices to your water. To take it to the next level, combine 5 lemon slices, 5 crushed lemongrass stalks, 1/2 c. fresh lemon basil leaves, and 1/2 c. fresh orange mint leaves in a carafe of water. Let it steep in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours. Strain and enjoy.
- Diffuse lemon essential oil to improve your mood. It energizes and invigorates. The essential oil is extracted from fresh lemon peel, so just a few drops will do. Read more about it's benefits here.
- Add fresh lemon balm and lemon verbena leaves into salads, especially fruit salads. This Roasted Fruit Salad looks especially delicious.
- Make lemon herb tea with dried lemon balm, lemon thyme, and lemon verbena. Click here for several recipes.
For creative ways to use lemon herbs in place of lemons, check out this site.
No matter how you slice it, lemons and all the lemon herbs offer something powerful that we need. So plant them in your garden or in a pot, tend to them, and nurture them and they will nurture you in return. That gift of reciprocity itself is a joy and one that keeps on giving.
Hi, I'm Tracy - horticulturist, beauty-seeker, Word-lover, and blessed to be the owner of Bella Botanica. I also love to write about plants, gardening, and about my faith journey. Thanks for reading!