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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  • Dalmatian Iris or Sweet Iris (Iris Pallida)
  • Persian Walnut, Common Walnut (Juglans Regia)
  • Common Juniper (Juniperus Communis)
  • Bay laurel (Laurus Nobilis)
  • Aloysia Citrodora, Lemon verbena (Lippia Citriodora)
  • Chamomile (Matriarcaria Chamomilla)
  • Lemon Balm (Melissa Officinalis)
  • Horse Mint (Mentha Longifolia)
  • Bogbean, Buckbean (Menyanthes Trifoliata)
  • Honey (Miele)
  • Black Mulberry, Blackberry (Morus Nigra)
  • Alpine Sow-thistle, Alpine Blue-sow-thistle (Mulgedium Alpinum)
  • Nutmeg (Myristica Fragrans)
  • Cicely, Sweet Cicely (Myrrhis Odorata)
  • Common myrtle, Saharan myrtle (Myrtus Communis)
  • Oregano, Wild Marjoram (Origanum Vulgare)
  • Ginseng (Panax Ginseng)
  • Masterwort (Peucedanum Ostruthium)
  • Bladder Cherry, Chinese Lantern (Physalis Alkekengi)
  • Swiss pine, Arolla pine (Pinus Cembra)
  • Creeping Pine, Mugo Pine (Pinus Mugo Turra)
  • Mastic (Pistacia Lentiscus)
  • Common Polypody (Polypodium Vulgare)
  • Primula Odorosa (Primula Veris)
  • Wild Cherry, Sweet Cherry (Prunus Avium)
  • Cherry Laurel (Prunus Lauroceraso)
  • Blackthorn, Sloe (Prunus Spinosa)
  • Pomegranate (Punica Granatum)
  • Whitebeam or Common Whitebeam (Pyrus Aria)
  • Qiunce (Pyrus Cydonia)
  • Chinese Rhubarb, Rhubarb Root (Rheum Palmatum)
  • Blackcurrant (Ribes Nigrum)
  • Dog-Rose (Rosa Canina)
  • Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis)
  • Elmleaf Blackberry or Thornless Blackberry (Rubus Fruticosus)
  • Raspberry (Rubus Idaeus)
  • Butcher's-Broom (Ruscus Aculeatus)
  • Common Rue (Ruta Graveolens)
  • Sage, Garden Sage (Salvia Officinalis)
  • Elder, Elderberry (Sambucus Nigra)