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DIY Lemon Balm Tincture

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Lemon balm tincture recipe

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How to Make an Anti-Anxiety Potion

I first learned about the anti-anxiety properties of lemon balm from a postpartum anxiety forum that I am in. Some of the women swore by its Xanax-like effect (I don’t know if I buy that, but it’s worth noting). I never realized that lemon balm had such medicinal anti-anxiety effects. You always think of lavender and chamomile when you think of herbs for anxiety, don’t you?

So, this spring, I made a point to plant an anti-anxiety garden¬†for myself. Sadly, the chamomile and lavender got choked off by mad weed growth, but the lemon balm has been doing mighty fine. It’s a perennial that is pretty darn easy to grow. In fact, I’m pretty sure in a year or two, our whole front yard will consist of lemon balm.

But I digress…


lemon balm


We’ve loved¬†having lemon balm at the ready. All through the summer, whenever Kayne and I had a cup of tea, we always put lemon balm leaves in it. It, of course, gives tea that lemony twist that is so delicious. But add it to my Tension Tamer tea, and it makes me feel all good inside.

Since we’re creeping up on frost season here in Wisconsin, I wanted to save whatever¬†lemon balm I could before it freezes.

And by the way, I did this just in time because only two days later, we had our first frost!

I tried recording the process on Periscope, but our Wifi in the country stinks, so it didn’t work very well. But you can see the process on video¬†here:


My exact process for making lemon balm tincture:

Gather lemon balm leaves in a colander. I only harvested the leaves that still looked healthy and didn’t have bug bites in them because that gives me the heebie jeebies.


lemon balm tincture


Rinse the lemon balm thoroughly, but try to do it carefully¬†as you don’t want to accidentally press the medicinal essential oils out of the lemon balm yet.

Load up a sterilized glass jar (aka, a jar that has gone through the dishwasher) with the rinsed lemon balm.

As the jar fills up, use the handle of a wooden spoon to really pack the lemon balm down into the jar. Be sure to “rough up” and muddle the lemon balm a bit to help it release its healing oils into the tincture. In fact, you may want to give your lemon balm a rough chop before putting it in the jar to release the oils even more.

Once you’ve filled the jar to about an inch from the top, fill the jar up with 80 to 100 proof vodka until it completely covers¬†the lemon balm. You don’t want any of the leaves to be exposed. Using strong vodka and covering the leaves completely will help prevent potentially harmful bacteria from forming.

Screw the lid on tightly, label the jar with the date, and store the jar in a cool, dark place for about a month, shaking the jar often. After a day or two of settling, you may have to add a little more vodka to cover the leaves again as all the pockets of air fill in.

After a month, you can repeat the process to make the tincture doubly strong. Since we already had our frost and the lemon balm will likely be gone in a month, I won’t be able to do this. Otherwise, after a month, it’s ready to use. Just strain out the leaves!


How to use lemon balm tincture:

Common advice states that 1/2 to 1 tsp of tincture is the proper dosage for anxiety and tummy aches. There are other recipes out there for making this tincture with gelatin for a more kid-friendly tincture as well.

And there you have it…

I felt like some kind of medicine woman making a potion or something! I think it’s so cool that God has tucked¬†so much¬†“magic” away in nature for us to use. There’s nothing more fulfilling than making a medicinal concoction from something¬†you’ve grown in your own yard.

I can’t wait to try it! The more natural remedies I can use for my anxiety, the better.


How about you?

Have you ever made or used a medicinal tincture before? Have you ever used lemon balm for anxiety? Any other natural remedies for anxiety that I should try?


*Please exercise caution and consult your own medical health professional before using this tincture. I am not a doctor or natural health practitioner and this article is purely based on personal experience. 

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