Lemon Balm/Melissa Benefits
◦Mental Clarity, Concentration and Relaxation
◦Herpes and Anti-viral Properties
◦Thyroid and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
◦Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Lemon Balm was dedicated to the goddess Diana and was used medicinally by the Greeks some 2,000 years ago. In the Middles Ages lemon balm was used to soothe tension, to dress wounds, and as a cure for toothache, skin eruptions, mad dog bites, crooked necks, and sickness during pregnancy. It was even said to prevent baldness. As a medicinal plant, lemon balm has traditionally been employed against bronchial inflammation, earache, fever, flatulence, headaches, high blood pressure, influenza, mood disorders, palpitations, toothache and vomiting. A tea made from Lemon balm leaves is said to soothe menstrual cramps and helps relieve PMS.
The herb is used for nervous agitation, sleeping problems, functional gastrointestinal complaints, menstrual cramps and urinary spasms.
It is thought that the volatile oils in lemon balm contain chemicals that relax muscles, particularly in the bladder, stomach, and uterus, thereby relieving cramps, gas, and nausea.
ESCOP (European Scientific Cooperative On Phytotherapy) lists its internal use for tenseness, restlessness, irritability, and symptomatic treatment of digestive disorders, such as minor spasms; externally, for herpes labialis (ESCOP, 1997).
Recent evidence suggests that lemon balm has a depressant or sedative action on the central nervous systems of laboratory mice. The German Standard License for lemon balm tea approves it for nervous disorders of sleep and of the gastrointestinal tract, and to stimulate the appetite (Wichtl and Bisset, 1994).
Lemon balm may block some of the activity of thyroid hormones in the body. Therefore, it has been used in the past to treat Grave’s disease, an auto-immune condition in which the thyroid gland produces excess thyroid hormone. Although laboratory and animal studies show that lemon balm may help decrease thyroid in the body, no human studies have yet been conducted for this possible use.
Mental Clarity, Concentration, and Relaxation
Lemon balm is widely used to treat anxiety and insomnia in Europe. It reduces anxiety and stress and eases sleep disorders. Recently it produced an unexpected result in a research study: it greatly increased the ability to concentrate and perform word and picture tasks.