Health Benefits of Lemon Balm

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is a herb that belongs to the mint family. It has a subtle lemon flavor and aroma.

Lemon Balm uses, lemon balm health benefits
(Photo by: Wendell Smith)

Lemon Balm Uses

1. Culinary: fresh/dried lemon balm leaves, flowers, oil and extract are used as a flavouring in appetizers, main courses, desserts and beverages.
2. Craft: fresh/dried lemon balm leaves can be used in flower arrangements, potpourri, wreaths and sleep pillows.
3. Cosmetic: lemon balm leaves, oil and distillate are used to make cleansers, toner, lotions, perfumes, bath bags and lip balm.
4. Medicinal: see below

In this article, we will focus on the health benefits of lemon balm as a medicinal plant.

Health Benefits of Lemon Balm

Traditional Medicinal Uses

Lemon balm has a long list of traditional uses, which include anxiety, insomnia, dyspepsia, asthma, headaches, high blood pressure, menstrual cramps, insect bites and skin disorders.

Current Medicinal Uses (supported by scientific research)

1. Herpes
Lemon balm exerts antiviral effect on both types of herpes simplex viruses (HV1 and HV2) which cause oral and genital herpes. Clinical studies have shown that a topical cream containing standardized lemon balm leaf extract to be an effective treatment for oral (cold sores) and genital herpes. The lemon balm cream significantly improves symptoms (itching, tingling, burning, swelling, etc) and reduces size and number of lesions after only 2 days. It also reduces healing time and recurrences.

Learn more about lemon balm as a natural remedy for herpes and where to buy lemon balm extract cream here.

2. Anxiety & Insomnia
Lemon balm has anti-stress and anti-anxiety properties. Therefore, it is used as a mild sedative and sleeping aid. Lemon balm is usually combined with valerian, which is another traditional herbal remedy for insomnia, anxiety, and nervous restlessness.

Click here to discover the lemon balm extract formulation that has been shown to reduce stress and insomnia.

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Sources:
– http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10589440
– http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3230760

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