Lemon balm

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L.) leaf extract has been shown as an anti-stress and anxiolytic agent.

Anxiety comprises behavioral, cognitive and physiological responses to threatening situations or uncertainty. Anxiety often manifests as debilitating chronic conditions, which can develop at an early age or appear suddenly after a triggering event. Such conditions are frequently accompanied by physiological and psychological symptoms e.g. headache, sweating, muscle spasms, palpitations, hypertension, mental confusion, compulsory obsessive behaviors and emotional instability.

Drug medications that are often used to treat anxiety and insomnia result in adverse effects. Botanical treatments’s efficacy is rarely linked to side effects.

In various studies Melissa officinalis improves cognitive performance and mood, reduces stress and has anxiolytic effects. Melissa officinalis L. leaf extract treatment has been demonstrated to improve mild-to-moderate anxiety disorders, its associated symptoms and insomnia.

Nowadays lemon balm is often combined with other calming herbs, such as valerian, chamomile and hops.
Certain natural substances may be useful for treating active Herpes simplex lesions or preventing recurrences: lysine, vitamin C, zinc, vitamin E, adenosine monophosphate, and lemon balm (Melissa officinalis).

What are the active components of lemon balm?

-terpenes, which play role in the herb’s relaxing and antiviral effects.

-tannins, which may be responsible the antiviral effects of lemon balm

-eugenol, which can calm muscle spasms, numb tissues, and kill bacteria.

What lemon balm is used for:

-sleeping disorders

-anxiety, depression, nervousness, dejection

-cold sores (more effective combined with vitamin C and E, zinc and lysine)

-insect bites

-stomach and intestinal discomfort, stomach pain, bloating, gas

-headache, toothache

-promoting menstrual flow

-improve appetite

-some studies suggest that lemon balm may be useful in the treatment of Graves’s disease (hyperthyroidism), and Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

-lemon balm extract may improve symptoms of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.

Lemon balm is available as a dried leaf, as a tea, and in capsules, extracts, tinctures, and oil.

Possible side effects: nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dizziness, and wheezing.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not take lemon balm.
Lemon balm may potentially interact with the following medications:

Lemon balm may interact with sedatives, thyroid medications and HIV medications. If you are taking any of these drugs, ask your doctor before taking lemon balm. Lemon balm might cause too much drowsiness if combined withmedications used during and after surgery. Stop using lemon balm at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Source: Med J Nutrition Metab. 2011 December; 4(3): 211–218., Altern Med Rev. 2006 Jun;11(2):93-101., Pixabay