Mountain Rose Herbs

Lemon Balm

Also known as

Melissa officinalis, melissa, balm.

Introduction

Lemon balm is a flowering perennial native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean. It has since been cultivated in other parts of the world, and has become naturalized in North America. It is a member of the mint family, possessing a pleasant aroma, strikingly similar to that of lemon. The herb can grow to nearly five feet tall, producing small white flowers. The Latin name “Melissa” translates to “bee,” referring to the plant’s ability to attract honeybees and other insects.

Constituents

Very small amounts of essential oil. The oil content of the leaf can be 2-3 times higher if the plant is grown under conditions of drought and heat.

Parts Used

The leaf, dried and cut.

Typical Preparations

Taken as a tea and added to skin ointments. Often combined with valerian when used as an aid for sleep. May also be administered as either an extract or capsule.

Functions

The German Commission E has approved lemon balm for supporting a calm and healthy sleep. It has also been approved in supporting the gastrointestinal tract. Lemon balm has been shown in clinical trials to support healthy memory and cognitive function, as well as to increase self-reported calmness.

References

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=12888775&dopt=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=15272110&dopt=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=12143909&dopt=Abstract

Precautions

Make sure the product you are using is lemon balm, and not the less expensive citronella.

For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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