Lemon balm is a perennial herb in the mint family. It is also referred to as balm mint and sweet balm. It has a pleasant lemon scent, light green leaves, and small white and yellow flowers. Both the stem and leaves of this popular garden herb can be used in food preparation and medicine. Its leaves and essential oil are antiviral and loaded with antioxidants that are beneficial for our health (1).
Health Benefits Of Lemon Balm
Has A Calming Effect
Lemon balm is often used as a mild sedative, calming sleep aid, and anxiety combatant. Aside from this, it can also help us improve our concentration and is known to be a potent memory-booster. These effects have been attributed to the herb’s rosmarinic acid content which possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects (2).
May Help Relieve Symptoms Of PMS
According to studies, lemon balm tea can help relieve menstrual cramps and premenstrual syndrome (PMS). It is a great source of antioxidants that can help to lower oxidative stress and inflammation and may also have antispasmodic effects (3).
Helps Improve Mood
In a study conducted by experts, lemon balm has been found to boost cognitive performance and mood thus making it great for women suffering from brain fog or low mood due to PMS (4).
May Help Deal With Menstrual Problems
Furthermore, researchers of a study involving 100 high school girls have found that taking a lemon balm essence for three consecutive menstrual cycles has a significant reduction in PMS symptoms as compared to the placebo group (5).
Likewise, another study looking at the effects of lemon balm on period pain found that it can possibly decrease the severity of menstrual symptoms (6).
Homemade Lemon Balm Tea Recipe
- 2 cups water
- 2-3 teaspoons fresh organic lemon balm or dried lemon balm
- Honey (optional)
Boil 2 cups of water in a kettle or pot. Slightly crush lemon balm leaves between fingers in order to release its natural oils. Add the crushed leaves to a mug and pour the boiling water. Wait for at least 10 minutes for the herbal tea to infuse. Strain and add some honey for additional benefits and taste.
Note: This recipe makes 1 cup of tea.
Aside from enjoying lemon balm in tea form, it can also give its sweet, citrusy flavor in desserts, fruit or vegetable salads, seafood dishes, and sauces and soups.