Category Archives: Blog

Chillies Chilli Pepper Chilli and Weight Loss Chilli and Pain Relief Chilli Dishes Curry

There are about 400 types of chillies and most are cultivated in the Far East, South America and Caribbean. , India and Mexico.

It is common knowledge that the smaller the chilli the hotter it is. Chilli varieties like bird eyes chilli, apache, Caribbean red, Habanero and Naga are probably one of the hottest variety available.

The face of chilli growing is changing, in 2006; the hottest chilli in the world was developed by a chilli grower in England. The world’s hottest chilli is called Dorset Naga and it is twice as hot as the previous record holder, Naga Jolokia in India. It is said that anyone who dare to eat the whole chilli on its own will definitely need hospital treatment.

Chillies have been known for the following benefits:

1. There is something about the thermal effect of hot chilli that is creating a rave in the weight loss industry. The capsaicin found in chillies provides a thermal effect which speeds up the our body’s metabolic rate thereby help burn calories.

2. Vitamin A containing beta-carotenoids is a potent antioxidant that is present in chillies. The anti oxidant destroy the free radicals and help protect our heart. Vitamin B, C and E are also present in chillies.

3. The heat inducing properties in chillies is also known to clear a stuffy nose and cold. Try eating chilli dishes like hot curry in a warm environment, you will sweat and then your nose runs, suddenly your head will clear and you can breathe easily.

4. Capsaicin in chilli is found to be an effective and safe analgesic agent for pain relief.

However, overeating of chilli could also cause pain and discomfort in the stomach. People suffering from irritable bowel syndrome could be sensitive to chillies.

Chilli pepper can be eaten raw or as part of your cooked dishes. Wear a glove when you are cleaning chillies or wash your hand thoroughly after touching chillies. Remove the seeds and the membrane from the chilli to scale down the heat in your cooking.

Chilli can be dried and stored. Dried chillies are usually ground into powder for curries. Whole dried chillies can be found in Chinese cooking especially in the Kung Po and Szechuan dishes. Dried chilli flakes are sprinkle onto pastas and pizza in Italian cooking. Raw chilli can be kept in the fridge for about a month.

Handle chilli according to your threshold for heat. Start with the mildest chilli and work your way up the heat factor. You could get so used to the heat that you can’t do without it.

Cooking with Herbs

There is nothing more satisfying than the smell of fresh herbs wafting in on a summer breeze. The taste of fresh Rosemary, Basil and Cilantro delight our senses with flavor and fragrance. Herbs are truly one of the most versatile, magnificent groups of plants on earth. Perhaps the most enticing things about them is the ease in which they can be grown making it possible for everyone to enjoy and reap the benefit’s a simple herb garden.

Herbs make wonderful container plants which means they can be conveniently grown on a patio or even indoors bringing them close to the kitchen. We all know the importance of lowering our salt intake. By choosing to season with herbs instead of salt you will bring a whole new kind of flavor and freshness to your favorite dishes. While herbs can be used in dry form, nothing beats using freshly cut herbs from your own garden.

Many kinds of herbs can be planted together in a large pot making a “mini” herb garden. The exception to this rule is the mints. They should be planted individually keeping spearmint and peppermint separate. Place indoor herbs in a sunny window. If animals are a problem you can plant your herb garden in large hanging baskets.

A basic rule to follow when cooking with herbs is that you should use three times as much fresh herb as you would use dried. Clip you herb, wash it off, pat it dry then remove the leaves from the stem. From there chop your herbs up finely and get ready to spice up your favorite dishes!

Try some rosemary and thyme on chicken or potato dishes. Cilantro compliments Mexican dishes as does Epazote. Sage is magnificent with turkey or pork and in stuffing. Use rosemary sprigs instead of skews to make kabobs on the grill. You can also use sprigs of rosemary as a brush to baste sauce onto fish or chicken. Chopped Basil gives a great flavor to steaks and dill will freshen up the taste of fish, potatoes and salad.

Don’t forget to use your fresh cut herbs to make sensational seasoned oils. Clip and wash your herbs then remove them from the stem. Cut them up or use a mortar and pestle to release the flavor. Place a little olive oil in a small dish and add the herb leaves . Mix well. Fill a sterile jar with half olive oil and half of the herb leaves. Place a generous pinch of rock salt in the container then fill the rest of the bottle with the remaining leaves and oil. Leave this to sit for about two weeks shaking it up occasionally to mix all of the flavors. Rosemary and thyme make a nice oil, but don’t be afraid to experiment.

Herbs can bee added to softened butter to give a unique flavor. Dill and Rosemary are great for herbed butter. Thyme or Rosemary can also be added to bread recipes.

On your next sandwich try reaching for a basil leaf instead of lettuce for a change of taste. Basil leaves are delicious when added to salads, or with a piece of cheese and tomatoes on a piece of French bread . Herbs are not only tasty, but beautiful. As a garnish they dress up any dish!

There are many books and websites available to help you get started growing and using herbs. Once you start, ordinary table salt will take a back seat to natures delectable Herbs!

The Choice between Fresh and Dried Herbs

In my opinion, fresh herbs are always the better choice when it comes to taste and quality. However, due to the fact that they are in deed fresh they are also perishable items meaning that the shelf life is short and may be even shorter if they are not stored properly, making them sometimes not very convenient or readily available. Unless you have an herb garden in your back yard!

Dried herbs, on the other hand, have a much longer shelf life. They are much more convenient and do not involve much labor as far as chiffonade or chopping is concerned. I am currently earning my A.S degree in Culinary Arts and here are a few tricks that I learned when dealing with dried ingredients. In order to get the most flavor from dried ingredients they must be re-hydrated. By using the term re-hydrate, I am not saying that you should drop the herbs in waterlet me explain! Re-hydration for each herb varies! For instance, I’ve learned that in order to release the most flavor from dried herbs you should rub them with your fingers, this way you begin to release the oils in the herbs that have been stowed away. Another way to begin the process of releasing the oils from dried herbs is to slightly toast or dry heat them. Like drop them in a saut pan over a low flame and shift them around for a couple seconds.

Good chefs in the industry use a combination of both fresh and dried ingredients while cooking. They make decisions about which ingredients absolutely MUST be fresh and which items can be substituted for dry. For instance, I honestly feel there is NO substitute for fresh parsley or cilantro.

How to Make Popsicles using Herbal Tea

The simple answer to how to make Popsicles using herbal tea is to make some double strength herbal tea, let it cool, pop it into your Popsicle moulds and freeze. I have special moulds with plastic sticks’ that click into the moulds and you pull them out with the Popsicle on them when they’re frozen. Some people use plastic cups and stick craft sticks in them when they have started to freeze. Probably one of the first questions to ask is what tea should I use? The answer is to choose one you currently enjoy so that you know you will enjoy them.

I like using the Celestial Seasonings Red or Lemon Zingers as they are really tasty. I normally just make the zingers on there own, but occasionally I’ll use this recipe

4 Zinger tea bags
2 cups boiling water
2 tbsp honey
1 cup lemonade

Steep the tea bags in the boiling water for about 5 minutes and stir in the honey while the tea is still hot, add lemonade and pour into moulds & freeze. I will also sometimes add a lemon or orange slice to the mould as it looks really nice.

Elderflower tea has a very delicate flavour, it can also be beneficial to ease winter coughs and soothe sore throats. As a Popsicle try making up 2 cups of double strength elderflower tea and add cup of orange juice for a lovely flavour, if you’re able to get some elderflowers they look stunning when put into the moulds with the tea.

Another great Popsicle for when the summer colds or sore throats are around is the Twinnings Raspberry & Echinacea tea. This is delicious made up to a double strength and frozen or sometimes I will make up 2 cups of double strength Raspberry & Echinacea tea and add cup of apple juice and then freeze.

When you’re having a heavy meal such as lasagna, it can be really good to have peppermint tea to help your digestion. Last summer when it was a hot night I just didn’t feel like a hot cup of tea and my dark peppermint Popsicle was born. I made up double strength peppermint tea and let it cool in the fridge, then I shaved some dark chocolate and stirred through the tea before pouring into the moulds and freezing, I also sometimes add peppermint leaves for a stunning visual effect.

If you’ve got an upset stomach or a child that’s feeling sick then a ginger and pear Popsicle is fantastic. Make up double strength ginger tea, chop up some pears, mix together and freeze.

Who hasn’t heard of the benefits of green tea? No matter how you feel green tea will help, well thanks to the good folk at Celestial Seasonings I have adapted their green tea smoothie recipe to a delicious Popsicle. You will need:-
4 green tea bags
1 cup boiling water
1 cup mango chunks
1 cup pineapple chunks
1 small banana
1 cup orange juice
cup milk
2 teaspoon lime juice
1 tablespoon honey.

Make up the green tea with the tea bags and boiling water and then allow to cool. Once it’s cooled throw all of the ingredients into a blender and blitz until smooth. Pour mixture into the Popsicle moulds and freeze enjoy.

Now what are you waiting for? Start making your herbal tea Popsicles today, buy a sampler and let your imagination run away with you.

Do you have a Recipe for Salmon Souffle

Even the most competent of cooks can be seen to blanch at the thought of making a soufflé as they are renown for being a difficult dish to serve successfully.

However if you follow all the basic rules a decent soufflé is not that hard to make.

Remember to beat your egg whites as stiffly as possible and keep them light and airy by not mixing your other ingredients in too quickly – if you gently fold the egg whites into the other ingredients you will find that you have much better results.

Of course the soufflé must be served as soon as it comes out of the oven or else you will end up serving something that resembles a pancake rather than alight and airy soufflé!

This recipe is a delicious recipe for a salmon soufflé that uses smoked salmon, I purchase the cheaper packs of smoked salmon off cuts for this recipe and they work fine making this delicious and impressive dish very economical.

This recipe make a lovely light lunch for two people served with a nice crisp salad.

Serves 2

300g smoked salmon, cut into small pieces
50g butter
50g flour
350ml milk
3 eggs
Freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan
A little butter for greasing dishes
2 x 275ml soufflé dishes

1. Preheat the oven to 375F /190C / Gas mark 5.
2. Make a very béchamel sauce by melting the 50g butter in a milk pan.
3. Stir in the flour and cook stirring well.
4. Gradually ask the milk, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to make a smooth sauce. Remove from the heat.
5. Separate the eggs, and add the yolks to the sauce, beat well.
6. Fold in the smoked salmon and season generously with the black pepper (the sauce should not need any salt as the salmon is salty enough).
7. Rub the inside of the soufflé dishes with butter and then coat with the Parmesan cheese – making sure that you cover the sides and bases (this will stop the soufflé sticking to the dish)
8. Whisk the egg whites until really firm.
9. Stir one tablespoonful of the whisked egg white into the sauce , then add the very gently and using a metal so that the air remains trapped in the egg whites.
10. Transfer the mixture gently between the prepared soufflé dishes and cook in the oven for 20 minutes, by which time the soufflé should have risen and be golden on the top, but still soft in the centre.

Serve immediately

Exotic Dishes

Chinese five spice is an exotic and aromatic blend of sweet and somewhat pungent flavors. This traditional blend of spices are mainly cinnamon, fennel, ginger, all spice, anise seeds, cloves,and licorice root. Of course, there are many different versions of this oriental mix; however, the spices mentioned are predominately utilized in order to give dishes a boost to them.

The Chinese cuisine is a very popular one in restaurants. And, one great way to enjoy this at home is to incorporate five spice in your cooking. It will provide a mouthwatering and succulent taste to any dish Because Chinese five spice is quite potent, it is imperative to use this sparingly in any dish. A little amount goes a long way. This seasoning can be found on most ethnic section of any big grocery store. Or, a quick trip to a Chinese market will do the trick.

Braised Chicken

One great way to cook with Chinese five spice is to add it to braised chicken. It is best to use the dark portions of the chicken with bone-in. The legs and thighs are just about perfect for this succulent meal. Season chicken pieces with crushed garlic, salt and pepper. Add a pinch of five spice seasoning to chicken pieces. Add a sprinkle of oil to a sturdy pot that can be used in both oven as well as on top of the stove. Remove garlic from chicken and thoroughly dry off chicken pieces with paper towel or a clean cheese cloth.

Proceed to sear or brown chicken pieces on both sides over medium heat. Make sure not to crowd the pot so as to prevent steaming. Remove chicken from pot and set aside. Add chopped onions, celery, thyme, escallion and any additional seasoning as desired. Cook ingredients until they become translucent. Then, add low sodium chicken broth with a mix of tap water. Place back the chicken pieces in pot and cover. Continue to cook on low to medium heat until done. Serve your Chinese five spice chicken over a fluffy bed of rice along with steamed broccoli.

Roasted Pork

Pork leg is fairly inexpensive compared to other meats. This piece of meat is just what the chef orders.  And, what better way to partake of this pork leg than to add Chinese five spice seasoning. Marinade this for overnight or twenty-four hours in order to allow seasoning and spices to be distributed properly throughout the meat. The food processor is a great help for this dish. If not, the blender will do the work as well. Dice or mince onions, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Add a drizzle of oil to ingredients along with Chinese five spice seasoning. Poke a few holes in pork with the tip of knife and insert prepared marinade. Make sure to rub over surface of pork.

In roasting pan add roughly chopped root veggies like onions, carrots, etc. Season veggies along and make sure to added just a pinch of five spice seasoning. Add a little liquid in pan and place pork leg on top of veggies. Roast in a heated oven until the flesh falls off from the bone. Serve Chinese five spice roasted pork with mashed sweet and Irish potatoes along with green beans.


Another ideal way to use Chinese five spice is on seafood. Season shrimp with salt and pepper, and garlic along with a pinch of five spice seasoning. Stir-fry onions until they become softened. Add chopped tomatoes and season along. Toss in shrimp and cook over low heat for approximately two to three minutes. Add few chopped olives and capers to shrimp dish. Serve Chinese five spice shrimp over a fluffy bed of Chinese noodles or any pasta. Garnish with chopped chopped herb.

Salmon or any fish is also a delicious way to indulge in this exotic spice. And, a quick and easy way to cook this is to broil same. Serve with a warm couscous or barley salad for supper or brunch.

Chinese five spice seasoning is very versatile and is easy to incorporate in many everyday dishes. Don’t be afraid to add it to a vegetable stir-fry or a hearty vegetable soup with Chinese noodles. This oriental seasoning might be just be what you need to put a delicious spin on your dishes.

How do you Make the Perfect Souffle

The soufflé is probably one of the most feared dishes that challenge cooks everywhere. The main problem with this totally unpredictable recipe – one that basically consists of only a thick, creamy white sauce (sweet or savoury) and whisked egg whites – is that when the delicious soufflé is cooked, puffed up majestically with a crispy outside and a gooey scrumptious centre, it is only a matter of seconds, before this culinary masterpiece deflates. It is an unavoidable fact that the diner must wait their soufflé rather than the soufflé wait for them!

Despite this problem it is really quite simple to make a perfect soufflé, even if its beauty does only last for a very short time, by following a few basic instructions.

The first thing that is important is the dish used to bake your soufflé in; so that the soufflé rises evenly  the dish should be a round straight sided ovenproof  one –  they can be large dishes or individual ramekins. Preparing this dish is the next important step; the dish needs to be well greased inside with soft butter or margarine and then dust it with flour, breadcrumbs or parmesan cheese if making a savoury soufflé or caster or icing sugar or cocoa for a sweet soufflé. Next place the dish in a refrigerator and chill until the butter is set; by doing this the soufflé will rise better.

The base of the soufflé is the next element of the dish that needs a little attention; if making a savoury soufflé the base will be a thick roux based sauce with added egg yolks and seasonings, if the soufflé is sweet it will be a custard or fruit compote. Whichever base is used it is important to ensure that  this base is well seasoned to give a good flavour, as when the whisked egg whites are added the flavour will be watered down. This base (which can be prepared in advance before making the final soufflé) also needs to be a thick and smooth consistency to help the soufflé to rise well.

To get a really light soufflé much care needs to be taken with the egg whites. It is important to make sure that a large, clean dry bowl is used for preparing the egg whites; the whites should then be whisked until stiff. Use eggs that have been kept at room temperature, and eggs that are around one week old will give better results. When the egg whites are ready beat around a third of the mixture into the base, then with a metal spoon fold the remaining egg whites gently until the mixture is smooth and well combined. 

The next tip regards how the mixture is placed in the prepared dish; only fill the dish ¾ way up the dish, running a thumb around the edge of the mixture and the dish will make a channel that will encourage the soufflé to rise up.
It is then important that the oven is preheated to 220C/425F/gas 7 and place the soufflé in it as soon as the mixture is in the dish; then immediately lower the temperature to 190C/375F/gas 5. The oven needs to be hot to enable the air in the whisked egg whites to expand. Try not to open the oven during cooking, but more importantly never slam the oven door.

The finished soufflé should be golden brown and risen well over the top of the dish; it should be crispy on the outside but gooey and fluffy in the middle. One large soufflé should take around 30 minutes to cook and individual ones around 12 minutes.

Finally, the soufflé should be served VERY quickly so that the guests can appreciate its beauty before its inevitable downfall; however the guests really should be a little patient before attempting to eat it as the centre will be extremely hot!

The Properties of Nutmeg and when to use it in your Cooking

Nutmeg and mace

When I was little my grandmother used to make home made rice pudding and when it came out of the oven piping hot, there was always a lovely smell of a rich nutty scent coming from the steaming pot she would pull out of the oven, I used to love the skin off the top of the pudding as to me this tasted the best and as I got older I found out that the skin of the rice pudding contained grated nutmeg, which my grandmother used to flavour the pudding and now I use it myself on my own rice puddings.

Nutmeg is a kernel from an evergreen tree which grows in the regions of Indonesia, these are then exported to Europe and other parts of the world. Mace is the thin leathery tissue between the stone and the pulp. The trees can grow up to 65 feet in height and at the age of eight years they start to produce the fruit.
The nutmeg is a bright red colour when it is picked and when it is dried the colour changes to a lovely amber colour.

Nutmeg contains essential oils and can be pressed to extract oil of mace which can then be used as scent for soaps and other beauty products.
However there is another side to the nutmeg, as it contains Myristicin which if eaten in large quantities can cause convulsions and hallucinations, it can also cause vomiting and flushing, but this is only if eaten in huge doses. Nutmeg is usually used for the flavouring of puddings, eggnog, sausages and other foods.
It is also used as a herbal remedy and can be bought in capsule form at the health shops, a bottle of 30 capsules will cost you around 4 and these can be taken one or two times a day with food to help stop symptoms of flatulence, diarrhea and as a digestive aid.
Do NOT take these if you are pregnant or breast feeding and these are NOT suitable for anyone who suffers from depression or anxiety attacks.

I personally have not tried the capsules but have seen them on sale in the heath shops, I only use nutmeg and mace in cooking, grating a little nutmeg into rice pudding can enhance the flavour.
Nutmeg can also be bought in little containers at the supermarket, it comes in powdered dried form for around 2 on the spice rack shelf of the supermarket, the shops own brand will be cheaper and just as good as a well known brand.
The nutmeg will store for months dried as long as you keep it away from heat or moisture.
It can be used in dishes with cheese, broccoli, rice pudding, sausages and lots of other foods.
Here is a quick and easy recipe to try and taste the full flavour of this spice.

Peach Cobbler

6 cups peeled sliced peaches
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup of all purpose flour
2 cups plain flour
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
3/4 cup unsalted butter or marg, melted
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F.
Filling: Mix peaches, sugar and cups of flour together and pour into a 15-inch baking dish.

Batter: Combine 2 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt in food processor. Mix to combine. Add the milk and melted butter. Mix until smooth.

Spoon batter over the peaches, making sure you spread to edge of dish. Sprinkle remaining 1 tablespoon sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon over the top.
Bake in centre of oven about one hour. Crust should be brown and crisp on the outside.
Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

How to Make a Basic Souffle

Souffles are not easy to make, so it is suggested that you make a practice one before serving to guests (important ones, that is) to avoid serving a dish that looks like a golden brown cake falling sideways.  A souffle can be hard to make, but then end result will taste good enough to make the hard work worth every effort.

As you will see, you can be very creative by experimenting with different ingredients.  To get the most out of your souffle with respect to flavor, chop or grate your fish/meat or cheese, and make into that ¾ cup.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees


2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/4 cup milk or broth-  can use chicken, beef or vegetable
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
4 egg yolks
6 egg whites
¾ cup (packed) chopped smoked salmon  (do you have fish allergies? Use grated cheese, or another cooked meat or vegetable in lieu of the salmon)
¼ teaspoon salt

Whisk flour and cold milk together until smooth.  Then, make a sauce by melting butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and milk, stirring until boiling. Remove saucepan from heat and let stand 1 minute. Blend in egg yolks 1 at a time, and then add your salmon or cheese, etc.

Mix well and set aside, letting it rest to room temperature.

Butter and flour a 1 1/2-quart souffle dish, and set aside.

In a bowl, beat all egg whites with salt and cream of tartar, using an electric mixer.  Beat until stiff, and stir 1 cup of egg whites into your sauce and then pour all of it into your souffle pan.  Put remaining egg white mixture on top of the souffle, but do not mix.

Put the souffle’ on middle oven rack and bake for about 25 minutes, until souffle’ is puffed on top.  Do not open the oven door during the first twenty minutes, and when you do open the oven door, open gently and when souffle is done, use care when removing from oven.

Serve immediately on tiptoes and in whispers, you don’t want that souffle’ to fall!

However, should that souffle fall, all is not lost.  Mash it down evenly, and sprinkle the top with your favorite grated cheese and put under the broiler for a few seconds, until the cheese melts.

Voila!  You now have a frittata to serve.

Lemon Balm

Lemon balm is a member of the mint family. Although native to Europe, it grows around the world. At maturity, the plant reaches around two feet in height and sometimes grows higher if left unattended. Clusters of light yellow flowers grow at the junction of the leaf and stem. The deeply wrinkled leaves, similar in shape to mint leaves, vary in color from yellow to dark green according to soil and climate. If you rub the leaves between your fingers, you will be left with a lemon scent on your hand.

Humans have recognized the benefits of lemon balm for centuries. Prior to the Middle Ages, it was seeped in wine to treat insect bites, heal wounds and help lift a person’s spirits. Over time the herb was used to help with indigestion, sleeplessness, pain, stress, anxiety and lack of appetite. 

Lemon balm is often planted in herb gardens and is used to attract bees. There hasn’t been a great deal of study on the herb uncombined with other ingredients, except for topical use. Most often it is combined with other herbs for a natural approach to several ailments. Modern studies indicate that earlier physicians may have been correct in their praises of the herb.

Lemon balm is usually applied or ingested as an oil. The oil is made from the plant’s leaves. The leaves contain the substance eugenol, which helps calm muscles spasms, numbs tissue and kills bacteria. They also have tannins, which are probably responsible for the oil’s antiviral properties. Terpenes is also found in lemon oil and has antiviral properties as well as some relaxing qualities.

Several studies have shown that when lemon balm is combined with other relaxing herbs, such as valerian, chamomile and hops, it helps to induce sleep. In one study, 81% of the subjects of a double blind study reported sleeping better when given a combination of lemon balm and valerian than those receiving a placebo. Similar results were obtained in a study regarding anxiety.

However, it’s uncertain if the positive results are due to the combination of the herbs or one herb by itself. When lemon balm was studied by itself it did improve sleep in a separate double blind study.

Ointments containing lemon balm have proven effective against cold sores. There is also some evidence that it helps with indigestion. It may improve cognitive functions and have a calming effect on Alzheimer’s patients when used in aromatheraphy.

 Lemon balm essential oil is also frequently used in furniture wax, perfume, massage oils and skin creams.

If you have the herb in your garden, you can harvest the leaves yourself. The fresh leaves can be used to enhances salads, sauces, vegetable dishes or used as a garnish.

They can also be dried for a variety of uses. The ideal temperature for the process is 85 to 90 degrees. Place them in one layer on a flat surface or hang them upside down by their stems. Make sure the drying area is out of direct sunlight and airy. Once dried you can put the leaves in tea, use them to make potpourris or add to a hot bath for a relaxing aroma.

Lemon balm also has its side effects. The essential oil has been linked to high eye pressure and people with glaucoma should avoid the herb.

There are no studies on the herb’s effects on small children or the unborn. Pregnant or nursing women are advised to avoid the herb and it isn’t recommended for small children.

Some people are allergic to lemon balm and may experience trouble breathing and a tightness in the chest along with a rash, itching and uncontrolled swelling. Such reactions require immediate medical attention as they could prove to be life threatening. 

Too much of the herb may have an overly relaxing effect. The person may experience some mental impairment until the effects wear off.

For the most part, lemon balm is a beneficial herb with many uses. It can be purchased over the internet in various forms. Be aware of the above cautions and consult your health professional before self treating an ailment, but otherwise enjoy.