What are the main distinctions between lemon balm and mint? These two fragrant herbs are used in a variety of sweet and savory dishes across the globe.
While it is more exotic, lemon balm is not as popular as mint. Mint is more prevalent and simpler to get by. Lemon balm also has a slight lemony taste, while mint’s flavor is just minty.
Yet, neither is very difficult to locate, and if all else fails, you may grow them yourself.
Since they often appear in the same meals, you may be wondering which is the best to use.
- Lemon Balm Vs Mint: Differences
- Similarities Between Lemon Balm and Mint
- Can You Substitute Lemon Balm For Mint And Vice Versa?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the difference between lemon mint and peppermint?
- Does lemon balm look like mint?
- Can I use lemon balm in place of mint?
- What is the difference between lemon and lemon balm?
- Is lemon balm the same as mint tea?
- Is lemon balm invasive like mint?
- How do you identify lemon balm?
- What is lemon balm confused with?
- Can you smoke lemon balm?
- Who should not use lemon balm tea?
Lemon Balm Vs Mint: Differences
Despite the fact that they are both from the same family, it is important to highlight that they are from separate branches of that family.
In truth, this plant we name mint today is a sort of subfamily within the larger Lamiaceae family, which contains other herbs like oregano and basil.
There is just one lemon balm, Melissa Officinalis, whereas there are around 40 additional mint types. Lemon balm and mint types range in appearance as well as taste.
Lemon balm flavor is softly lemony with a very little mint note, while mint flavor is just minty with no taste of lemon.
Different in varieties
As previously stated, there are up to 40 distinct types of mint, but only one Melissa Officinalis, which is the Lemon Balm.
This demonstrates that the mint has more taste to give, yet individuals still prefer the more popular spearmint.
There are several mint varieties, ranging from spearmint to stronger peppermint or light and mild apple-mint to a strongly cocoa-based after eight mint variant.
The type of plants
Lemon balm is a perennial plant with oval leaflets and a strong central spine with veins radiating outwards. Mint, on the other hand, has a similar look and is also a perennial.
Lemon balm may reach a height of 24 inches, while other mint types can reach a height of 8 feet.
Mint and lemon balm are both invasive plants that spread by runners. This makes preserving these herbs challenging.
While pots and containers might be an ideal solution, their runners can still be detected attempting to escape the bottoms of those plant pots!
After the plants have established themselves, you may begin harvesting the mint and lemon balm leaves.
Plant organs are likely to die off over the winter unless the weather is very mild. In this case, you may dry them and they will maintain their taste extremely well.
As you touch the leaves of lemon balm, you will notice a citrus, zesty warmth to your mint fragrance.
The spearmint leaves have a wonderful fresh mint aroma.
The fragrance of mint varies from chocolate to pineapple, but it is always accompanied by an underlying perfume that is menthol in nature.
Similarities Between Lemon Balm and Mint
Lemon balm and mint plants both want to be planted in a sunny or somewhat shady location, with sufficient of moisture to keep their roots in well-drained soil.
You’ll also discover that bees and other pollinators like them if you leave the plants to grow and bloom, producing spikes of small flowers varying in color from white to light pink and purple.
Because of the many kinds, mint is more popular in the United Kingdom and the European mainlands. Lemon balm contains just one, despite the fact that it comes in a variety of forms.
Can You Substitute Lemon Balm For Mint And Vice Versa?
The proven distinctions between lemon balm and mint tastes are so significant that one cannot be substituted for the other.
Employing them as direct substitutions for one another can significantly affect the taste of your food.
Nonetheless, they would be useful in many of the same situations.
A drink created with lemon balm, for example, will not be spoiled if mint is substituted. Additionally, switching to lemon balm will typically work well with a meat-flavored meal.
Frequently Asked Questions
When should you use lemon balm, and when should you use mint?
Lemon balm may be used in foods that benefit from a light citrus note. These would include preparations for fish and poultry. Salad dressings may also benefit from a hint of lemon and a mild mint taste.
You may also add mint in meals that benefit from its strong herbal flavor and cooling impact.
It will complement the powerful aromas of lamb or mutton foods; its menthol overtones will also assist to brighten the flavors of salads and various drinks.
What are the health benefits of lemon balm and mint?
Lemon balm relieves stress and anxiety, improves cognitive function, aids in the treatment of insomnia, and may be used to cure cold sores, reduce indigestion, manage nausea, and battle menstrual cramps.
Mint, on the other hand, helps with digestion, IBS symptoms, cognitive function, and studies suggest that it may even alleviate the discomfort associated with nursing.
What does lemon balm taste like?
Lemon balm has a fresh, lemony flavor.
Is lemon balm as aggressive as mint?
While lemon balm has the same propensity as mint to grow and spread fast, it is less aggressive.
What does lemon balm repel?
Lemon balm is effective in repelling mosquitoes and gnats.
If you were wondering which one to chose between lemon balm and mint, we hope we were able to answer your queries. The choice between lemon balm and mint is entirely personal.
If you include the lemon zest, mint might be a better alternative for the lemon balm. Similarly, you may make the lemon balm more minty by adding a little quantity of mint essence.
When it comes to tea, though, lemon balm and mint are popular herbs, but they have unique characteristics.
Although they both have medical and digestive advantages, it is important to remember that lemon balm also functions as a sleep aid and ataractic.
Mint, on the other hand, has no effect on sleep or anxiety.
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What is the difference between lemon mint and peppermint?
Menthol components are present in lemon mint, albeit in far lower concentrations than in peppermint. As a result, the fresh, lemony flavor, rather than the minty flavor, takes center stage. Lemon mint tea may be made using fresh or dried leaves. Moreover, lemon mint may be utilized in a number of dishes.
Does lemon balm look like mint?
The leaves are severely wrinkled and vary in color from dark green to yellowish green depending on the soil and environment. Your fingers will smell sour and sweet, like lemons, if you massage the leaves. The leaves resemble mint leaves in form and are from the same plant family.
Can I use lemon balm in place of mint?
As a general rule, treat lemon balm the same way you would any other fresh herb. It’s very effective in place of mint, providing bright, aromatic tones. To add zesty taste to green salads, add entire lemon balm leaves, or chiffonade the leaves and spread them over a fruit salad.
What is the difference between lemon and lemon balm?
Although lemon verbena is often used to season fruits and sweets, lemon balm is more commonly used to flavor meats, fish, and poultry, or to add to vegetable dishes. Both may be used interchangeably in recipes as garnishes for cold beverages.
Is lemon balm the same as mint tea?
Both peppermint and spearmint, two of the most popular mint teas, are members of the mentha genus and contain menthol. Other plants, such as sage and lemon balm, are also members of the mint family. They lack the cooling note since they lack menthol.
Is lemon balm invasive like mint?
Lemon balm is a member of the mint family and, like mint, spreads quickly and becomes invasive.
How do you identify lemon balm?
5 – Lemon balm belongs to the mint (lamiaceae) family and is readily distinguished by its square stems (twirl them around in your fingers to feel this), oppositely paired leaves, and blooms that hug the stem. You’re in good hands since no members of the mint family are harmful. 4 identification
What is lemon balm confused with?
In terms of how it develops and spreads in the garden, lemon balm is sometimes mistaken with mint. Although mint spreads quickly via subterranean stems, lemon balm spreads by seed and may quickly overwhelm the garden if left uncontrolled.
Can you smoke lemon balm?
Lemon Balm, Wormwood Herb, Larger Celandine Herb, Hemp Buds, Stinging Nettle, Marshmallow Leaf, and Licorice Root are some more plants you may smoke.
Who should not use lemon balm tea?
Lemon balm may alter thyroid function, lower thyroid hormone levels, and interfere with thyroid hormone replacement treatment. If you have thyroid illness, avoid lemon balm.