The Amazing Force that is Lemon Balm
Lemon balm or Melissa Officinalis, is an herb belonging to the Lamiaceae or Mint family that naturally grows in Iran, southern regions of Europe, and central Asia, although is now naturalized in North America and New Zealand as well. Conventionally, Lemon Balm has been used as an anxiolytic (anti-anxiety), a carminative aid (relieving flatulence), to promote sleep, ease indigestion and to treat various types of wounds.
Herpes and Skin Ailments
Lemon balm has active phenolic compounds, in particular rosmarinic acid, which has bacteriostatic, antiviral and antifungal activity that can be very effective against skin wounds as it blocks bacteria from reproducing. Extending into more severe conditions, herpes simplex virus 1 and 2 (HSV-1 & HSV2), are the viral species responsible for the development of painful, unsightly blisters in oral cold sores and genital herpes, respectively.
Rosmarinic Acid is a polyphenol similar to caffeic acid (found in coffee) and is in high levels in Perilla Oil and Rosemary, from which it draws its name. It is a broad-spectrum anti-oxidant and often used in various health/wellness applications
Studies have shown that an ointment application of lemon balm has antiviral effects against both forms of HSV before adsorption to the host cells, but not after it penetrates the affected cells. Due to its lipophilic nature, it can penetrate the lipid or fat barrier of the skin. It can speed healing and reduce inflammation, especially when applied at first signs of a breakout.
LEMON BALM HAS ALSO PROVEN TO HAVE ANTIHISTAMINE PROPERTIES, AND SO CAN BE AN EFFECTIVE OINTMENT FOR INSECT BITES AND ATOPIC DERMATITIS
Lemon balm has been shown to have mild sedative effects, reducing anxiety and promoting sleep and also improving working memory function. In fact, in patients afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease, lemon balm oil aromatherapy helps to calm their anxiety and agitation while improving quality of life. The mechanisms of action bind to certain receptors and/or modulate neurotransmitters.
Additionally, Lemon Balm has shown effective against neurological disorders that are caused in part by inflammation due to its composition of phenolic antioxidant compounds.
Sleep is vital to our physical health. Sleep provides necessary healing and repair of our heart and blood vessels. Subsequently, sleep deficiencies are linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.
Mounting indications show that lemon balm can manage symptoms of dyspepsia (upset stomach), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and acid reflux. In addition to rosmarinic acid, lemon balm contains citral, citronellal, linalool, geraniol, and beta-caryophyllene, each of which has spasmolytic (anti-spasm) and carminative (anti-gas) properties.
Lemon balm continues to demonstrate success in relieving indigestion and nausea due to these antispasmodic properties. The antispasmodic and spasmolytic effects in relaxing tense muscles have also shown effective to relieve menstrual cramps.
Ways to Consume or Administer Lemon Balm
Lemon balm can be consumed in extract form in a capsule supplement, in food preparations including tea and aromatherapy through lemon balm oil as a topical ointment for skin application. Tea made from loose leaf or whole leaf tea in bag form, is an easy, super accessible, and affordable way to consume lemon balm on the daily, especially to relieve gastrointestinal upset and discomfort and an amazing way to promote sleep and relieve anxiety.
Lemon Balm: Health Benefits, Uses, Side Effects, Dosage & Interactions. (2019, September 17). Retrieved July 15, 2020, from:
Ramanauskienė, K., Stelmakiene, A., & Majienė, D. (2015). Assessment of Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis L.) Hydrogels: Quality and Bioactivity in Skin Cells. Retrieved July 15, 2020, from:
Miraj, S., Rafieian-Kopaei, & Kiani, S. (2017, July). Melissa officinalis L: A Review Study with an Antioxidant Prospective. Retrieved July 15, 2020, from:
Ozsavci, D., Ozakpinar, O. B., Cetin, M., & Aricioglu, F. (2019). Level of clinical evidence of herbal complementary therapies in psychiatric disorders. Retrieved July 15, 2020, from:
Scholey, A., Gibbs, A., Neale, C., Perry, N., Ossoukhova, A., Bilog, V., . . . Buchwald-Werner, S. (2014, October 30). Anti-Stress Effects of Lemon Balm-Containing Foods. Retrieved July 15, 2020, from:
Aubert, P., Guinobert, I., Blondeau, C., Bardot, V., Ripoche, I., Chalard, P., & Neunlist, M. (2019, July). Basal and Spasmolytic Effects of a Hydroethanolic Leaf Extract of Melissa officinalis L. on Intestinal Motility: An Ex Vivo Study. Retrieved July 15, 2020, from: