Lemon Balm

 

MELISSA OFFICINALIS

COMMON NAME : Lemon balm

FAMILY:                    Lamiaceae (Mint family)


HAITAT / GROWING :

Originates from southern Europe.


PARTS USED :  Aerial parts  


TRADITIONAL & MODERN USE:

Traditional herb for bees. Arabs introduced it as a medicinal herb for anxiety and depression. Bee keepers

rubbed it onto their hives to attract new bees and retain existing bees. Used traditionally as a tranquiliser and

sleep aid.


Important constituent of  Benedictine and Chartreuse.


Used today to relax spasms, indigestion and flatulence while gently stimulating liver and gallbladder function and general digestion. Nervous restorative - lifts mental and physical fatigue and calms long-term stresses. Used to treat hyperthyroidism.

Antiviral – mumps, shingles, herpes.


Essential oil used to treat cold sores.


Lemon Balm interacts with nicotinic receptors, increasing aspects of cognitive function and calm under

experimental stress. It has been shown to significantly improve calmness in normal young volunteers compared

to placebo. Recent research has indicated that lemon balm may be beneficial in treating dementia. Lemon balm aromatherapy has been shown to significantly reduce agitation in dementia.


MAIN CONSTITUENTS:

·        Monoterpenes – eg citronellal – calming on CNS

·        Flavonoids and polyphenolics (eg rosmarinic acid)


Polyphenolics and other compounds block attachment  to the thyroid cells by the antibodies causing Graves

Disease. The brain’s signal to the thyroid (TSH) is also blocked from further stimulating the excessively active

thyroid gland. Polyphenolics, especially rosmarinic acid, also have an antiviral action.