Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is a lemon-scented herb that comes from the same family as mint. The fragrance is almost irresistible, especially to bees. It is often referred to as bee balm. In the ninth century, the emperor Charlemagne was so impressed by the herb's healing properties that her ordered it planted in all monastery apothecary gardens. In modern herbal medicine lemon balm is combined with other calming herbs, such as valerian and hops, to reduce anxiety and promote sleep. Herbal practitioners recommend lemon balm for Alzheimer's disease, dementia, and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Anxiety and stress
European and German authorities approve the use of lemon balm for tension, anxiety, and poor sleep. Studies in children and adults confirm that the combination of lemon balm and valerian reduces restlessness and improves sleep. This herb is also a great digestive aid suitable for all ages. It gently relaxes the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract and has been approved for use by the European and German Health authorities for gastrointestinal spasms and for easing bloating and gas.
Recently scientists have identified several compounds in lemon balm that block the herpes simplex virus. Research has shown that is it an effective treatment for oral herpes, or fever blisters. Two clinical trials in volunteers found that lemon balm extract shortens duration and severity of herpes outbreak when applied topically 3 to 4 times daily.
How to use:
Pour 1 cup boiling water over 5 to 6 fresh leaves or 1 teaspoon dried leaf and steep for 5 to 7 minutes. Strain and enjoy. Drink several times a day to reap benefits.
Lemon balm essential oil can be added to lotions, massage oils, and diffusers to help relieve stress and anxiety and improve sleep.
Tinctures and Extracts: Widely available at health stores. Use as directed.
Lemon balm ointments can be found at many health food stores and pharmacies, Apply as directed.
This post is not intended to prevent, treat, or cure any disease