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Lemon Balm
    Bryce Wylde, BSc, DHMHS, Homeopath
  • on Jul 13, 2017 |


Lemon balm is a perennial herb and a garden staple. Native to southern Europe, this plant is now grown all over the world for brewing teas and garnishing salads—it even makes a beautifully scented addition to a flower arrangement. The leaves of lemon balm have a gentle lemon scent with a hint of mint, and the flavour hits the palate like citronella hits the nose.
Its genus name, Melissa, is from the Greek for “honey bee”: when in bloom, its small white flowers are full of nectar that entices bees. But this plant should not be confused with Monarda didyma, or bee balm.
Lemon balm supplements are made from the leaves. The essential oils contain terpenes and tannins, both of which may play a role in the herb’s relaxing and antiviral effects. Lemon balm also contains eugenol, which calms muscle spasms, numbs tissues, and kills bacteria.
Several clinical studies have looked at lemon balm for its calming, sleep-enhancing and relaxing properties. It has been shown to help restlessness and improve sleep quality. Double-blind, placebocontrolled research shows that lemon balm significantly improved mood while increasing calmness and alertness.
Lemon balm can improve your digestive system, balance immunity, sleep more soundly, manage stress and anxiety and even increase concentration. In fact, it’s currently being researched in botanical medicine for its range of effects on improving cognition, and even shows promise in the role of Alzheimer’s disease management
Some research shows lemon balm may even help manage Graves’ disease, where the immune system affects the thyroid gland. It can also be useful for the symptoms associated with cold sores (herpes simplex virus), anxiety, depression, cognitive performance, and even digestive complaints (colic, dyspepsia, colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome).