The lemon balm plant - also known as melissa - is a bushy, perennial herb belonging to the mint family.
It has square stems, soft and intensely lemon-scented leaves and small, white or pale yellow flowers growing in clusters.
The plant is native to Southern Europe and Northern Africa.
Today it grows wild in most countries and is a common herb in many kitchen gardens.
Lemon balm is rich in antioxidants.
The lemon-scented leaves are widely used in cooking, to flavour salads, soups, sauces, vinegars, fish, schnapps, vodka and liqueurs.
Oil from the plant is used in anti ageing products, dietary supplements, tinctures and ointments.
Lemon balm is also very popular as an ingredient in herb teas.
And it's one of the main ingredients in liqueurs such as the French Benedictine and Chartreuse.
Lemon balm attracts bees and was originally grown as a bee plant - if you rub an empty beehive with the leaves it will attract new "tenants".