Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) comes from the same family as mint It is also known as Beebalm, Cure-All, Dropsy plant, Honey plant, Sweet balm, and Sweet Mary This lemon-scented herb has been used for culinary purposes such as for marinating fish, making teas, and adding flavor to baked foods and jams.
At present, lemon balm has also been famously known as a natural, effective alternative for a variety of diseases with little to no adverse side effects. Its leaves, aside from being used to top drinks and garnish salads, have been frequently used to make teas, tinctures, and essential oils.
Here’s how lemon balm works to provide our body with optimum benefits.
Helps Maintain Digestive Health
Lemon balm has carminative properties that can help relieve stagnant digestion, promote overall digestion, and eases abdominal cramping. Found in its oil is a chemical known as “terpenes” that help relax muscles and relieve symptoms such as excess gas.
For best results, it is recommended that we take lemon balm as a tea. Have a cup of it immediately after meals. Aside from this, we can also massage its oil into our abdomen to stimulate the digestive process.
Helps Relieve Stress
Studies revealed that lemon balm can help us to relax, boost our mood, and soothes symptoms of stress.
In a 2004 research, experts have found that by taking lemon balm, one can be relieved from the negative effects of psychological stress by increasing a sense of calmness and reducing feelings of alertness.
Helps Reduce Anxiety
With lemon balm, we can help address symptoms of anxiety, such as nervousness, and excitability.
In a study published in the journal Nutrients, results showed that as compared to a placebo, a sweetened water-based drink containing 0.3 grams of lemon balm extract significantly reduced stress and improved mood of healthy young adults.
May Help Treat Cold Sores
In a study conducted in 1999, researchers found that by applying lemon bam topically, one can experience fewer symptoms of cold sores and can heal it faster.
For this purpose, we need to apply lemon balm cream to the affected area several times a day.
Helps Lessen Toothache Pain
Lemon balm has relaxing, anti-inflammatory, and pain-relieving properties that are all essential for relieving toothache pain.
We simply need to dip a cotton swab in a lemon balm oil and apply in on the affected area. Be sure to select an oil that has already been diluted by a carrier oil, such as jojoba.
Helps Improve Sleep Quality
Lemon balm can help improve the quality of sleep, especially in people suffering from insomnia and menopause symptoms. It helps increase GABA (gamma amino-butyric acid) in the brain, thus reducing sleep disruptions by promoting calmness and relaxation.
According to studies, the herb can improve insomnia in 85% of people with anxiety disorders and sleep disturbances.
Has Anti-Cancer Effects
In a cell-cased study, results revealed that citral in lemon balm is capable of activating cancer cell self-destruction. It can help shrink breast cancer tumors, prevent the growth of leukemia cells, helps treat colon cancer and reduce the size of prostate colon cancer tumors.
It Helps Treat Colds, Fever, And Flu
Lemon balm induces perspiration and has an antiviral effect. It has been traditionally used to induce sweating and break a fever.
A cup of lemon balm tea is recommended for patients with fever of flu.
How To Make A Lemon Balm Tea
Get fresh lemon balm leaves and chop it to release their oils. Set them aside. Alternatively, a teaspoon of dried leaves can also be used. Add the chopped leaves to a cup of hot water and let steep for 10 minutes. Add a teaspoon of honey for additional benefits and taste. Stir before drinking.