Lemon balm (Melissa Officinalis) has been used throughout the world since ancient times. It’s thought to have originated in Ephesian today known as Turkey. It wasn’t until medieval times that popularity increased around Europe. This was due to Benedictine missionaries who recognised its beneficial effects. By the 18th century lemon balm had crossed the Atlantic and was used throughout the Americas.
- Anti Viral & Anti Bacterial Properties:
European studies have proven the anti-viral effectiveness of lemon balm specifically in shortening the healing time of herpes cold sores and outbreak of shingles.
- Immune system booster
Lemon balm works great as an all round immune system booster. The high selenium content in the plant assists with its ability to regulate thyroid function and helps raise antioxidant levels, promoting immune system health.
- Nervous System
In one study of healthy volunteers, a daily dose of 600 mgs of lemon balm for a week improved mood, and boosted both calmness and alertness. Many people that suffer from problems in this area benefit from drinking a daily tea made from the plant.
This herb has a gentle and relaxing affect on the nervous system and can be used for long-term anxiety problems as well as stress-related illnesses and to help lower blood pressure.
- Blood Pressure
Lemon balm may help you to relax; this in turn can reduce blood pressure levels caused by stress. The University of Maryland Medical Center lists lemon balm as a potential anti-anxiety agent, used to promote sleep and reduce stress. Lemon balm may be combined with other calming herbs, such as valerian or catnip, for better results. However, clinical studies verifying the herb’s benefits are lacking.
How to take lemon balm?
One of the best ways to take lemon balm is to brew the fresh leaves into a simple tea by simmering them in a pan of water for a few minuets allowing enough time for the plant to infuse. Lemon balm is also available as a liquid extract from most health stores. So next time your feeling a little stressed make your self a quick cuppa and let the worries slip away!