10 Awesome Benefits Of Lemon Balm
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Benefits Of Lemon Balm
From reducing heart palpitations and cholesterol to calming you down in times of stress, there are many benefits of lemon balm extracts and oils. It can calm your mind, help you sleep better, boost immunity, and protect liver and heart. The antimicrobial properties of lemon balm help treat yeast infections.
A member of the mint family, lemon balm is a plant (not a balm you can buy from the store) with its origins in Europe. It’s easy to grow, often self-seeds, withstands a variety of climatic conditions and is generally a low-maintenance plant. It also smells divine with an uplifting and energizing minty-lemony aroma. The uses for lemon balm are not just restricted to beautifying your garden though. It is used in cooking, traditional medicine, perfumery and aromatherapy treatments. So, how to use lemon balm? The flowering herb is used to produce a potent, expensive and revered essential oil and its leaves can be brewed to make a rather fragrant tea. Lemon balm tinctures and capsules are also available.
Lemon balm is abundantly used in traditional medicine to treat insomnia, anxiety, gastric conditions, psychiatric conditions, migraines, hypertension and bronchial conditions.1
There are lots of lemon balm uses. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, lemon balm (or Melissa officinalis L. as it is scientifically known) was steeped in wine to lift the spirits, aid in healing wounds, and help treat venomous insect bites and stings even before the Middle Ages. However, it should not be consumed by pregnant and breastfeeding women. It may also interact with HIV medications, sedatives and thyroid medications, so it is best to consult your doctor before consuming it in any form.2
Here are some lemon balm benefits in detail:
1. It Can Calm You
If your life is governed by anxiety and stress, you can reap the benefits of lemon balm to keep calm. According to a study, participants with laboratory-induced psychological stress were asked to consume 300mg and 600mg extracts of lemon balm. Those who consumed the 600mg dose reported increased calmness and reduced alertness.3
So next time you find yourself burnt out, brew some lemon balm tea to sit back and de-stress.
2. It’s A Sleep Aid, Too
Lemon balm herb uses include better sleep. It is often used in combination with other herbs to treat minor sleep disorders, relieve insomnia and promote the quality of sleep. A study concluded that subjects who consumed a blend of valerian and lemon balm reported 33 percent better sleep quality as compared to the placebo group. The combination was well-tolerated with no side effects.4
The lemon balm-valerian combination has also shown great results in menopause-related sleep disturbances. 5
3. It Can Control Dementia
Lemon balm oil benefits dementia patients by modulating their mood. A study illustrated that aromatherapy with lemon balm oil makes patients less agitated, less socially withdrawn and more constructively engaged in just four weeks. There are also studies that suggest lemon balm’s high antioxidant effects may also offer some protection against the free radical damage associated with dementia.6
4. It Relieves Herpes-Related Cold Sores
Lemon balm oil benefits are widely known and that makes it a winner for topical creams and ointments that relieve cold sores caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). It has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce swelling and redness. However, it does not do much for the pain and scabbing, though it is reported to prevent re-occurrences. If you’re wondering how to use lemon balm for cold sores, you can try an ointment. You can also steep two to four teaspoons of crushed lemon balm leaves in a cup of boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes. Cool and apply it with cotton balls to the sores throughout the day.7
5. It Guards Your Liver
In an animal study, one of the melissa oil benefits is better liver health. When inhaled, lemon balm essential oil not only uplifts the spirit, but also reduces cholesterol formation in the liver. The study also concluded that the essential oil leads to greater bile production. What’s not to love?8
6. It Also Helps Your Heart
Fifty-five volunteers participated in a 14-day treatment course with a concoction made of lemon balm leaves. It was found that it reduced the frequency of heart palpitation episodes and also lowered the anxiety experienced by patients as a result of the palpitations. No serious side effects were observed.9
There is also evidence that suggests lemon balm benefits include protection from arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat. Studies conducted on rats have concluded that lemon balm extract is an antiarrhythmic agent.10
7. It Lowers Cholesterol
By controlling the generation of cholesterol in the liver, lemon balm essential oil can help lower cholesterol. This is just one of the many melissa tea benefits.11
8. It Has Anti-Microbial Properties
The natural essential oils extracted from various parts of the lemon balm plant work as efficient active antimicrobial agents. This makes lemon balm an important ingredient in traditional medicine. Laboratory tests have shown lemon balm oil to be effective against a number of microbes, particularly Candida albicans. Candida is a yeast infection that often leads to exhaustion, low immunity, brain fog and more.12
9. It Boosts Your Immunity
Lemon balm benefits immunity, so it is something everyone should try. Research indicates that the water extract of lemon balm works on the immune system at a cellular level. It also stimulates the immune system.13
10. It Can Make You Sharp!
While a higher dose of lemon balm can ease your stress and anxiety levels, a moderate dose can make you a math whiz! According to a study, participants with laboratory-induced psychological stress were asked to consume 300mg extracts of lemon balm. It was concluded that the participants experienced increased speed and accuracy of mathematical processing. Who knew!14
Here is a medicinal plant that can come in handy for various occasions. Keep lemon balm oil or extract at home at all times.
References [ + ]
|1, 12.||↑||Hăncianu, M., Ana Clara Aprotosoaie, Elvira Gille, A. Poiată, C. Tuchiluş, A. Spac, and U. Stănescu. “Chemical composition and in vitro antimicrobial activity of essential oil of Melissa officinalis L. from Romania.” Revista medico-chirurgicala a Societatii de Medici si Naturalisti din Iasi 112, no. 3 (2007): 843-847.|
|2, 7.||↑||Lemon Balm. UMM.|
|3, 14.||↑||Kennedy, David O., Wendy Little, and Andrew B. Scholey. “Attenuation of laboratory-induced stress in humans after acute administration of Melissa officinalis (Lemon Balm).” Psychosomatic medicine 66, no. 4 (2004): 607-613.|
|4.||↑||Cerny, A., and K. Schmid. “Tolerability and efficacy of valerian/lemon balm in healthy volunteers (a double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicentre study).” Fitoterapia 70, no. 3 (1999): 221-228.|
|5.||↑||Taavoni, S., and H. Haghani. “Valerian/lemon balm use for sleep disorders during menopause.” Complementary therapies in clinical practice 19, no. 4 (2013): 193-196.|
|6.||↑||Kennedy, D. O., Andrew B. Scholey, N. T. J. Tildesley, E. K. Perry, and K. A. Wesnes. “Modulation of mood and cognitive performance following acute administration of Melissa officinalis (lemon balm).” Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 72, no. 4 (2002): 953-964.|
|8, 11.||↑||Jun, Hee-jin, Ji Hae Lee, Yaoyao Jia, Minh-Hien Hoang, Hanna Byun, Kyoung Heon Kim, and Sung-Joon Lee. “Melissa officinalis Essential Oil Reduces Plasma Triglycerides in Human Apolipoprotein E2 Transgenic Mice by Inhibiting Sterol Regulatory Element-Binding Protein-1c–Dependent Fatty Acid Synthesis.” The Journal of nutrition 142, no. 3 (2012): 432-440.|
|9.||↑||Alijaniha, Fatemeh, Mohsen Naseri, Suleiman Afsharypuor, Faramarz Fallahi, Ahmadali Noorbala, Mahmood Mosaddegh, Soghrat Faghihzadeh, and Sima Sadrai. “Heart palpitation relief with Melissa officinalis leaf extract: double blind, randomized, placebo controlled trial of efficacy and safety.” Journal of ethnopharmacology 164 (2015): 378-384.|
|10.||↑||Akhondali, Zahra, Mahin Dianat, and Maryam Radan. “Negative Chronotropic and Antidysrhythmic Effects of Hydroalcoholic Extract of Lemon Balm (Melissa Officinalis L.) on CaCl2-Induced Arrhythmias in Rats.” Electronic physician 7, no. 1 (2015): 971.|
|13.||↑||COŞGE, Belgin. “THE ESSENTIAL OIL OF LEMON BALM (Melissa officinalis L.), ITS COMPONENTS AND USING FIELDS Reyhan BAHTİYARCA BAĞDAT Tarla Bitkileri Merkez Araştırma Enstitüsü 06042, Ankara.” J. of Fac. of Agric., OMU 21, no. 1 (2006): 116-121.|
Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.