Melissa Officinalis – The Herb

Melissa Officinalis, also known as Lemon balm, is a low-growing perennial herb in the Mediterranean mint family that has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. Other common names are balm, bee balm, cure-all and sweet-balm. See why it is so important to use the latin name of plants? Those names could mean something totally different in another region!

I don’t have lemon balm growing in my garden right now – I hope it survived our temps of 15 below for a few days in January.  Here is a picture provided by Park Seeds!Lemon Balm – Melissa Officinalis!

The plant has bright green leaves that emit a strong lemon scent when bruised, and small white or pink flowers that bloom in the summer atop it’s central stem. It bears pairs of mint like leaves on opposite sides of a square stem. It quickly looses that lemon scent when stored.

One of the main health benefits of lemon balm is its ability to reduce stress and anxiety. Research has found that is has a mild sedative effect. It also has antibacterial and antiviral properties and an ability to relieve cramps and gas. It is used to heal wounds, ease indigestion, relieve menstrual cramps, fight cold sores, relax nerves and soothe and prevent insect stings…it also useful if you deal with insomnia. Lemon Balm tea has been used to induce perspiration and relieve fever due to colds and flu. This herb is gentle enough for babies and children!

The herb contains compounds that have a calming effect on the nervous system, making it a popular natural remedy for anxiety and insomnia. In a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, participants who took a lemon balm supplement reported a significant reduction in anxiety symptoms compared to those who took a placebo. Lemon balm has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, making it effective in treating conditions such as eczema, herpes, and cold sores. The herb contains compounds called terpenes, which have been found to have antiviral effects and helps to reduce inflammation in the skin. 

In addition to its stress-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties, lemon balm has also been found to have a positive effect on cognitive function. Studies have shown that the herb can improve memory and concentration, making it a useful supplement for those with attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

When my 4 sons (all who have ADD/ADHD to one degree or another) were little I used to make what I called poor man’s lemonade! Essentially, I made a strong Lemon Balm Tea with a handful of leaves! I added either a slice or wedge of lemon depending on what I could afford at the time. They enjoyed the drink and afternoons were much calmer!

Lemon balm is also a good source of antioxidants, which help to protect the body against free radical damage and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Flavonoids and polyphenolics found in lemon balm have been found to induce thyroid regulating actions. They block attachment to thyroid cells by the antibodies that cause Grave’s disease. Thyroid Stimulation Hormone (TSH) is also blocked from further stimulating the excessively active thyroid gland. Treatment of herpes infections is complicated by the fact that the virus can become resistant to drug treatment. Lemon balm expands the possibility of treatment and is useful when drugs fail. It kills off the virus in the test tube in as little as three hours! In addition to shortening the healing period, treatment with lemon balm prevented the spread of the infection and quickly relieved the itching, burning, tingling, swelling, stabbing and redness of a herpes outbreak.

Lemon Balm – Melissa Officinalis!

Lemon Balm did not induce drug resistance in the virus over time!! The rosmarinic acid in Lemon Balm acts against viruses, yeasts, and bacteria in the laboratory!. Lemon Balm has been studied as a treatment for insomnia and works even better when used with Valerian. A double-blind study of twenty people with insomnia compared the benefits of .125 mg of the sedative triazolam (Halcyon) against a placebo and a combination of valerian and lemon balm – the herbal combination was found to be as effective as the drug without any side effects! Lemon balm is a powerful herb with many health benefits. Its ability to reduce stress, inflammation, and improve cognitive function make it a valuable supplement for those who want to improve their overall health and wellbeing. Grow a patch of lemon balm in your garden – it’s a beautiful plant, you can use the leaves to make tea (have you seen the price of herbal tea in the store lately?) and dry them for use during the winter! Every time you brush past it and it releases that gorgeous lemon scent it will make you smile!

Melissa Officinalis – The Essential Oil

Melissa essential oil is a versatile and powerful oil extracted from the lemon balm plant. This essential oil has been used for centuries for its many therapeutic benefits, making it a popular choice among aromatherapists, massage therapists, and natural health practitioners. Here are just a few of the many benefits of Melissa essential oil: Properties: Antibacterial, antidepressant, antihistamine, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, antiviral, hypotensive, nervine, sedative, tonic and uterine.

1. Reduces Stress and Anxiety: Melissa essential oil has a calming and relaxing effect on the body and mind. It has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, making it an ideal oil for individuals who struggle with these conditions.

2. Improves Sleep: Melissa essential oil has a sedative effect on the body, which can help to improve sleep quality. It can also help to alleviate insomnia and restlessness, allowing individuals to fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.

3. Supports the Immune System: Melissa essential oil is a natural, potent antiviral and antibacterial, which makes it a great tool for boosting the immune system. It can help to protect against harmful bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens, and may even help to shorten the duration of colds and flu. I would never be without this oil in the world today. Cold sores? Apply directly 3 times per day.

4. Alleviates Headaches and Migraines: Melissa essential oil has been shown to be effective in reducing the frequency and intensity of headaches and migraines. This is likely due to its calming and relaxing effect on the body, which can help to reduce stress-related headaches.

5. Supports Digestive Health: Melissa essential oil has a soothing effect on the digestive system, which can help to alleviate symptoms of indigestion, bloating, and gas. It may also help to reduce inflammation in the digestive tract, which can lead to better overall digestive health.

6. Irritable Bowl Syndrome. Melissa essential oil haș also been shown to stop spasms and relieve pain caused by IBS. It does not cause constipation either as some medications do.

Melissa essential oil is expensive! This is because it takes so much plant material to produce the oil. Use your points, buy it on a BOGO but get it somehow. It is a POTENT anti-viral and in today’s world I want the best anti-viral in my stash that I can get. I believe Melissa is one of them!

CAUTIONS: 1. Lemon Balm has been found to increase the sedative effect of barbiturates. Therefore, avoid lemon balm tinctures and teas if you take barbiturates for anxiety or insomnia. Better yet, ask your physician to help you wean off of the meds and use Lemon Balm instead! 2. People with glaucoma should not use Melissa essential oil until more studies are conducted. Studies in animals suggest that it may raise pressure in the eye.

In conclusion, Melissa essential oil is a versatile and powerful oil that has numerous therapeutic benefits. From reducing stress and anxiety to improving sleep, fighting viral infections, supporting the immune system, alleviating headaches and migraines, and supporting digestive health, Melissa essential oil is an excellent natural remedy for a variety of health concerns. Whether you use it in a diffuser, as a massage oil, or in a topical application, this essential oil is sure to bring a host of benefits to your overall health and wellness.