Herb: Bastard Balm

Latin name: Melittis melissophyllum

Synonyms: Melittis grandiflora, Melittis sylvestris

Family: Labiatae

Medicinal use of Bastard Balm:

Astringent, blood purifier, diuretic, emmenagogue, sedative, vulnerary.

Description of the plant:


30 cm
(11 3/4 inch)

May to


Habitat of the herb:

Hedges, scrub and mountain woods.

Edible parts of Bastard Balm:

A coumarin scented (like new-mown hay) herb, it is occasionally used for making a "Maiwein" or "Maibowle" type of beverage.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - best sown in a cold frame in the autumn. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Cultivation of Bastard Balm:

Hedges, scrub and mountain woods.

Known hazards of Melittis melissophyllum:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.