Poli Museo della Grappa

Poli Grappa Museum

Poli Distillerie

Poli Distillerie

The miraculous lemon balm

  • Plant: Lemon Balm (Melissa Officinalis)
  • Plant part: flower
  • Plant feauters: digestive, tonic, stomachic expectorant, stimulating, relieving flatulence, stimulates blood flow, eupeptic, antispasmodic, cough-releasing

  • Description:
    "It is a very vulgar plant with a good smell because it breathes the scent of Cedar" said Castore Durante of the lemon balm. In fact it is a very widespread plant, which in its appearance is reminiscent of many other plants from the Labiatae family, but from which differs just for the scent given off by the leaves when crushed: hence the common name of the lemon balm. It was this fragrant and penetrating essential oil content in the leaves that intrigued the ancient physicians and especially the Arab alchemists who prepared "essences" with lemon balm with extraordinary and miraculous healing powers.
    "Conferre debilitati cordis", said Mesue, "exhilarates the spirits and expels melancholy", said Avicena, while other authors did not neglect to propagate them as "miracle remedies" that allowed teeth, nails and hairs to regrow and rejuvenated the whole body. The actual carminative and antispasmodic properties of the plant were made popular in the eighteenth century; this demonstrates the fact that one of the oldest prepared lemon balm, "alcholatum Melissae compositum", prepared by the Discalced Carmelites of Venice, remains still today a popular universal cure-all.    
Lemon Balm (Melissa Officinalis)
  • Ingredients:
    - 1 liter of Grappa
    - some tops of lemon balm
  • Preparation:
    Some tops of Melissa in a liter of Grappa will give us a green moss-colored liquor with a sour taste that is, as in the perfume, reminiscent of lemon.
    The plant will be picked up in early summer, because at that time - just before flowering - it is rich in essential oils. Freshly harvested must be left to macerate for a month in a sunny place.

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  • Brown alga (Alaria Esculenta)
  • Pero corvino (Amelanchier Ovalis)
  • Angelica Sylvestries (Angelica Sylvestris)
  • Strawberry tree (Arbutus Unedo)
  • Absinthe (Artemisia Absinthium)
  • Genepì male or black (Artemisia Genipi)
  • Wild Asparagus (Asparagus Acutifolius)
  • Woodruff or fragrant Bedstraw (Asperula Odorata)
  • Barberry (Berberis Vulgaris)
  • Birch (Betula Alba)
  • Pepper e chilli pepper (Capsicum Frutescens)
  • Field Cumin (Carum Carvi)
  • Common Chicory (Cichorium Intybus)
  • Cinchona (Cinchona Succirubra)
  • Ceylon Cinnamon Tree (Cinnamomum Zeylanicum)
  • Seville Orange, Bitter Orange (Citrus Aurantium)
  • Kola Nut (Cola Acuminata)
  • Cornelian cherry, European cornel (Cornus Mas)
  • Azarole, Mediterranean medlar (Crataegus Azarolus)
  • Common Hawthorn, Midland Hawthorn (Crataegus Oxycantha)
  • Globe Artichoke (Cynara Scolymus)
  • Dictamnus (Dictamnus Albus)
  • Date-Plum (Diospyros Lotus)
  • Russian Olive (Elaegnus Angustifolia)
  • Green or True Cardamom) (Elettaria Cardamomun)
  • Loquat, Japanese medlar, Japanese plum  (Eriobotrya Japonica)
  • Tasmanian bluegum, blue gum (Eucalyptus Globulus Labill)
  • Florence fennel or Finocchio (Foeniculum Vulgare)
  • Agarikon, Quinine Conk (Fomes Officinalis)
  • Wild Strawberry (Fragraria Vesca)
  • Manna Ash (Fraxinus Ornus)
  • Great Yellow Gentian (Gentiana Lutea)
  • Wood Avens, Colewort (Geum Urbanum)
  • Liquorice, Licorice (Glycyrrhiza Glabra)
  • Roselle, Carcade (Hibiscus Sabdariffa)
  • Common Sea-Buckthorn (Hippophae Rhamnoides)
  • Common Hop, Hop (Humulus Lupulus)
  • Pperforate St John's-wort (Hypericum Perforatum)
  • Star anise, Chinese star anise, Badiam (Illicium Verum)