Lemon balm is majorly cultivated to enjoy the treats its leaves confer. It can be harvested any time after the plant has given out a good deal of leaves.
Lemon balm is suggested to be harvested just before the blooming season comes into play because, at that time, all the essential active ingredients are at their peak.
Lemon balm leaves are of great value and they are harvested off of the plant through sharp scissors. To keep the plant flourishing properly, it is advised not to harvest more than 25% of the plant in one go.
The leaves of lemon balm are stripped off from the stem and splayed on the sheet only to be laid under the sun. This way, the leaves can dry within a day or even within few hours, depending upon the magnitude of sunlight.
To retain the best amount of biologically active ingredients, the sheet can be placed in a dappled shade. This way, the process may get stretched out but it will preserve the ingredients.
The leaves of lemon balm are then crumbled and stored in an airtight jar which is placed in a cool, dry, and dark place.
Moreover, the lemon balm leaves can also be stored in the refrigerator if the recipe requires their fresh use. They can be wrapped in a paper bag and the stems with leaves should remain intact to impart its heavenly flavor.