Lemon Balm, also known as Melissa officinalis, is a fragrant herb with a long history of use in traditional medicine. Its health benefits and soothing properties have made it a popular ingredient in tea, aromatherapy, and skincare products.
Lemon balm has several health benefits, including reducing anxiety, improving sleep quality, and aiding digestion. It contains rosmarinic acid, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may help protect against chronic diseases. Additionally, lemon balm has been shown to have antiviral properties, which may make it beneficial for the treatment of certain viruses.
The lemon balm herb is versatile and can be used in a variety of ways. It can be brewed into tea, added to salads, soups, or stews, or used as a natural remedy for skin conditions like cold sores and insect bites. It can also be used as a natural air freshener or insect repellent.
To brew lemon balm tea, add 1-2 teaspoons of dried lemon balm leaves to a cup of hot water (not boiling) and steep for 5-7 minutes. For a stronger brew, increase the amount of leaves or steeping time. You can also add honey, lemon, or mint to enhance the flavor.
Overall, lemon balm is a versatile herb with numerous health benefits and uses. Whether you're looking for a natural remedy for anxiety, sleep issues, or digestive problems, or simply want to enjoy a flavorful cup of tea, lemon balm is a great choice.
A member of the mint family, lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) has a lovely lemon flavor and the ability to gently calm the nerves and lift one’s mood. Native to the Mediterranean, lemon balm’s medicinal and culinary use dates back over 2,000 years. Avicenna, the 11th-century Arab physician, wrote that lemon balm “causeth the mind and heart to become merry.”
Lemon balm tea is used as a flavouring in ice cream and herbal teas, both hot and iced, often in combination with other herbs such as spearmint. It is a common addition to peppermint tea, mostly because of its complementing flavor.
Lemon balm is also paired with fruit dishes or candies. Additionally, it can be used in fish dishes and is the main ingredient in lemon balm pesto.nIts flavour comes from citronellal (24%), geranial (16%), linalyl acetate (12%) and caryophyllene (12%).
In traditional Austrian medicine, M. officinalis leaves have been prescribed for internal use—as a tea—or external application—as an essential oil—for the treatment of disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, nervous system, liver, and bile. Lemon balm is the main ingredient of Carmelite water, which is still for sale in German pharmacies. In alternative medicine it is used as a sleep aid and digestive aid.
Lemon balm is used for digestive problems, including upset stomach, bloating, intestinal gas (flatulence), vomiting, and colic; for pain, including menstrual cramps, headache and toothache; and for mental disorders, including hysteria and melancholia.
Many people believe lemon balm has calming effects so they take it for anxiety, sleep problems, and restlessness. Lemon balm is also used for Alzheimer's disease, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), an autoimmune disease involving the thyroid (Graves' disease), swollen airways, rapid heartbeat due to nervousness, high blood pressure, sores, tumors, and insect bites.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
- Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of lemon balm during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
- Infants and children. Lemon balm is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken appropriately by mouth for about one month.
- Diabetes. Lemon balm might lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use lemon balm.
- Surgery: Lemon balm might cause too much drowsiness if combined with medications used during and after surgery. Stop using lemon balm at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
- Thyroid disease: Don't use lemon balm. There is a concern that lemon balm may change thyroid function, reduce thyroid hormone levels, and interfere with thyroid hormone-replacement therapy.