Lemon balm is a member of the mint family and is considered a calming herb. This herb is also known as Melissa officinalis, and it has been used for centuries to reduce anxiety, promote sleep and improve symptoms of indigestion. Lemon balm has been researched by experts and found to offer many great health benefits.
Lemon balm is a medical and culinary herb with white and yellow flowers that originated from the European continent, but because of its beneficial effects is commercially grown worldwide.
This aromatic herb with a pleasant lemon fragrance contains essential oils, tannins, bioflavonoids, polyphenols, rosmarinic and phenol acid and other chemical components that allow its antibacterial, antioxidant, antiviral, spasmolytic, sedative and relaxing effects.
This herb has been used by the ancient Greeks and Romans to treat insect bites and stings. The leaves give off a strong tart smell that insects do not like. The insect-repellant essential oils it contains include citronella and monoterpenaldehydes citral A and B. The essential oils that are released from the leaves are also used to treat insomnia, nervousness and anxiety.
Lemon Balm Benefits and Uses
Treats Hyperthyroidism – Lemon balm has anti-thyrotropic activity (inhibits binding of biologically active immunoglobulins for TSH receptors) in patients with Graves’ disease, a condition that leads to hyperthyroidism, which can be used in the treatment of these diseases.
Treats Insomnia – Do you know someone who sleeps less at night? If that’s you or your friend, please know that the solution to the problem is right here. Lemon balm tea will not only help you sleep better, but will also help patients suffering from insomnia. Its relaxing effect will take control over your body and ensure you are sleeping just as much as your body needs.
According to the University Of Maryland Medical Center, the combination of hops, lemon balm and other sedating herbs can significantly reduce the symptoms of insomnia.
Treats Digestive Upsets and Anxiety – It helps to release the spasms in the digestive system and is used in cases of flatulent dyspepsia. Because it has antidepressant effects is primarily indicated in cases of dyspepsia associated with anxiety and depression.
In combination with other calming herbs (such as valerian, hops and chamomile) reduces anxiety and facilitates sleep. It is used for Alzheimer’s disease and ADHD. It is also used in cases of migraine associated with tension, neuralgia and palpitations induced by anxiety.
Treats Thyroid Problems and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – Lemon balm is used in Europe for treating thyroid problems and has shown an ability to regulate thyroid hormone production. This ability, along with the herbs anti-viral characteristics have made the herb useful in the treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Powerful Antioxidant – Lemon balm is rich in caffeic acid and rosmarinic acid, which are powerful antioxidants that neutralize reactive oxygen species. It also contains eugenol, which acts like a natural anti-inflammatory that helps soothe painful conditions. These compounds offer profound antibacterial and antiviral properties and protect the lipid membrane of cells.
Treats Herpes and Cold Sores – Research has shown that the plant contains polyphenols, it can help significantly in the treatment of cold sores and combat the herpes simplex virus, shingles as well as other viral afflictions. Studies have shown a significant reduction in the duration and severity of herpes. Researchers also noted a “tremendous reduction” in the frequency of recurrence.
When applied to cold sores or genital sores caused by the herpes simplex virus, creams or ointments containing lemon balm have speeded healing. The infections did not spread as much and individuals using topical lemon balm also reported more relief from symptoms such as itching and redness.
How to Make Lemon Balm Tea?
Making lemon balm tea at home is now super easy. Follow the steps given below and you are sure to make yourself a refreshing cup!
- Lemon balm leaves
- Honey/lime juice
- Cut the stems of lemon balm and let them dry and cool in a dark area. When they have become completely dry, separate and place in a jar.
- Now boil some water in a saucepan and add two teaspoons of lemon balm to it. Keep the flame low. Tea shouldn’t take longer than 5 minutes to cook.
- You can also add other flavors to it such as honey, sugar and lemon juice. This will add more flavor to the dish.
- You can also let the lemon balm tea cool down. Add some ice and drink fresh.