Skip to main content
  1. Life
  2. Health & Fitness
  3. Holistic Health

Lemon Balm: A tasty and relaxing herb

See also

Lemon balm (melissa officinalis) is a common herb found throughout North America, but it's usefulness is far from common. This member of the mint family is a talented and underrated plant, and has been a documented medicinal herb as far back as ancient Greece. Today, lemon balm's uses are being researched and documented for modern ailments, as well as inclusion in gourmet cooking.

More Photos

Feeling anxious, can't concentrate, or depressed? Lemon balm might be the herb for you; inhaling the essential oil has been shown to improve concentration and relieve anxiety. Studies using melissa officinalis instead of the drug Ritalin for children with ADHD have shown considerable promise, as well as improving mental clarity in early-stage Alzheimer's patients.

The antiviral properties of lemon balm seems to weaken the stubborn herpes virus. Tinctures and salves of melissa reduce and clear oral and genital herpes sores, and shows promise for use in the treatment of HIV. For gastrointestinal disorders, lemon balm acts as a carminative to relieve gas and colic in children. Melissa has endocrine qualities and is used for holistic treatment of Grave's disease and hyperthyroidism, although it may inhibit the absorption of the thyroid medication thyroxine. The effects of radiation and oxidative stress are also reduced by melissa; a study using lemon balm infusions reduced the effects of radiation and oxidative stress on radiology staff with elevated radiation levels.

The medicine cabinet is not the only place for lemon balm, and the best medicine is often food; melissa performs extremely well in this area, and lends a lemony flavor to any dish. Pestos, salads, teas, sauces, and baked treats pair well with lemon balm. Food scientists are currently researching the efficacy of melissa as an antioxidant preservative for sausage processing.

Although lemony in taste and scent, melissa is a member of the mint family. And like a true mint, this plant can be extremely invasive if left to it's own devices. As a garden herb, though, it's hard to beat. Lemon balm requires little attention as a perennial and self-sows readily. It attracts bees with it's showy, fragrant white flowers and can withstand hard pruning several times a year - which means you can enjoy lots of lemon balm pesto during the growing season.

True lemon balm essential oil is expensive and hard to find; most melissa EO (essential oil) is in a carrier oil, and normally at a 10% dilution. If the price seems too good to be true, ask if the EO is 100% pure melissa and undiluted. A few drops on a cotton ball tucked into your pillow will ensure a sound, restful sleep. Adding some lavender essential oil will make for an even more delicious night's rest. Make an effort to include this herb in your life, and lemon balm will not disappoint you...and you'll know why the ancients held it in such high regard.

Enjoy this article? Share your enjoyment with your friends and subscribe above, or follow me on Facebook – you’ll be the first to know when the next article is up!

Advertisement

Life

  • Dead babies found
    Seven dead babies were found in Utah resident Megan Huntsman's old home
    Video
    Shocking Discovery
  • Kendall Jenner
    Get the Coachella looks: Kendall Jenner’s nose ring, green hair and edgy nails
    Camera
    Coachella Look
  • Dog's Easter basket
    How to fill your dog’s Easter basket with the perfect toys
    Easter Basket
  • Rabbit owners
    Bringing home the bunny: Important information for rabbit owners
    Camera
    7 Photos
  • Haunted island
    The world’s most haunted island may soon be the most haunted luxury resort
    Haunted Resort
  • Sunken ferry
    Search continues for missing passengers after a ferry sinks off the South Korean coast
    Video
    Sunken Ferry

Related Videos:

  • Cannabis, Kids, and peace
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518173595" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518173595&autoStart=true"></div>
  • Genetic screening software for future parenthood before you find a partner.
    <div class="video-info" data-id="517848021" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=517848021&autoStart=true"></div>
  • Kendra Lynne
    <div class="video-info" data-id="516906324" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=516906324&autoStart=true"></div>

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about Examiner.com and apply today!