Saturday, October 6, 2012

Lemon Balm

One of the difficult things for us about Fall is we seem to find ourselves looking at all the things still left to do. There is a kind of denial that happens as the nights grow colder, but for me what really drove the point home was when the Lemon Balm started to turn. It is with a heavy heart that I cut the last of it by the fistfuls for the ponies at feeding time, knowing that we will not see each other again in this way until the spring. Luckily, if I miss Lemon Balm too much I can still find a high quality, organic source of it through our friends at Mountain Rose Herbs.

Lemon Balm was the Prom Queen of herbs for the 2012 Herb Walks. One of the things we try to teach people with our Herb Walks is how to open up to their natural intuition and find the herb that most speaks to them. This is a long forgotten skill for most of us and one of the things I deeply appreciate about working with animals and herbs is animals tend to still be fairly in touch with this intuitive side of themselves. I notice with animals, as with people, the closer we are to our natural environment and way of being the more this intuition expands. I have noticed over the years the longer the 3TF horses and ponies are on herbal supplements, the clearer they become about what their needs are making it easier for me to choose their herbal formulas.

One of the things we use Lemon Balm for is to help with horses and ponies who have thyroid problems. Many horse owners have experienced either first hand or through a friend's struggle with a horse that seems to gain weight on air. Problems with the thyroid are often related to problems with metabolic function. Lemon Balm is an excellent choice to try for horses who tend to have problems with excessive weight as it is a nice gentle herb that tends to blend easily with other herbs. With it's refreshing smell and taste there is just something about Lemon Balm that feels like summer. One of my favorite ways to let our horses and ponies choose their dose is to cut it up in the water trough.

Lemon Balm is also good for spasmodic colic and is considered a good choice for treating depression. Anyone who has smelled Lemon Balm can attest to it's uplifting quality. Like most herbs it is not a suitable choice for those who are pregnant and I would encourage and assume anyone who is pregnant to consult a professional before adding any supplements, herbal or otherwise to their diet.

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