Melissa Officinalis is a perennial herb from the mint family. The leaves, which have a mild lemon aroma, are used to make medicine. Melissa Officinalis is used alone or as part of various multi-herb combination products.
This herbs has been used for centuries to treat anxiety, sleep disorders, indigestion and wounds.
1. Calms the Mind
Lemon balm has been used for centuries as a popular oil in aromatherapy. It is said that the pure, sweet aroma of the oil promotes a feeling of relaxation and calm. Most sweet oils are said to provide the same benefit. Look for a pure lemon balm essential oil if you are thinking about using the herb in your aromatherapy practice. Lemon balm oil is the oil that has been carefully pressed from the flowers of the lemon balm plant.
2. Encourages Restful Sleep
Lemon balm also encourages a more restful sleep, according to some research. Parents of the children in the German study reported their children slept more peacefully throughout the night after supplementation. A placebo-controlled trial found menopausal women suffering with sleep disruptions reported much better sleep after taking a lemon balm/valerian extract compared to those taking the placebo.
3. Makes Skin Look Years Younger
Lemon balm is still frequently featured in many cosmetics for its soothing effect on the skin. The first cosmetic use of lemon balm goes back to the 1300s when the Queen of Hungary used it to erase the years (and reportedly the wrinkles). It’s still recommended for soothing the skin and reducing fine lines.
4. Boosts Alertness
Although lemon balm calms the mind, it certainly doesn’t dull the mind. An Australian study noted improved alertness in participants supplementing with the herb in addition to feelings of calm and an improved, more positive mood.
5. Sharpens Memory and Problem Solving
Studies like the one above have observed improved memory and problem-solving in test subjects regardless of age after taking lemon balm. Young or old, those taking lemon balm show improvements in problem-solving skills and recall.
Though preliminary, patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease have seen improvements based on several recent studies. In one Chinese study eugenol, a powerful antioxidant found in lemon balm, and acupuncture helped test subjects recover memory-related functions.
6. Powerful Antioxidant
Lemon balm is loaded with antioxidants that keep your cells safe from free radical damage. Studies on eugenol and rosmarinic acid show they support a healthy brain. Other significant antioxidants include ferulic, caffeic acids, and quercetin. Quercetin specifically is known as a powerful compound.
7. Supports the Liver
The liver clears toxins from the body, so keeping it healthy means keeping your entire body healthy. Over time, the process of detoxification can wear down the liver and lead to liver damage. This is especially true if you are eating a diet that is less than ideal. In one trial using animal models, lemon balm proved as effective as a liver drug in protecting the organ from the damaging effects caused by toxins. It also supports the liver’s production of two of the human body’s natural antioxidants: glutathione and superoxide dismutase.
8. Supports Normal Blood Sugar
Many herbs that support antioxidant levels also help balance blood sugar. Although research is limited on lemon balm’s effect on blood sugar, one study has shown that, when taken consistently, it does promote stable blood sugar and reduces insulin resistance. Based on the research so far, lemon balm appears to have a positive influence on blood sugar.
9. Protects Brain Cells
Beyond the positive effect on memory, thinking, and calmness, research suggests lemon balm protects the physical brain from damage. Eugenol neutralizes free radicals before they can attack brain cells. Rosmarinic acid, another key compound in lemon balm, has shown promise in the treatment of stroke victims. Research with animal models shows that given shortly after a stroke, lemon balm appears to protect areas of the brain against damage
Melissa Officinalis is LIKELY SAFE when used in food amounts. It’s POSSIBLY SAFE in adults when used in medicinal amounts short-term. It’s been used safely in research for up to four months. Not enough is known about the safety of Melissa Officinalis when used long-term.
Some information suggests that Melissa Officinalis might be safe when taken in appropriate amounts by infants for up to a week and by older children under age 12 for up to one month.
When taken by mouth, Melissa Officinalis can cause some side effects including nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dizziness, and wheezing.
When applied to the skin, there is one report of irritation and one report of increased cold sore symptoms.
Sedative medications (CNS depressants) interacts with Melissa Officinalis
Lemon balm might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Medications that cause sleepiness are called sedatives. Taking lemon balm along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness.
Some sedative medications include clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), phenobarbital (Donnatal), zolpidem (Ambien), and others.
Balm, Bálsamo de Limón, Cure-All, Dropsy Plant, Honey Plant, Melisa, Melissa, Melissae Folium, Mélisse, Mélisse Citronnelle, Mélisse Officinale, Melissenblatt, Monarde, Sweet Balm, Sweet Mary, Toronji
Source: GlobalHealingCenter, http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/9-benefits-of-lemon-balm/